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  Biological Photography and Imaging MSc

University of Nottingham    School of Life Sciences

Full time September MSc Full time - 12 months

About the course

Have you ever wanted to work on nature documentaries? Are you looking to blend science and art? Do you understand the importance of an informed public?  

In a fast-moving society, the professional image-maker, photographer, videographer, and imaging scientist, has a powerful role in the way science is communicated to the world. The professional imager is vital to modern research, science communication, commerce and industry.

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Entry Requirements

2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject

 Course Content

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Where will I study?

Where is University of Nottingham

Student Profile(s)

Alex Wilkinson

Why Nottingham

I was fascinated in the environment and our impact upon it. This course allowed me to capture the impact humans have and create a simple method of portraying the information that all can understand, while making it fun for myself.

I chose Nottingham as I had been studying my undergraduate here for the previous 3 years and the course is the only one of its type in the world, taught in one of the best University's in the world. The facilities at Nottingham University are world leading and are readily available to all of its students. The unique equipment available meant I could utilise the resources to their full to make my work unique and to a level greater than what would have otherwise been achievable.

What have you enjoyed doing outside your degree here

I have spent a large amount of time at the National Watersports Centre, where I have become a fully qualified white water raft guide, as well as continued to teach sailing, power boating and kayaking and undertaking all of these activities personally. I have also enjoyed my time living in Nottingham as the city is vibrant and has a variety nice bars and restaurants.

My career so far

I currently operate as a freelance photographer and videographer and am already earning a living to support myself. I have undertaken projects funded by WWF and the UNDP to dart and microchip rhinos to help prevent poaching. I have also been the photographer at a number of weddings. I have two websites which is a stock library for wildlife photography and a second website for all commercial customers and enquiries.

What advice would you give to someone considering a postgraduate course at Nottingham

I would recommend your time management skills are good as your ability to manage work and personal life will ensure your time at the university is amazing.

Tom Reed

What attracted you to the course

I've always had a strong interest in wildlife, but it was only in recent years that I started to explore this visually through photography. Whilst studying for my undergraduate degree at Nottingham, I had the opportunity to undertake modules in photography. It was here that my long-standing interest in wildlife photography and film-making grew from being something that I considered a dream job to something that I could actually develop into a career. What attracted me most, was the opportunity to develop portfolio pieces that were highly personalised and that I could take full control over, particularly my
final project. I believe the course is quite unique in this way.

Why Nottingham

Nottingham is one of the only universities in the UK to offer this course, and the fact that I had already taken an undergraduate degree at Nottingham meant that I was already familiar with the campus. Nottingham is a great location for this course as it is close to areas such as the Peak District and Sherwood Forest; although with the university's very green setting, there were plenty of opportunities for wildlife photography without needing to leave campus!


The access to equipment is one of the highlights of the course. Each student was given a macro lens for the duration of the course, and there were many telephoto and wide angle lenses to borrow too. The course has its own micro natural history museum, with an incredible range of specimens to photograph - including native and exotic species. Each student also has access to their own Mac computer and an iPad for the duration of the course; this was great as the computers have a high memory capacity, which is essential when using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Also, there is a studio, fully equipped with studio lights and is a great multi-purpose asset to the course - students can even use this space to practice green-screen filming!

My career so far

I have recently started an internship with the Woodland Trust as an Ancient Woodland restoration film-maker. I am hoping that this will help me gain a working knowledge of the conservation sector and to help enhance my video skills. I have already been putting the skills that I gained from the course into practice as a freelance photography/video tutor. In the long-term, I would like to pursue a career in media communications, particularly with a conservation organisation.

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