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Masters Degrees (Photography)

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The Photography Arts MA offers a dynamic mix of photography practice and research to support your development as an artist. In an open-minded educational environment you will expand the boundaries of your photography, advancing your own distinct visual and conceptual approach. Read more

The Photography Arts MA offers a dynamic mix of photography practice and research to support your development as an artist. In an open-minded educational environment you will expand the boundaries of your photography, advancing your own distinct visual and conceptual approach. Students are fully supported by our internationally renowned photography staff and inspired by an exciting range of prominent visiting photographic artists and thinkers. 

Situated in Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, you will have access to extensive photographic facilities and a wealth of inter-disciplinary expertise. You will be part of a world-famous centre for photography research. 

The Photography Arts MA is a recently revalidated course, which builds on the former Photographic Studies MA (1996-2016). The course champions a long, proud tradition of cutting-edge photography pioneered at the University.

The course has an open definition of photography, encompassing a wide range of approaches and forms. We encourage free experimentation in the development of ideas. You will advance your practical work choosing new or traditional techniques, digital or analogue forms, in work that may extend beyond the traditional boundaries of wall, page or screen into other modes including moving image, installation and performance.

The research components of the course are tailored for the needs of the contemporary artist photographer, and allow you to focus on the lines of inquiry that will be most productive for your own development. Your progress through the course will be supported with one-to-one tutorials with a personal tutor.

This is the right course if you are highly motivated and excited to develop your independent practice alongside critical research within a rapidly changing field. Working with our experienced staff and a group of peers drawn from all over the world, you can discover your own future working with the most contemporary approaches to photography.  

The course is structured to develop your practice, informed by research. Throughout the course, students make work with great attention to how it will be presented in a range of modes including exhibition, book and/or screen. The practice modules provide a framework for developing and testing new approaches and establish a foundation for your future independent work. Students write three short research essays during the course, each aimed at broadening knowledge of photography, contemporary art and related histories, theories and criticism. Content for these assignments is led by the student’s own research interests. The course is unusually flexible in that a dissertation is not required, but can form an optional part of the final master’s project.

The course enables students to become independent practitioners, generating up-to-date, informed work. You will be empowered with visual, critical and practical skills that culminate in the Masters Project, exhibited in a central London degree show at the end of the course. 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

Option modules

Option modules from Documentary Photography and Photojournalism MA

Career path

An MA in Photography Arts is an unusually versatile qualification that prepares you to be an artist/photographer working at the highest level of ambitious contemporary art, and also gives you a range of transferable skills vital to twenty-first century creative industries.

Graduates of the course work as independent artist/photographers and also as writers, educators, critics, publishers, curators, gallerists, picture editors and researchers. A number of graduates go on to pursue their research at doctoral level.

Alumni from the course (under the former title Photographic Studies MA) now work all over the world in a range of careers requiring creativity, research skills and critical analysis of visual images



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The course explores documentary practices and photojournalism as exciting and developing mediums, through a combination of practice-based teaching and discussion of critical contexts. Read more

The course explores documentary practices and photojournalism as exciting and developing mediums, through a combination of practice-based teaching and discussion of critical contexts.

We take each applicant on their own merit. This can include students of documentary photography or photographers in general who are interested in specialising in this area. Also welcome are artists who wish to focus their activities on a more social practice, and individuals from other disciplines, who wish to explore the subject area at post grad level.

The course builds on the international stature of the photographic and journalism departments of the University and is designed to equip you with an awareness of contemporary documentary and photojournalism, drawing on a variety of related media.

The course can be taken in full-time or part-time mode.

The Documentary and Photojournalism MA allows students to explore ideas of society through photographically related practice and within critically informed ways that maintain connections with the issue, yet also consider fresh visual approaches to the subject matter.

We approach photography as a social practice, situated within its own history, but also drawing on various discourses. We explore the idea that documentary practice and photojournalism may take many forms in the 21st Century.

Importantly, from your arrival, we emphasise the development of your own practice, through experimentation, critique and theory, and encourage analysis of practice through contemporary perspectives.

The course leads towards the Final Major Project, which is a consolidation of student learning into a high profile event in a central London exhibition space.

You will be taught by practising professional photographers, artists and writers, within a supportive course atmosphere. Technically, the course resources are equipped to the highest professional standards for both analogue and digital production of still and moving image.

Course structure

All modules involve classroom teaching, tutorials, seminars, workshops, group work and your own fieldwork and are designed to equip you with advanced ways of working and negotiating your practice. We take the view that the work you make from the beginning of your studies with us is potentially valid currency for external use.

We encourage you to explore production of a body of documentary/photojournalistic works through the development of personal practice in the real world by:

  • Creating an informal learning agreement which emphasises a real world engagement
  • Exploring appropriate responses to given situations
  • Exploration of documentary methods
  • Challenging expectations.

Students take the first four core modules below and choose from either Final Major Project or Dissertation as their fifth core module. Students choose one option module from those listed below.

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core Modules

Optional modules

Career path

The emphasis of the course is on the development of your practice, through experimentation, and knowledge creation as understood within contemporary approaches to documentary, as well as many related practices such as critical and journalistic and collaborative practice.

In addition to the Skills acquired of photographers enabling the production of works this will also involve competent use of a variety of hardware, software, social media, presentation and production skills.

The MA will involve the development of various hard skills such as management of large and small scale projects, direction (either within film or theatrical modes) facilitatory methods (such as in educational or community roles), advocacy, effective social networking and experience of group and collaborative working. We intend that the student will be able to function as a still photographer, documentary film-maker, activist, artist and writer. We would imagine our graduate to be well rounded and confident individual with adaptability facilitating new ways of seeing.

