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Course content

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.


Visit the Photography - MFA (online) page on the Ulster University website for more details!

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