Taught course


University of Portsmouth · School of Art and Design

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. An interview and online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

On this course you will extend your photographic work at postgraduate level, defining your own authorial voice within the context of the contemporary documentary environment and the theoretical debates that underpin this.

There is a strong ethos in social and cultural awareness, supporting projects that are embedded within research and professional practice. You will be encouraged to network, publicise and market your work outside the University, and enhance your skills for working in the creative sector.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Experience an intellectual challenge within a productive research community, aided by supportive supervision.
  • Engage with internationally renowned visiting speakers and practitioners.
  • Take part in study visits to galleries and photography festivals.

What opportunities might it lead to?

On this course you will develop strong academic, creative and technical abilities. As a result, you will have the skills to work in various areas of the current photographic industry or as part of the wider creative industries, from writers to curators, picture editors to educators.

The MA course may lead to opportunities in:

  • Freelance photography
  • Curating
  • Exhibiting
  • Assisting in a commercial photographic environment
  • Visual content provider
  • Picture editing
  • PhD research / Research related careers

Module Details

This MA course is offered over one year (full time) or two years (part-time). The course has units related to:

  • Research: This includes methodologies, analytical skills, visual analysis, research management and organisation, professional skills, networking and personal effectiveness.
  • Creative photographic practice: This includes analogue and digital skills, editing, project management, professional practice and industry links, peer learning, contextualisation and reflective practice.

Core units comprise:

  • Proposal
  • A Question of Research
  • Photography Major Project
  • Contemporary Documentary Practice in Context

Programme Assessment

The course informs and encourages our students to participate in project work that is built upon social and cultural awareness through engaging and collaborating with communities outside of the university, nationally and internationally.

Much of the teaching encourages students to have the ability to verbally articulate their ideas, peer exchange and participate in collaborative learning, with some workshops and lectures. You will benefit from being taught by practising professionals with extensive expertise in exhibiting, publishing and curating.

There will be regular contact teaching time including one-to-one and group tutorials and workshops. You will also have the opportunity to engage in the wider culture that develops within the subject area alongside the undergraduate students in Photography.

During the final stage of the course in summer the learning becomes more independent and self-managed making your timetable more flexible.

You will mostly be assessed by a mix of written and practical coursework, with regular feedback.

Student Destinations

Through seminars, project work, training and work experience, the MA Photography course will help you to engage with the creative industries of photography and its ancillary industries to be better equipped for employment and further career progression.

Roles our graduates may take on include:

  • Research-related careers
  • PhD study
  • Free-lance photographers
  • Assisting work
  • Picture editors
  • Editorial photography
  • Setting up own businesses
  • Digital printing and retouching
  • News industry
  • Picture agencies
  • Publishing
  • Curation
  • Galleries and museums
  • Design
  • Media industry
  • Teaching

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £6,500 Part time: £2,170 (60 credits) in year 1 and £4,330* (120 credits) in year 2. * Fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £13,200 Part time: £4,400 (60 credits) in year 1 and £8,800* (120 credits) in year 2. * Fees are subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566