Internship

The course is taught by experienced and practising photographers, publishers and writers whose extensive network of contacts in all areas of photography is accessible to students. We actively encourage work experience during the course and will advise on possible limited time internships and placements, providing these do not interfere the course work. Any internships or placements will be arranged by the students.



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Develop your creative practice, knowledge and understanding with our MA Photography. You'll gain a broad theoretical understanding of the medium of photography and establish a critically reflective practice through experimentation, creativity, risk-taking, research and authorship. Read more
Develop your creative practice, knowledge and understanding with our MA Photography. You'll gain a broad theoretical understanding of the medium of photography and establish a critically reflective practice through experimentation, creativity, risk-taking, research and authorship. Self-set projects and assignments, along with the collective breadth offered by our portfolio of exit awards, means you will graduate with an individually tailored award within a field of contemporary photography.

This programme is also available as a Research Masters (ResM). Further details are available on these pages.

Key features

-Choose your exit award - the core MA Photography, or one of our specialist routes: MA Photography and the Land, MA Photography and the Book, or MA Photography and Writing. This programme is also available as a Research Masters (ResM).
-Engage in experimental practice and become part of a broad research environment, supported by our internationally renowned staff, including Professors David Chandler, Jem Southam and Liz Wells.
-Study the course one year full-time or two years part-time; you’ll attend the same sessions, collaborating and sharing skills and knowledge.
-Experience a dynamic research environment which includes an extensive visiting speaker programme – a number of whom contribute to small, directed seminars, workshops and tutorials. Recent visiting speakers include Martin Barnes, Kate Bush, Clare Grafik and Michael Mack, and Ron Jude. Upcoming speakers include Stephen Vaughan, Laura Pannack and Anna Fox.
-Special events that highlight the aspects of the taught programme are organised each semester including intensive study days and symposia. We have held study visits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at Martin Parr’s studio and at Garry Fabian Miller’s studio.
-Interrogate the relationship between theory and practice, with opportunities for a residential field trip and study trips both in the UK and abroad - we have previously visited Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
-Benefit from a city centre campus with excellent library and photographic facilities including a bespoke daylight studio, analogue and digital imaging and printing resources, C41 processing, letterpress, printmaking and silkscreen workshops.
-Explore the rich urban and rural landscape offered by the South West peninsula – diverse towns and cities, industrial heritage and urban regeneration, coastal and marine environments, dramatic moorland and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Course details

You'll enter the programme with an initial project proposal that you will continue to develop throughout your study. The theme will evolve through your engagement with, and understanding of, the scope of the nature and context of your project. This will be linked to an explorative approach to the use of the photographic medium, challenging you to develop a fluent dialogue between your ideas and practice. You are given the opportunity to graduate with an individually tailored award within a field of contemporary photography: MA Photography, MA Photography and the Book, MA Photography and the Land, and MA Photography and Writing. You will apply with a specific exit award in mind, from which you’ll develop your MA project. All awards allow you to develop your creative photographic practice. By ‘practice’ we refer to a photographic practice that is inclusive of a wide range of making and working with photography: as photographers, curators, editors and writers.

Core modules
-MAPY705 MA Project
-MAPY701 The Practice of Research
-MAPY702 Photography: Histories and Criticism
-MAPY703 Experiment and Practice
-MAPY704 Photography: Interdisciplinary Practices and Contexts

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This course is for you if you want to develop your individual style and explore photography as a means of creative expression. You will create an impressive portfolio of work, which you will exhibit in real gallery space and disseminate to potential employers. Read more
This course is for you if you want to develop your individual style and explore photography as a means of creative expression. You will create an impressive portfolio of work, which you will exhibit in real gallery space and disseminate to potential employers.

Course overview

Through the MA Photography, you will develop a professional base for your future career. The course is tailored to your individual interests and we invite you to share your aspirations with us at interview.

During the course, we support the development of student-initiated projects in which individuals can implement, research and extend their practical and intellectual skills across the spectrum of photography, digital imaging and video. By the end of the course, you will have prepared a substantial portfolio of creative and written work and participated in a public exhibition and a publication.

At Masters level, the specialisms of tutors are an important factor. Sunderland’s academic team includes staff with world-class reputations whose research interests fall within the areas of landscape, documentary and diaristic photography, experimental and alternative photographic methods, and span a variety of themes, from representations of femininity, subcultures, curating and exhibiting art photography with a specialism in new photographic technologies and the networked image.

In addition, we operate the North East Photography Network (NEPN) which develops and promotes photography in the North East of England. We also have close links with major arts organisations such as the Arts Council, the Laing Art Gallery and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Graduates from Sunderland have gone on to work throughout the creative industries and education. A Masters qualification not only opens doors in the workplace but also helps you progress more rapidly once your career is underway.

To find out more about the part time version of this course, please view this web-page: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/courses/artsdesignandmedia/postgraduate/photography-part-time/

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
Photography 1 - Certificate (60 Credits)
-Self-negotiated Research Project (40 Credits)
-Revisiting Photography Theory (20 Credits)

Photography 2 – Postgraduate Diploma (60 Credits)
-Self-negotiated Portfolio Project (40 Credits)
-Issues in Contemporary Photographic Practice (20 Credits)

Photography 3 – Masters Degree (60 Credits)
-Exhibition (40 Credits)
-Research Project (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters programme requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods ranging from technical workshops, research seminars, theory lectures, practical demonstrations, peer critiques, and group discussions. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

You will have the opportunity to meet established photographers and hear about their work and careers. Past speakers have included Simon Norfolk, Liz Wells, Julian Stallabrass, Peter Kennard, Bas Vroege, Michele Sank. Portfolio review days allow you to discuss your portfolio with leading national and international artists, and photographic professionals, publishers, gallery and museum curators.

Assessment methods include project reports, research files, essays, your portfolio of work and the final exhibition.

