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MA Photography: Contemporary Dialogues

Course Description

The course philosophy is that of experimentation, offering a challenge to conventional notions of medium - specificity in order to properly facilitate your ‘style' of expression and your inherent interests.

You will be challenged immediately with our thought experiment module, designed to open up your mind to the broad range of inter-disciplinary and multi-modal possibilities available to the creative practitioner. From that point on, you will be asked to consider forming contemporary dialogues and new discourses with whatever medium - specific background you bring. This is not a rejection of your specific discipline, but an elevation onto a new plane of practice.

The module concludes with a Japanese - style pecha kucha presentation of your findings and process-based work. This module will set the tone for the rest of your study precipitating a spirit of enquiry that will take you through to the award.

It is our intention that your studies here will take the form of an encounter at various levels: with your chosen medium; with Art & Design issues in general; and with the world as a whole. Questions of non-materiality will be addressed as well as questions of materiality. As soon as anything becomes recognisable we slip into habitual thinking. When we engage in an unfamiliar encounter, then we become inquisitive, we learn, and we build knowledge and confidence, as well as a more original voice.

Photography pathway

The digital revolution has not only challenged most of our assumptions about photography and its social functions, but has also enabled contemporary dialogues between the medium itself and other interactive creative practices such as writing, performance, situation-specific interventions and contemporary philosophical perspectives. The programme has an emphasis on creativity and experimental insight aimed at nurturing truly innovative future-oriented photographic practices. The student is encouraged to form a new relationship with the concept and practice of photography in order to create new photographic discourses engendering novel modes of expression. Applicants are welcomed from any creative background if they have an interest in the photographic, as well as photographers with specific training who wish to expand their practice.


Part One consists of two parts in which the two ‘drivers of creativity' are introduced and related to personal practice. In part one practical and theory modules interact to enable students to explore the dialectical relationship between individual identity and the wider social group issues. In part two, the practical work is related to the second dialectic, which drives creativity: that between nature and culture. Modules relating art and design to the environment, and art and design considered as cultural communication inform the practice.
Student-led presentations provide the opportunity to explore these relationships between theory and practice.

Part Two consists of the Major Practical Project, this is student-directed, under supervision, and, together with an integrated report of at least 6,000 words forms the final submission for the MA. An option to submit a written dissertation of 15,000 words in lieu of a major Practical Project is available.

* Collaborative Dialogues
* Co-existent Perspectives
* The Thought Experiment
* Explorative Research Praxis
* Confirmative Praxis

Key Features

The programme has access to well equipped workshops including a resin, plaster, wood, metal and ceramic.
Beyond this specialist equipment, you will also have access to an extensive range of facilities including an excellent library, open-access computer suits and workshops in other areas within the art school. 
We currently have two research centres within the faculty.These research centres provide staff with research opportunities and access to high technology resources, they provide students with placement opportunity whilst also developing the creative industries infrastructure in the region, which will benefit graduating students.

The Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre

The Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre (CIRIC) was established in 2005 and is a knowledge transfer centre for projects that support the creative industries in Wales.

Current projects include Moving Image Wales, which supports the digital media industry, the Textiles Technologies Project, which supports the textiles and apparel industries, CIME, which supports business through creative intervention and SATnet, which provides a link between artists and businesses in the science and technology sectors. In addition, IPCRES is also based in CIRIC and is developing and disseminating research about durational and event based practices.

Alongside the numerous projects operating within CIRIC, there is also a Design Bureau, with water jet cutting, laser cutting and fabric printing services.

 CLASI The Centre for Lens Arts and Science Interaction is a research centre based within The Dynevor Centre for Art, Design, and Media at Swansea Metropolitan University. CLASI aims to encourage and promote interdisciplinary research projects, which stimulate research, innovation, and experimentation across photographic, digital and electronic arts. A strong emphasis is placed on research strands where the histories, philosophies and practices of art and science intersect. The definition of art and science is intentionally broad and the centre is aligned with SATnet and CIRIC.

Entry Criteria

The major benchmark entry requirement will be a 2:1 or higher undergraduate degree. This will enable the student to progress to an interview. Mature students may apply with their portfolio and/or previous academic/industrial career taken into account. There is also a procedure for the Recognition of Prior Learning. International students will have to prove proficiency in the English language to the required IELTS level 6 as well as the above. Any candidate with a successfully completed research degree will have to prove that their intended Master’s study is in a different field. The programme is open to applicants of any discipline who have an interest in forming a new discourse with an Art, Craft, Design & Media subject in order to open up a new dialogue i.e.; architecture/photography.

For information on our postgraduate study scholarships please visit: http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/bursaries/

Visit the MA Photography: Contemporary Dialogues page on the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Phil McAthey

"I have loved the MA Contemporary Dialogues course because the multi-disciplinary aspect of it has made it stimulating and challenging, as well as allowing me to branch out in creative directions that previously I had never thought of. The course allowed me time, and the tutors expected me to experiment with a number of different approaches to my work."


Entry Requirements

A good undergraduate degree in a related discipline or relevant experience. Each candidate will be considered on their own merit.

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