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Photography (MA)

Course Description

Develop your creative practice, knowledge and understanding with our MA Photography. You'll gain a broad theoretical understanding of the medium of photography and establish a critically reflective practice through experimentation, creativity, risk-taking, research and authorship. Self-set projects and assignments, along with the collective breadth offered by our portfolio of exit awards, means you will graduate with an individually tailored award within a field of contemporary photography.

This programme is also available as a Research Masters (ResM).

Key features

Choose your exit award - the core MA Photography, or one of our specialist routes: MA Photography and the Land, MA Photography and the Book, or MA Photography and Writing. This programme is also available as a Research Masters (ResM).

Engage in experimental practice and become part of a broad research environment, supported by our internationally renowned staff, including Professors David Chandler, Jem Southam and Liz Wells.

Study the course one year full-time or two years part-time; you’ll attend the same sessions, collaborating and sharing skills and knowledge.

Experience a dynamic research environment which includes an extensive visiting speaker programme – a number of whom contribute to small, directed seminars, workshops and tutorials. Recent visiting speakers include Martin Barnes, Kate Bush, Clare Grafik and Michael Mack, and Ron Jude. Upcoming speakers include Stephen Vaughan, Laura Pannack and Anna Fox.

Special events that highlight the aspects of the taught programme are organised each semester including intensive study days and symposia. We have held study visits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at Martin Parr’s studio and at Garry Fabian Miller’s studio.

Interrogate the relationship between theory and practice, with opportunities for a residential field trip and study trips both in the UK and abroad - we have previously visited Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Benefit from a city centre campus with excellent library and photographic facilities including a bespoke daylight studio, analogue and digital imaging and printing resources, C41 processing, letterpress, printmaking and silkscreen workshops.

Explore the rich urban and rural landscape offered by the South West peninsula – diverse towns and cities, industrial heritage and urban regeneration, coastal and marine environments, dramatic moorland and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Course details

You'll enter the programme with an initial project proposal that you will continue to develop throughout your study. The theme will evolve through your engagement with, and understanding of, the scope of the nature and context of your project. This will be linked to an explorative approach to the use of the photographic medium, challenging you to develop a fluent dialogue between your ideas and practice. You are given the opportunity to graduate with an individually tailored award within a field of contemporary photography: MA Photography, MA Photography and the Book, MA Photography and the Land, and MA Photography and Writing. You will apply with a specific exit award in mind, from which you’ll develop your MA project. All awards allow you to develop your creative photographic practice. By ‘practice’ we refer to a photographic practice that is inclusive of a wide range of making and working with photography: as photographers, curators, editors and writers.


You will be required to attend an interview, bringing a portfolio of work. This could cover evidence from a broad range of experience, including photographic projects, curatorial projects, or a collection of examples of the practice of writing. You will also need to write a 500-1,000 word MA project proposal to accompany your application form. Accredited Prior Learning (APL) will not normally be considered as the MA programme is designed as a coherent whole.

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email .

International Applicants

If you are an overseas applicant you will be required to attend an interview with a portfolio – a Skype interview and electronic portfolio are possible. You can check the compatibility of your qualifications with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service. English language requirements: If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

Visit the Photography (MA) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

For entry to postgraduate level, you will normally need a 2:1 degree or above in photography or a relevant subject. Appropriate professional experience or prior experiential learning will also be assessed on an individual basis. If you have an honours degree in other disciplines, you are welcome to apply with proposals that demonstrate an innovative approach to the use of your practice, in a critical context, within the field of your own specialism in relation to photography.

Course Fees

Full-time: UK/EU: £5,660, International: £13,250, Islands: £13,250; Part-time (per 10 credits): UK/EU: £314, International: £750, Islands: £750

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