Facilities & location

The University has invested in modern facilities in the recently refurbished Northern Centre of Photography that include:
-Chemical darkrooms for colour and black and white printing. You can print from 35mm to 5x4 with a large horizontal enlarger to create extra large prints
-Separate chemical darkroom for alternative printing methods
-Digital darkrooms with state-of-the-art scanners and digital production and printing
-Photography studios equipped with tungsten and flash lighting equipment
-Cameras ranging from 35mm to 5x4 Pentax, Nikon, Mamiya, Hasselblad, Fuji 6x7, Toyo, Sinar and Linhof. We provide Digital Nikons and Leaf backs for high-end digital studio work as well as HD video cameras
-Digital suites with open-access Apple Macs for editing video and digital images
-Digital studio with video, sound editing and screening facilities
-Project spaces
-Large wall screen with HD projection for film and video screenings
-Art gallery

Arts and Design Library
Our Arts and Design Library has a specialist collection of over 120,000 books, CD-ROMs, videos, slides and one of the largest electronic information networks in the sector.

Journals and research
We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles. Some of the most important sources for your course include:
-Art Full Text + Art Abstracts, which is a major resource for media and arts information
-British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course, you will be equipped for a range of positions within the creative sector which include professional photography and arts practice, curatorial, editorial and design work as well as education.

Recent Sunderland graduates are now working in art institutions, museums, community arts organisations, Further Education Colleges and the wider media industry.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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Summary. At the Belfast School of Art we strive to develop unique photographic voices, which sit firmly at the cutting-edge of a contemporary international context, while also mining the specifics of our unique geographical and cultural position. Read more

Summary

At the Belfast School of Art we strive to develop unique photographic voices, which sit firmly at the cutting-edge of a contemporary international context, while also mining the specifics of our unique geographical and cultural position.

We have been profiled by the British Journal of Photography as one of the most significant photography schools in Europe. Our graduates work internationally between the book, gallery, web and magazine, continually challenging photography’s place within contemporary society and the way we photograph now.

The teaching team is comprised of contemporary practising photographers, writers and thinkers who exhibit and publish internationally. These are Professor Paul Seawright, Ailbhe Greaney, Dr KayLynn Deveney, Ken Grant, Peter Neill and Clare Gallagher as well as two members of the prestigious Magnum agency, Martin Parr and Donovan Wylie. We have a progamme of Guest Lecturers, recently including Hannah Starkey, Liz Wells, and Louise Clements. Throughout the programme students develop an awareness of photography as it exists in a culture of evolving technologies. They are challenged to rethink their practice both visually, theoretically and contextually. Our close links with photographic galleries and photography festivals helps students to build networks and professional practice. The programme is complemented by a series of master classes and advanced skill workshops; an annual field trip to Paris and regular site visits to a variety of cultural institutions such as museums and galleries in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

About

The MFA Photography has an international reputation and is available for study on campus in Belfast (Thursday delivery) and fully online (eLearning) for students living and working outside Ireland. A Master of Fine Arts degree is a creative degree, which centers around practice in a particular field, in this case Photography. The qualification provides students with a high level of specialisation and allows graduates to teach at University level.

The MFA Photography degree exposes students to key critical debates in photography and offers a dynamic environment in which to develop a major body of photographic work for exhibition and publication. Staff are leaders in the field of photography. Internationally recognised photographers, artists and researchers regularly review student projects, give lectures and critique photographic work.

Guest Lecturers include: Hannah Starkey, Brian Griffin, Mark Power, Anna Fox, Wendy McMurdo, Doug DuBois, Simon Roberts, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Léonie Hampton, Gareth McConnell, Raphaël Dallaporta, WassinkLundgren, Rob Hornstra, Raimond Wouda, Lotte Sprengers, Corinne Noordenbos, Stephen Bull, Gerry Badger, Louise Clements, Pete James, Tim Clark, Adam Murray and Liz Wells.

The course looks to recruit photographers that are serious about challenging their working methods and extending their visual vocabulary. The course has excellent links with galleries and museums and draws on an exemplary network of artists to create a study environment that is stimulating and encourages experimentation.

Structure & content

The programme is delivered through a range of learning methods, including seminars, presentations, tutorials and group critiques, to enable students to acquire the cognitive skills of a self-reflexive independent learner. There are optional exit points for students to exit with a PGDip or MA.

Modules:

Semester I

  • Reviewing Practice (40 credits)
  • Photography and Culture: (20 credits)

Semester II

  • Contemporary Contexts (40 credits)
  • Photographic Futures (20 credits)

Optional Exit Award - PGDip (120 credit points)

Semester III

  • Master's Project (Involves a major piece of practical photography work with accompanying contextualisation. Creative written and photographic resolution of a major body of work is emphasised here.) (60 credits).

Optional Exit Award - MA (180 credit points)

Semester IV

  • Master's Project (Involves a major piece of practical photography work with accompanying dissertation. Resolution of the Master's Project through publication via book and/or exhibition is emphasised here.) (60 credits).

Final Award MFA (240 credit points)

Attendance

Full-time 4 Semesters - Belfast Campus or Online: September - January; January - June; September - January; January - June;

All the core teaching takes place on Thursdays and you should expect to be on campus from 10am - 7pm. During this time you will engage in one-to-one tutorials, a lecture programme delivered by staff and visiting guest speakers, group seminars, group critiques and technical workshops. The rest of the week is spent attending optional tutorials/workshops and engaging in independent study.

The primary assessment method is the evaluation of photographic work in progress. Students work over the duration of the course on a major body of work that is subjected to regular and rigorous critique by staff and internationally renowned visiting photographers. Other assessment methods are visual presentations, seminar presentations, essays and a final year dissertation. There is an interim exhibition which is assessed at the end of the first year, usually in a public gallery.

