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Documentary Photography (MA)


Course Description

The University is world-renowned for the study of Documentary Photography and this distinctive MA offers a contemporary and lively engagement with the subject, ranging from reportage to fine art. You will also engage with international visiting speakers and our cohort of scholars undertaking PhDs in photography as part of our photography research centre.

The course challenges you to explore definitions of Documentary Photography by embracing a wide range of practices, while working through real world engagement with social and political issues.

You will be taught by world-leading photographers, writers and curators through a series of lectures, seminars and technical workshops which will encourage you to develop new ways of thinking about your practice.

If you choose to study on a creative postgraduate course at the University of South Wales, you will also benefit from being part of a vibrant international student community.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1243-ma-documentary-photography

What you will study

The course is available to study either full-time or part-time, meeting on one day per week. This means it is possible to undertake the course from a distance and alongside existing employment.

The introductory modules are shaped around a lecture programme that covers the critical issues of contemporary photographic practice, and a seminar programme in which you will develop new ways of looking at your own practice. You will explore distinct areas of contemporary photography while reviewing your own and fellow students’ work in progress. Through negotiation, you will develop a proposal for new work that will form the framework for further projects.

The final modules are structured to enable you to fully realise your ambitions for your work. A lecture programme and regular contact with teaching staff, along with seminars from visiting fellows and prominent practitioners, will assist you towards the production of a significant body of new work along with a key situating text. Students have in the past exhibited their final work at public galleries including Ffotogallery, Cardiff. You are encouraged to develop the final production of the work in the form that is most relevant to the work: for example, exhibition, book dummy or website. This is a significant step towards moving out into the wider photographic industry.

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

PLEASE NOTE: Modules are subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

Students will be taught via a range of university-taught modules.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The course is particularly popular among those wishing to pursue a career in documentary production and research, photographic exhibition, publishing, teaching or journalism.

Recent graduates have regularly exhibited their work and several now teach in higher education. A number are also undertaking PhD study.

The course has an eminent list of alumni now working within the photographic industry, including freelance photographers and those who have set up their own businesses.

Assessment methods

Initially you will be assessed through the production of experimental work-in progress, with fully resolved work expected in later modules. Alongside your work you will be asked to develop a perspective through written texts placing your work in its photographic and social context.

Visit the Documentary Photography (MA) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally an Honours Degree in a related subject. If you have solid professional industry experience rather than academic achievement, this may be acceptable for entry to study at this level through a process called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Where English is not your first language, applicants are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English Language at IELTS level 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each band) or equivalent.

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