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Imaging Art and Science (MA)

Course Description

Course content

The MA in Imaging Art and Science is part of a dual pathway MA/MSc programme in Imaging Art and Science

The MA/MSc in Imaging Art and Science is a unique programme in Imaging, designed to equip students with advanced skills in areas relating to image conception, formation, capture, analysis, evaluation and visualisation from the perspectives of art, science and technology.

The University of Westminster was the first institution in the UK to provide academic degrees in Photography, Imaging Science and Technology and has produced world leaders in the fields of Image Science, Imaging Technologies, Photographic Arts and Photographic Theory.

The MA/MSc in Imaging Art and Science is a cross-disciplinary programme built on our experience and proficiency in these fields, run in collaboration by the Westminster School of Media Arts & Design and the Faculty of Science & Technology. It provides cutting edge education, supported by external links to creative and scientific industries.

MA and MSc Pathways

Students enroll for an MA or an MSc degree, but can potentially change pathway. The MA and MSc pathways share some common syllabus, whilst the majority of the content is distinctive to each degree, to allow for discipline specialisation to be developed within a multidisciplinary environment. Relevant areas include digital image representation and visualisation; digital imaging systems and their performance evaluation; cultural, theoretical, and historical aspects of the production and consumption of images; colour vision, measurement and management; image quality, content and aesthetics; programming for imaging. The course encourages understanding of interdisciplinary issues relating to imaging, by providing space for art/science collaborative projects and hybrid methodologies. Students engage in a Major Project, specific to the MA or MSc pathway, and where appropriate, collaborate with external creative, technological and scientific industries. MA Students obtain their degree from Westminster School of Media, Arts and design and MSc students from the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Course structure and module contents (MA Pathway)

Methods-Process-Context (20 credits)
Transactions and Public Engagement (40 credits)
Colour Imaging dual pathway (20 credits)
Image Quality and Content dual pathway (20 credits)
Imaging Arts (20 credits)
Research Project (60 credits)
Option Module from Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design (20 credits)

Methods-Process-Context is a shared MA/MSc module providing advanced research skills relevant to art, science and inter-disciplinary projects. It offers data analysis/statistics, technical and creative skills, introduction to creative programming and programming for imaging. A range of skills is offered to allow students to tailor their skill-set to support themselves throughout the course.

Transactions and Public Engagement encourages understanding of interdisciplinary aspects of imaging, and provides a space for art/science collaborative imaging projects, the outputs of which are disseminated in yearly events.

Colour Imaging is a dual pathway MA/MSc module discussing colour theory, colour vision, colour measurement, appearance and management, alongside the cultural, theoretical, and historical dimensions of colour in visual arts and imaging.

Image Quality and Content is a dual pathway MA/MSc module, exploring cultural and scientific approaches to image quality. Areas of study include visual psychophysics, image quality models, critical theory and aesthetics.
Imaging Arts is MA pathway specific; it focuses on the cultural production and consumption of images, issues of visuality and visualisation, and the politics of image aesthetics.

Students must take at least 2 module options from the course. One option can be taken from other relevant Post Graduate courses within the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design.

The Research Project is a self-directed, pathway-specific body of work undertaken with academic supervision; it often runs in collaboration with relevant industries/organisations.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at Art or Science graduates from disciplines relating to Imaging (e.g. photography, media, fine art, or computer science, electrical engineering, mathematical and physical sciences), wishing to specialize in Imaging Arts or Imaging Sciences, while developing a cross-disciplinary outlook, informed by scientific, art and theoretical perspectives. We also encourage applicants with equivalent experience in related fields such as photography, art, science, media or imaging industries.

Who teaches the course?

The course is delivered by staff from the Faculties of Media, Arts & Design, and Science & Technology. The staff team has extensive expertise in imaging science, visual science, computer science, commercial and fine art photography, critical theory and philosophy. It includes researchers of the Computational Vision and Imaging Technology (CVIT) research group, and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media CREAM). Members of the staff team disseminate and publish their research internationally and are also active in consultancy within the creative and scientific industries. Recent publications include Fashion as Photograph, Emerging Landscapes and the classic textbooks Manual of Photography and Langford's Advanced Photography.

Associated careers

Depending on the tailored module/content selection and Major Project topic, graduates of the MA/MSc will be able to work in a range of fields, including: imaging practice and production (e.g. fine art/ commercial photography, film post production and special effects); image management, picture research, curating (e.g. photographic libraries, museums and archives); scientific imaging and processes (e.g. biomedical imaging labs, image processing and analysis, colour management), imaging science research (e.g. optical system development, image quality, imaging performance). Graduates may also work in a number of other areas, including imaging education, research labs and creative applications.

Studying in a multidisciplinary environment will equip graduates with a lateral approach to problem solving, and the ability to communicate disciplinary issues to wide audiences, including the public. Collaboration with the industry will provide graduates with real world research experience, an attribute that is highly prized by prospective employers.

A number of our graduates now work in leading imaging centers in the industry, such as Apple Research Labs, Aptina Imaging, ON Semiconductor, The Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Framestore, or research and teach in academic institutions internationally.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Imaging Art and Science (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally, applicants will require a First or Upper second Honours degree in photography, media, fine art, or other relevant academic discipline; or equivalent experience in a photography, art, and/or media related industrial context. If English is your second language you should have an IELTS score of 7.0.

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