Work placement / study abroad

The programme is complemented by a series of master classes and advanced skill workshops; an annual field trip to Paris and regular site visits to a variety of cultural institutions such as museums and galleries in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Career options

Graduates are prepared for advanced careers in the field of photography. Graduates work as photographers in the fine art and commercial sector, as well as industry professionals. An MFA develops the ability to perform research related to the photographic arts, while also building communication skills and introducing students to new aesthetics and new technology. Such key skills enable graduates to work as photographic curators, editors and critics, within museums, galleries and in publishing. MFA graduates may also pursue a career in education.



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MA Photography at London College of Communication has created many celebrated photographers and artists around the globe. This fine art photography MA has an international reputation for conceptually driven, research-led practices. Read more

Introduction

MA Photography at London College of Communication has created many celebrated photographers and artists around the globe. This fine art photography MA has an international reputation for conceptually driven, research-led practices. Based in the still image, an interdisciplinary approach encourages students to explore the ever-expanding boundaries of the photographic medium to develop a distinctive body of work that is contextualised within a wider critical framework.

Content

MA Photography is a fine art photography programme aimed at developing a personal, distinctive and conceptually strong practice grounded in research and critical thinking. While based in the still image it embraces cross-media and cross-genre practice. Recent alumni have won awards such as the Dazed/Converse Emerging Artist, Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers and IdeasTap/Magnum Photographic Award, and have been selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries.

MA Photography at London College of Communication is renowned for producing some of the most successful contemporary emerging photographers and artists. Part of the School of Media, the course offers a unique opportunity for photographers to develop a major body of research-based practice in the context of a critical understanding of contemporary photographic culture.

The course encourages students to work experimentally and produce work that tests the boundaries of the medium, encompassing the still image, video, installation, performance and digital media, and culminating in a public exhibition. The School of Media offers a longstanding tradition of photography education with a highly regarded research culture, and the course has close ties with the Photography and the Archive Research Centre and the Kubrick Archive, both based at LCC. Located close to central London, the course has excellent links with galleries, museums and archives.

MA Photography attracts a broad range of practitioners, from backgrounds in fine art photography, documentary photography, commercial photography and other areas of media practice. They are united by a desire to develop a distinctive personal practice with a high level of conceptual resolution. Graduates of the course go on to be successful fine artists as well as documentary and commercial photographers, gallerists, curators and writers, academics and teachers, and arts organisers of various kinds. Many prefer to find ways of supporting their art practice through combining it with teaching, commercial photography or other related activities. Students who may wish to progress to practice-led PhD are encouraged to develop their practice as research.
There are both analogue and digital photography facilities at LCC, including colour and black-and-white darkrooms, photographic studios and a Mac-based digital suite including Imacon scanners, as well as medium and large format analogue cameras, digital cameras, HD video cameras and lighting equipment. Students also have access to other technical facilities such as a 3D workshop or screenprinting.

Structure

Unit 1 - Exploring the Possibilities

Unit 2 - Taking an Idea Forward

Unit 3 - Collaborative Unit

Unit 4 - Resolving Outcomes

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Our. MA Photography course. approaches photography as an expanded visual discipline. You'll be encouraged to confidently produce complex and extended photographic projects and engage with experimental and speculative approaches to making. Read more

Our MA Photography course approaches photography as an expanded visual discipline. You'll be encouraged to confidently produce complex and extended photographic projects and engage with experimental and speculative approaches to making.

We offer a dynamic and exciting environment for studying the critical theory of photography, and this course engages with practices of reading and writing about the image. MA Photography also pays close attention to the dissemination, exhibition and publication of photographic work.

We provide specialist digital and analogue facilities for large-format colour and black-and-white exhibition prints.

Our course offers a considered balance of support that develops practical skills and fosters a high standard of diverse critical approaches. You'll take risks, explore and develop your interest, and exchange, debate and discuss ideas. You'll respond to the diverse field of contemporary photography and explore practices of representation that engage with the still and the moving image, as well as performance and installation.

Your studies will be supported by a number of internationally renowned staff in a department that encourages experimentation. This will enable you to establish yourself as a rounded professional who can formulate ideas in a sophisticated framework whilst also being able to communicate to others, both visually and verbally.

We place a strong emphasis on publication, enabling you to find creative ways to disseminate your work beyond the academic context and into the public arena.

Facilities

Our range of equipment and technical support at UCA Rochester enables specialist and professional-grade work, whilst also encouraging experimental and speculative approaches to making.

Industry Partners

Our MA Photography course enjoys extensive links with a number of photographic, media and fine art professionals, curators, publishers, specialist printers and book designers. These connections enrich your experience through visiting lecturer and seminar programmes.

In the last three years, speakers on the course have included photographers and other creative practitioners such as:

-Ori Gersht

-Esther Teichmann

-Margaret Salmon

-Sarah Jones

-Matthew Stone

-Criodhna Costello

-Chris Coekin

-Carey Young

-Lisa Castagner

-Rod Dickinson

-Jo Longhurst

-Jason Evans

-Joseph Walsh

-Eva Bensasson

Additionally, creative professionals and industry links for our course include:

-Benedict Burbridge, editor of Photoworks

-Stuart Smith, book designer at Smith-Design

-Sarah James, writer at Art Monthly and Frieze

-Lucy Soutter, writer at Source

-Clare Grafik, curator of The Photographer's Gallery

-Jennifer Thatcher, Folkestone Triennial

-Jean Wainwright, writer at Art Newspaper

-Terry King, specialist printer

-Emily Pethick, directs The Showroom

-Robert Shore, editor of Elephant Magazine

-Edward Dorrian, organiser of Five Years

-Joyce Cronin, manages the Cubitt Gallery.

