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Course content

The Photography Arts MA is a new revalidated course, which replaces the former Photographic Studies MA (1996-2016). The programme helps you develop your own distinct photographic practice and visual research, and is designed to enable you to advance and focus your photographic practice in making new work, supported by a positive educational environment where you can accumulate new knowledge and develop new critical thinking. Students are fully supported by our internationally renowned photography staff.

In an open-minded educational environment you will be able to explore the dynamic range of your photographic practice, engage in innovative thinking and cultivate new independent creative strategies for your practice. Situated in the dynamic Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, you will draw on extensive photographic facilities and a wealth of inter-disciplinary expertise in this world-famous centre for the practice and critical research of photography.

The course has an open definition of photography as a medium and practice, recognising plural tendencies in its definition and identity. Different modes of practice may be developed and pursued on the course, which encompasses a wide range of methods and techniques: conceptualism, expanded documentary, video, archival, fine art, experimental, installation, fictional realism, and other performative modes of photographic practice. The course encourages open experimentation in the development of new ideas and work. You will advance your practical work choosing new or traditional techniques, digital or analogue forms, or a mixture of approaches. The course champions a long and proud tradition of new and challenging photography at the University.

This is the right course if you are highly motivated, excited to develop and expand your independent practice alongside critical research. Working with our highly experienced staff you can find new approaches and forms of thinking about photography. Alumni from the course (under the former title Photographic Studies MA) now work all over the world in a range of careers as photographers, artists, picture editors, researchers and careers in the creative industries. Do you want to join them?

Course content

The course aims to develop your practice, informed by research. The course sets out to stimulate thinking through practice as a way to generate new innovative work. Students make and actively present their visual work in exhibition, book and/or screen modes of presentation to explore ideas and experiments in new methods of practice and representation. Critical research modules help inform and elaborate the contemporary situation of photography as cultural practice, whether considered in the arts and/or media environment. Excellent facilities and technical workshops support the research and practice. Students write three short research essays during the course, each aimed at broadening knowledge of photography and its related histories and criticism. There is no dissertation on this course except as an option.

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


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

Associated careers

The course prepares graduates for a range of career paths in the arts, media and photography. Many successful graduates work as artists/photographers and also develop careers in related work within the creative industries. Graduate opportunities range from picture agency work, curators and as innovators of independent projects. Many also pursue careers in lecturing and teaching of photography. Graduates have a high success in developing their research work at doctoral level and the MA also has a high reputation amongst potential employers within the sector.

Visit the Photography Arts MA page on the University of Westminster website for more details!




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