The Photographic History and Practice MA is uniquely focused on the social, cultural and material histories of photography. You will explore photographic history through primary source materials, including negatives, photographs, technical apparatus, ephemera and manuscripts, as well as new developments in digital research under the guidance of internationally recognised scholars, practitioners, and museum professionals.
The programme offers you outstanding industry links with major collections including the National Media Museum, Birmingham City Library and the Pitt Rivers Museum. It is aimed at those from a variety of disciplines including conservationists, archivists, historians of science and from various fields of visual studies; such as visual anthropology, photography or art history. Working closely with programme staff, you will enhance your handling skills, research methods, writing and public speaking that will equip you for a wide range of careers or for further study.
You will learn in a variety of different formats including lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars, as well as group activities. The course is underpinned by an innovative wiki environment that is a space for sharing and collaboration between students and tutors, as well as for presentation of content and communication.
You will also attend a week-long archival residency at one of a number of major internationally-recognised photographic archives. Throughout the programme there are visits to different types of museums, libraries and archives that engage photographic history. Previous visits have included major exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary, important private collections organising for international exhibition loans, and the Royal Photographic Collection at Windsor as it prepared for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The programme is delivered by a team of experienced tutors with international research profiles as well as visiting lecturers from museums, archives, collections and research institutions. These experts all approach photographic history from different perspectives, presenting important challenges to you, and enabling you to study both the materiality of photography and its relationship with the digital age.
The Photographic History and Practice MA provides you with a solid grounding of practical skills, theory and dialectics that will equip you for a wide range of careers in heritage industries and research. Some of our graduates have received fellowships to pursue PhDs here in the UK and abroad while others have embarked upon careers in curating, museum and gallery administration, digital cataloguing and publishing throughout Europe.