Careers

Our postgraduate degree prepares you for your career through professional practice units, talks by visiting artists and portfolio reviews with figures from across the photographic industry. Career opportunities include:

-Freelance photography

-Fine art

-Fashion

-Advertising and editorial

-Post production/digital imaging

-Picture editing and research

-Curating

-Image, arts and community arts management

-Gallery administration

Graduates of MA Photography have gone on to win the Jerwood Photography prize; to exhibit their work in The Photographers' Gallery, Photofusion, ArtSway and the Geffyre Museum as well as publishing their outputs in different venues ranging from The Sunday Times Magazine to monographs with Dewi Lewis Publishing.

Virtual Media Space

Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.



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This course will engage you in the challenging task of making sense of the multitude of photographic images that shape the world today. Read more

This course will engage you in the challenging task of making sense of the multitude of photographic images that shape the world today.

It is the first MA in the UK to combine the history and theory of photography with practice and curation in a genuinely interdisciplinary context.

You’ll explore the pivotal role of photography over the past two centuries across diverse global contexts – from the ways in which photography represents the complexities of 19th-century world views to the ubiquity and power of photography in our digital age.

You’ll also develop your practical skills, working with expert practitioners and leading photography curators.

Why choose this course?

  • Learn from leading academics – in fields including Art History, English, Photography, Media, Film, History and Politics – and enjoy direct access to their cutting-edge work.
  • Benefit from our exceptional links with a range of the UK’s premier photography institutions – including Brighton Photo Biennial, Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the photographic Archive of Modern Conflict and our partnership networks of museums and galleries across the South East.
  • Experience professional master classes by internationally recognised photographers and curators. You have the opportunity to take part in the programme of the Centre for Photography and Visual Culture, which attracts world-renowned artists, writers, filmmakers and curators.

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact course co-ordinator Sophie Heath at 

How will I study?

You may choose to study this course full time over one year, or part time over two years to suit your work schedule or other commitments.

You’ll learn from our faculty and also external experts and professionals. Teaching is by lectures, seminar debates and visits to collections of photographic materials across the south of England.

The MA is structured for you to explore theoretical and practical aspects of photography in core modules during the autumn term(s). In the spring term(s), you choose from a range of options on topics such as: 

  • technologies of capture 
  • photography: documentary, politics, landscape 
  • photography and 20th-century visual culture 
  • the art and politics of contemporary image culture.

During the summer, you choose to either write a dissertation or develop a practice-based project.

Assessment methods include essays and practice-based projects, encouraging you to develop a portfolio of practical and critical skills and expertise.

This course is currently subject to validation, in line with our procedures for assuring the quality of our degrees. This means that some course detail may change. The validation process will be concluded before the course starts.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

You’ll gain academic and research skills as well as a crucial range of professional skills directed at working in the cultural, creative and heritage sectors – an arena in which millions of people are employed worldwide.

This MA prepares you for a variety of exciting careers across:

  • photography
  • the visual arts
  • curating
  • the media
  • the creative industries.

It also provides an ideal foundation for doctoral research.



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Photography at Brighton is taught within the context of the fine arts and oriented around the development of individual projects. Read more

Photography at Brighton is taught within the context of the fine arts and oriented around the development of individual projects.

The aim is for you to develop a strong and sustainable artistic practice and body of work that you can confidently exhibit and publish. This will give you a strong foundation for developing a career as an independent photographer/artist, or alternatively for more commercial or community-based activities.

The course has a strong theoretical component, as we believe all students should understand how to conceptualise and contextualise their practice and communicate it clearly to a variety of audiences.

We encourage students to engage with the latest developments in photography, fine art and wider media culture, and to constantly challenge the limits of the medium. Work that crosses technological boundaries and engages with film, video, sound and installation is encouraged – but so is photography's engagement with performance, painting and sculpture.

More than anything, we are committed to an exploratory and thoughtful form of picture-making that is adequate to representing our experiences of the modern world.

Why study with us?

  • Creative and critical environment in which to practise and think about photography
  • Opportunity to build a professional profile as an independent practitioner
  • Fine art approach to photographic practice
  • Course tutors who are experienced professional photographers and photographic researchers
  • Advice on professional development
  • Chance to develop a sustainable individual practice, graduating with a body of work ready for exhibition, a publication and a piece of critical writing that will help to position your work

Areas of study

Practice-based projects are supported by briefings, tutorials, lectures, seminars and technical workshops. Workshops include demonstrations in the latest digital and traditional analogue processes, involving camera use, lighting, and black-and-white and colour printing. Key professional practice sessions include talks and seminars by photographers, artists, writers and other professionals concerned with commissioning, publishing and exhibiting photography.

Semester 1

  • Experimental Practice (20 credits): a themed practice module designed to help you explore your own approach to practice in more depth
  • Research Methods in Theory and Practice (20 credits): developing skills in research, experimentation and critical reflection
  • Contemporary Debates (20 credits): a theoretical seminar considering how photography has developed as a reflexive medium straddling fine art practice and more documentary contexts

Semester 2

  • Photography Research Project, Part 1 (20 credits): laying the foundations and making initial work in your specialist area of practice
  • Professional Practice (20 credits): built around lectures from visiting artists, curators and editors and a series of workshops teaching skills in public speaking, fundraising, research and web design
  • Dissertation (20 credits): between 6,000 and 8,000 words exploring a theoretical or historical topic related to your specialist area of practice

Summer Semester

  • Photography Research Project, Part 2 (40 credits): developing and resolving a body of work for exhibition
  • Photobooks and Publications (20 credits): realising your project as a publication

Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.

Facilities

The following resources are exclusively for MA and BA(Hons) photography students:

  • Fully equipped photographic studios
  • Dedicated photographic computing facilities
  • A digital print bureau
  • Traditional colour darkrooms with enlargers that accept a range of negative sizes up to 10 x 8”, capable of enabling the production of exhibition-standard prints
  • A traditional black-and-white processing area and darkroom
  • A selection of film and digital single lens reflex cameras – and medium-format and large-format film cameras – to supplement your own equipment

The university’s art and design library has a well-stocked photography area and provides access to a wide range of online resources.

