Taught course

Photographic History

De Montfort University · Imaging and Communication Design

Entry requirements

You should normally have the equivalent of a 2:2 or above UK bachelor's Honours degree in a related subject. If you have other professional qualifications and industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis. A reading knowledge of one European language other than English is recommended. If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it

Months of entry


Course content

The Photographic History MA is uniquely focused on the social, cultural and material histories of photography. You will explore photographic history through primary source materials, including negatives, photographs, technical apparatus, ephemera, and manuscripts, as well as new developments and research methodologies in digital research under the guidance of internationally recognised scholars, practitioners, and museum professionals. The programme has been referred to as "truly excellent, the best of its kind in the country" (External examiner Dr Jonathan Friday, University of Kent, 2013), and offers you outstanding industry links with major collections including the National Media Museum, Birmingham City Library, and the Pitt Rivers Museum.

It is aimed at those from a variety of disciplines including historians, conservation students, archivists, historians of science and from various fields of visual studies, such as art history, visual anthropology, lens based media and photography.

Working closely with programme staff, you will enhance your research skills, writing, public speaking and materials handling skills, which will equip you for a wide range of careers in the heritage industry and research, or for further study.

The programme is delivered by a team of internationally renowned photographic historians as well as visiting lecturers from museums, archives, collections and research institutions. These experts all approach photographic history from different perspectives, presenting you with important challenges. Together we will investigate the role of photography in the history of science, anthropology, gender studies, museum studies, art history and area studies. Alongside practical sessions on historical processes we will consider new technology based approaches to photographic media in teaching, learning, research, information discovery and knowledge construction. Through the guidance of this unique combination of expertise, the programme aims to study both the materiality of photography and its relationship with the digital age, incorporating new methodologies and reading texts critically.

You will be provided with a solid grounding of practical skills, theory and dialectics that will equip you for a wide range of careers in the heritage industry and research. Some of our graduates have received fellowships to pursue PhDs in the UK, USA, German and Ireland while others have embarked upon careers in curating, museum and gallery administration, digital cataloguing and publishing
hroughout Europe.

Information for international students

.Some international students may be eligible for a scholarship and/or an early payment discount of up to £500. For more information, visit dmu.ac.uk/international.

Fees and funding

At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study. We are proud to currently offer two scholarships.

Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship

Offered to Home/EU DMU alumni for students who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information, please visit dmu.ac.uk/pgfunding.

Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship

Available to full-time UK and EU undergraduate and postgraduate students, starting in September 2016. For more information visit dmu.ac.uk/sports

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment45
Professional practice10
Dissertation45 (15000 words)

Course contact details

De Montfort University
+44 (0)116 2 50 60 70