Two people looking at photographs on wall at exhibition
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

If you've got a passion for photography and a relevant undergraduate qualification, or equivalent industry experience, this MA Photography course is your perfect way to take your creative career further.

On this course, you'll extend your photographic work to postgraduate level and hone your authorial voice and engage with the debates that inform and underpin photographic practice. You'll have many opportunities to network, publicise and market your work outside of the University too, so once you graduate, you'll be better prepared for life in the creative sector.

You'll also have gained the knowledge and skills required to work effectively in the photographic industry or in a number of broader creative roles – such as writing, curating, picture editing and education.

Entry requirements​

MA Photography Master's degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process

An interview or online portfolio submission will be required as part of the selection process.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our MA Photography portfolio guide.

What you'll experience

On this Photography degree course you'll:

  • Engage with internationally-renowned visiting speakers and practitioners – recent speakers have included photographers Anna Fox, Oliver Chanarin, Maisie Cousins, Faisal Abdu Allah, Eric Kessels, Laura Pannack, Tom Hunter, Eva Stenram, Bettina von Zwehl and Sunil Gupta
  • Take part in study visits to galleries and photography festivals
  • Make use of our extensive photographic studio facilities, including: flash and tungsten lighting set ups, digital and traditional darkrooms supporting colour and black and white photography, high-end negative scanners, ink jet printers and projection facilities
  • Optimise and fine tune your portfolio with our powerful PCs and Macs, loaded with the software used by professionals, high-spec printers, and film, video and photography editing facilities
  • Get hands-on with the latest production techniques and equipment, including: 3D printing, CNC milling machines, digital fabric printing, as well as printing workshops with screen printing, letterpress, laser cutting, dye sublimation and digital fabric printing facilities
  • Get best practice tips and practical support from academic staff and technicians on all elements of photographic work
  • Have access to our comprehensively equipped library facilities, including over 400,000 books, DVDs, maps, and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers, as well as electronic resources that are available anywhere, 24/7

Careers and opportunities

The course may lead to opportunities in freelance photography, curating, exhibiting, assisting in a commercial photographic environment, visual content provision, picture editing, or PhD research / research-related careers.

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.

What can you do with a Photography degree?

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

What jobs can you do with a Photography degree?

Roles our graduates may take on include:

  • Research-related careers
  • PhD study
  • Freelance 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

Studying the MA in Photography has been highly beneficial for my practice and career of an artist. The one-year long course allowed me to develop further my interests, travel to Europe, work with archives, improve my writing, meet brilliant individuals and create my own methodologies and techniques of working. Since graduating, I have exhibited my work internationally including a solo show in Berlin, alongside I have been a part of numerous artist talks and panel discussions. I have also started teaching and delivering workshops at leading British universities and galleries around Europe.

Krasemira Butseva, MA Photography graduate

What you'll study on this MA Photography degree course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 2 units worth 60 credits and 2 unit worth 30 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Contemporary Photographic Practice in Context – 60 credits
  • Exploratory Practice and Proposal – 30 credits
  • Photography Major Project – 60 credits
  • A Question of Research – 30 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Teaching

Teaching on this course includes:

  • one-to-one tutorials
  • group tutorials
  • lectures
  • workshops
  • independent learning
A pile of red and green apples strewn over an expanse of patchy grass

Undertaking an MA in Photography was an immensely rewarding experience. It provided me with the time, motivation and academic framework to research a subject thoroughly and then produce and exhibit a highly professional body of work.

John Farnhill, MA Photography graduate

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

You’ll get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • written coursework
  • practical coursework

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full-time: £8,100
  • Part-time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £8,100
  • Part-time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £16,200
  • Part-time: £5,400 in year 1 and £10,800 in year 2 (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You'll need to cover the costs relating to the purchase of materials and/or reprographic requirements for work. These costs are normally in the region of £100–£1000, and will depend on the nature of the work and the media used.

You'll need to cover all of the costs for optional study trips. Trips abroad normally cost in the region of £200–£800. Trips around the UK will cost in the region of £50–£150.

Apply

Start your application by following the link below:

Starting in September 2022

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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