Careers and employability

Our Photography MA has led to students developing strong portfolio careers in the field of the arts and gaining considerable recognition for their work through prizes and exhibitions. Many of our students have gone on to do doctoral study or take up lecturing posts in higher education; others have developed roles working in galleries, publishing, picture editing and community projects.

Alumni include Lisa Barnard, Corinne Silva, Virgilio Ferreira, Matt Henry, Stephen Vaughan – successful artists in the world of contemporary photography who exhibit internationally and produce challenging new work.



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Introduction. MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies is a fine art photography course that explores the possibilities of both visual and conceptual expression, merging research deeply with practice. Read more

Introduction

MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies is a fine art photography course that explores the possibilities of both visual and conceptual expression, merging research deeply with practice. The course is rooted in the idea that photography has no self-limiting identity or essence. In creating work that is visually exciting and intellectually compelling you’ll develop as an artist with photography at the core of your practice, defining, or redefining photography as the art form of the 21st century.

Content

This course understands photography as plural, trans disciplinary and multimedial global language that is situated at the core of contemporary visual art practice. The deep integration of theory and practice offers supportive environment in which to explore photography as form of expression that interlaces fine art, technology, aesthetics, politics and new media. Opportunities to research photography as a central component of discursive practices within the arts, the sciences and the construction of personal identities, provide students with tools to work in fields related to artistic production and the extended creative industries.

Unlike many other photography courses, this course is not committed to one notion of what photography is or to one form of media specific practice. Instead of working from a predefined notion of photography, the course aims to provide students with the tools to locate their own practice within a broad range of contemporary visual forms. 

Structure

MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies is a two year (60 weeks) part-time course structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each. Course attendance is three days in year one, and two days in year two. In year one we expect you to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two, your study is predominantly self-managed but we expect you to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years, you're expected to commit an average of 30 hours per week.

The course is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises two units: Unit one (60 credits) and Unit two (120 credits).

Students successfully achieving Unit one may exit at this point with the award of Postgraduate Certificate.

Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from the mark for Unit two only.



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Graduate Diploma Photography will give you the practical skills you'll need to define yourself as a leading photographer and by encouraging the development of a strong conceptual approach to your personal practice, achieve a defined identity in you work. Read more

Content

Graduate Diploma Photography will give you the practical skills you'll need to define yourself as a leading photographer and by encouraging the development of a strong conceptual approach to your personal practice, achieve a defined identity in you work.

The course will give you an invaluable understanding of the photography industry and the business aspect of professional photography, as well as introduce you to key contacts and help you build relationships.
Building on the rich heritage of photography teaching at London College of Communication, Graduate Diploma Photography will open a variety of career opportunities in professional photography.

During your studies, you'll work towards developing a high quality portfolio suitable for presentation when approaching clients for future commissions or industry roles. In addition, you'll work on set and self-initiated projects which promote learning through discovery, interaction and response to change.

For those wishing to continue their study the theory and research elements of the course will also prepare you for continued learning at a higher level of study. The Graduate Diploma in Photography is taught within the School of Media at LCC.

STRUCTURE

During the first two weeks, there will be an induction programme in which you will:
Get an overview of the structure of the course and the structure of each unit
Get to know the facilities on offer to you at course, College and University level, including those provided by the Learning Resources department, Student Services and Students' Union
Learn how to use the technology in the Library and open access
Get to know your tutors and colleagues
Learn about the difference between working at postgraduate and undergraduate levels
Discover the ethos of the course

Autumn, Term One (11 weeks)

Unit summary:
Unit 1: Professional Photography in Practice (Photographic Technology and Applied Production Skills) (40 credits)
Through a series of workshops and project briefs this unit will to enable you to develop and utilise specialist photographic skills and knowledge to solve photographic problems. Through planning, implementation and review, and engagement with industry, you will be able to apply your photographic skills in a realistic professional context and identify areas in which you may wish to develop your practice.
Unit 2: Critical Approaches (Photographic Culture, History and Theory) (20 credits)
This unit will give you the opportunity to study major developments and critical approaches in photography. To enable you to gain an understanding of the contemporary significance of photography and to place your own work in a historical cultural context. This unit is particularly useful to those students wishing to bridge to Master level study.

Spring, Term Two (10 weeks)

Unit summary:
Professional Photography in Practice (continued)
Critical Approaches (continued)

Unit 3: Personal Project (Research and development) (20 credits)
Through the research and development of a comprehensive project you will be able to recognise creative influences in your own work and develop an understanding of your own creative ambitions.
Unit 4: Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (Professional Context and Progression) (40 credits)
This unit is a culmination of your previous units, offering you the hands-on opportunity to develop a professional body of work that showcases your personal identity. This is the most significant unit in that you are expected to produce a professional portfolio of work in which you will be required to demonstrate a rigorous and critical analysis of your interests in professional photography, strongly influenced by your area of specialism.

Summer, Term Three (10 weeks)

Unit summary:
Personal Project (continued)
Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (continued)

You will explore and gain working knowledge of contemporary business practice with an emphasis on operating as a freelance practitioner. The process for all units will involve you in original applications of knowledge, together with a practical ability to use and critically assess existing photographic techniques and formats. You will also, in the process of the critical evaluation of your own and others work, develop innovative solutions to creative challenges.

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Summary. This innovative online master's uses colllaborative and dialogical technology to make our award winning MFA accessible for photographers working outside of Ireland. Read more

Summary

This innovative online master's uses colllaborative and dialogical technology to make our award winning MFA accessible for photographers working outside of Ireland. The course brings together practicing photographers from Europe, North America and Asia to develop new approaches to contemporary photographic practice. Online seminars and critiques are complemented by annual master classes on three continents.

Profiled by the British Journal of Photography as one of the most significant photography schools in Europe. Our graduates work internationally between the book, gallery, web and magazine, continually challenging photography’s place within contemporary society and the way we photograph now.

The teaching team consists of practising photographers, artists and theorists who exhibit and publish internationally. These include members of the prestigious Magnum photo agency, Martin Parr and Donovan Wylie, Northern Irish artists Professors Wilie Doherty and Paul Seawright and Dr KayLynn Deveney, Ken Grant, Clare Gallagher, Ailbhe Greaney and Peter Neill. The course is complemented by international guest lectures by leading photographers, historians, curators and writers. Close links with photographic galleries and photography festivals helps students to build networks and professional practice.

About

The MFA Photography has an international reputation and is available for study on campus in Belfast (Thursday delivery) and fully online (eLearning) for students living and working outside Ireland. A Master of Fine Arts degree is a creative degree, which centers around practice in a particular field, in this case Photography. The qualification provides students with a high level of specialisation and allows graduates to teach at University level. There are optional exit points for students to exit with a PGDip or MA.

The MFA Photography degree exposes students to key critical debates in photography and offers a dynamic environment in which to develop a major body of photographic work for exhibition and publication. Staff are leaders in the field of photography. Internationally recognised photographers, artists and researchers regularly review student projects, give lectures and critique photographic work.

Examples of recent guest lecturers include: Hannah Starkey, Brian Griffin, Mark Power, Anna Fox, Wendy McMurdo, Doug DuBois, Simon Roberts, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Léonie Hampton, Gareth McConnell, Raphaël Dallaporta, Wassink Lundgren, Rob Hornstra, Raimond Wouda, Lotte Sprengers, Corinne Noordenbos, Stephen Bull, Gerry Badger, Louise Clements, Pete James, Tim Clark, Adam Murray and Liz Wells.

The course appeals to photographers who are serious about challenging their working methods and extending their visual vocabulary. The course has excellent links with galleries and museums and draws on an exemplary network of artists to create a study environment that is stimulating and encourages experimentation.

Structure & Content

The programme is delivered through a range of learning methods, including seminars, presentations, tutorials and group critiques, to enable students to acquire the cognitive skills of a self-reflexive independent learner.

Modules:

Semester I

  • Reviewing Practice (40 credits)
  • Photography and Culture: (20 credits)

Semester II

  • Contemporary Contexts (40 credits)
  • Photographic Futures (20 credits)

Optional Exit Award - PGDip (120 credit points)

Semester III

  • Master's Project (Involves a major piece of practical photography work with accompanying contextualisation. Creative written and photographic resolution of a major body of work is emphasised here.) (60 credits).

Optional Exit Award - MA (180 credit points)

Semester IV

  • Master's Project (Involves a major piece of practical photography work with accompanying dissertation. Resolution of the Master's Project through publication via book and/or exhibition is emphasised here.) (60 credits).

Final Award MFA (240 credit points)

Attendance

Students must access a number of online timetabled group sessions where they interact with tutors and peers in developmental critiques and subject themed seminars. The campus based lectures are available online to watch at times that suit the student. Reading packs and assignments are delivered digitally and assessment, feedback and tutorial advice is scheduled in weekly online sessions. Students are required to attend an annual regional masterclass - currently held in Hong Kong, Belfast and New York.



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In the MA/MFA Photography, you will be encouraged to test and push the boundaries of the photographic medium. You will explore approaches to visual narrative, including the photographic and cinematic, and evaluate the relationship between photography and texts/sound/space. Read more

In the MA/MFA Photography, you will be encouraged to test and push the boundaries of the photographic medium. You will explore approaches to visual narrative, including the photographic and cinematic, and evaluate the relationship between photography and texts/sound/space.

You will primarily use digital and analogue photographic technologies, but may also develop your practical skills through media such as moving image and bookbinding. Particular themes will explore photography in relation to context: portfolio, book art, gallery, screen and installed space. You will develop your own philosophy to photography and are expected to consider and evaluate your work in relation to the current photographic discourse on the shifting genres and boundaries caused by advancing technologies.

Features

Photography is part of the Department of Media at Manchester School of Art which has an established community of interdisciplinary staff, and research students with expertise in fields that include Animation, Filmmaking, Photography, Media Theory and Multimedia Digital practices.

The Department promotes a blending of arts practices responsive to current cultural and digital industries demands; inspiring students to engage with real world scenarios through creative and imaginative responses.

It has developed a framework that fosters interesting and diverse approaches to engage with external partners within the city, the region, nationally and internationally. Recent partners include HOME, BBC (Media City), CITV, Manchester City and Regional Art Galleries, Open Eye Photography Gallery, Red Eye Photography Network, International Anthony Burgess Foundation and international partnerships in China, India, Brazil, Russia and Europe.

Core to all of the teaching and research in the Media department is the continuing exploration of new modes of expression through digital technologies and support students in developing a robust and individual creative practice that has relevance to a diverse range of cultural industries.

Course Content

The MA Photography is made up of four units totally 180 credits.

You will develop the outline and first framework for a future large-scale project by investigating a range of practical research methods and experimenting with the innovative application of related media and theory content through visual and theoretical outputs, and display forms.

You will also explore the pre-production and prototyping phase of the specialist creative process and project development.

You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry

Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – what ever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.

If you choose to progress to MFA Photography award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This award is focussed on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.



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Behind every beautiful fashion shoot is a talented photographer. Be that photographer. As a student of. MA Fashion Photograph. y, you’ll build upon your existing fashion and photography knowledge to identify, develop and manage a Masters project. Read more

Behind every beautiful fashion shoot is a talented photographer. Be that photographer.

As a student of MA Fashion Photography, you’ll build upon your existing fashion and photography knowledge to identify, develop and manage a Masters project.

Throughout the course you’ll have access to UCA’s state of the art photography and participate in a variety of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops, with regular off-campus visits to shoots and exhibitions.

Our MA Fashion Photography course offers you the opportunity to develop your practical fashion photography skills whilst giving you a solid grounding in critical thinking and theory.

Your studies will be supported by a number of internationally renowned staff in a department that encourages experimentation. This will enable you to establish yourself as a rounded professional who can formulate ideas in a sophisticated framework whilst also being able to communicate to others, both visually and verbally.

We place a strong emphasis on publication, enabling you to find creative ways to disseminate your work beyond the academic context and into the public arena.

Facilities

Our range of equipment and technical support at UCA Rochester enables specialist and professional-grade work, whilst also encouraging experimental and speculative approaches to making.

Industry Partners

Our MA Photography courses enjoy extensive links with a number of photographic, media and fine art professionals, curators, publishers, specialist printers and book designers. These connections enrich your experience through visiting lecturer and seminar programmes.

In the last three years, speakers on the course have included photographers and other creative practitioners such as:

-Ori Gersht

-Esther Teichmann

-Margaret Salmon

-Sarah Jones

-Matthew Stone

-Criodhna Costello

-Chris Coekin

-Carey Young

-Lisa Castagner

-Rod Dickinson

-Jo Longhurst

-Jason Evans

-Joseph Walsh

-Eva Bensasson.

Additionally, creative professionals and industry links for our course include:

-Benedict Burbridge, editor of Photoworks

-Stuart Smith, book designer at Smith-Design

-Sarah James, writer at Art Monthly and Frieze

-Lucy Soutter, writer at Source

-Clare Grafik, curator of The Photographer's Gallery

-Jennifer Thatcher, Folkestone Triennial

-Jean Wainwright, writer at Art Newspaper

-Terry King, specialist printer

-Emily Pethick, directs The Showroom

-Robert Shore, editor of Elephant Magazine

-Edward Dorrian, organiser of Five Years

-Joyce Cronin, manages the Cubitt Gallery.

Careers

Our postgraduate degree prepares you for your career through professional practice units, talks by visiting artists and portfolio reviews with figures from across the photographic industry. Career opportunities include:

-Freelance photography

-Fine art

-Fashion

-Advertising and editorial

-Post production/digital imaging

-Picture editing and research

-Curating

-Image, arts and community arts management

-Gallery administration.

Graduates of MA Photography have gone on to win the Jerwood Photography prize; to exhibit their work in The Photographers' Gallery, Photofusion, ArtSway and the Geffyre Museum as well as publishing their outputs in different venues ranging from The Sunday Times Magazine to monographs with Dewi Lewis Publishing.

Virtual Media Space

Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.



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Social Documentary photography is a form of documentary photography that looks at and records how the world looks from a social angle or environmental focus. Read more

Social Documentary photography is a form of documentary photography that looks at and records how the world looks from a social angle or environmental focus. “While each picture then had its own backing of data, its own internal story, it took its meaning ultimately from the larger story” (Trachtenberg, 1981, p.250).

The aim of the research is to look at social documentary style photography through the last century and look at its key practitioners, e.g Lewis’s Hine, Don Mc Cullin, Bill Brandt and understand, the why, the how and its importance in term of photography and design.

Social documentary photography has been used through out design since the early days of advertising, with each image acting as a visual storyteller, weaving a story through visual information and supporting the text it’s accompanying. In her book ‘The Whole truth and nothing but the truth’ Natasha Christopher suggests “the social, political and ameliorative objectives in historical social documentary photography are not dissimilar to some of the imperatives in ‘participatory’ art practice trends. These social and political aspects referred to relate to the desire to work with a social or political cause.”

There is vast academic research and writings into the effect and importance of documentary style photography, this research will look at the effect and use within the advertising and design industry. Christopher goes further to state – “The ameliorative has to do with the wish to correct a situation by drawing attention to it, making it visible, and the desire to ‘correct’ a situation, which, I have suggested, operates within a ‘liberal’ domain, representing a desire to ‘bring good and truth to the world’ -

For example, photographer Marcus Bleasdale has been documenting the consequences of natural resource exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2000. Human Rights Watch worked with Bleasdale to create a report and exhibition that eventually forced a Swiss company, Metalor Technologies, to stop buying Congolese gold in Uganda. As a result of these efforts and the work of other organizations, nearly $100 million in funding for warlords dried up overnight.

This documentary style has changed through the ages, driven by content, technology and societies acceptance or rejection of social issue. The responsibility of meaning still lies with the photographer. Lewis Hine always stated of his work “a responsibility to the truth of his vision” (Trachtenberg, 1981, p.240). Social Documentary photography, plays a major role in design, advertising and propaganda, this has shaped the path of this genre of photography.

This research will look to document the style, look at the influence, examine how the style affects the content its aside, and breakdown its rationale for existing. Look at how design / advertising has influence the style over the years and see where it currently sits.

Methodology proposed

Methodology will be a mixture of qualitative interviews with existing photographers and practitioners to understand the documentary style itself.

It will involve a number of interviews with creative groups and photographers to gauge the reason for the use of certain styles and their effectiveness within the industry. These practitioners will be involved within a certain area of design, usually within social / charity campaigns.

It will involve extensive research through literature and exhibition catalogues to track and trace its origins and evolution.

It will involve a body of experimentation photographic work using various techniques and technologies.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

The outcomes will include a documented report, regarding the influence of social documentary style photography on design and advertising, its uses and effects and impact.

It will also include a body of work that will attempt to emulate the style. Using existing style and applying to a contemporary body of work, which will involve a final exhibition.



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