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Photography MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 17 months 3–5 days per week September 2017

Choose Kingston's Photography MA

This course offers an opportunity for students to develop a major body of practical work that engages with the expanded boundaries of photography and hybridisation of the medium. It is concerned with a broad range of photographic practices and technologies and explores debates around the politics of representation and our role as image makers.

Key features

  • You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work and take part in off-site visits to galleries, photography festivals and other cultural spaces, as well as study tours.
  • Supported by a team of technical and academic staff, you will have access to a professional photography suite that includes two new digital-imaging areas, darkroom areas, two double-height photography studios and a general preparation, finishing and demonstration area. In addition, you will have access to 3D, screen printing and moving image workshops.

What will you study?

You will gain a thorough understanding of the history of photography and its continuously developing field of interrelated forms of image production and visual culture. You will explore the potential of the expanded boundaries of photography in unexpected and innovative ways through self-initiated research. Supported by taught modules and an experienced group of research-active staff, you will develop critical thinking and a sustained practice.


Seminar and exhibition presentations, tutorials, individual and group reviews.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


  • This module is a core requirement for all postgraduate students in the School of Fine Art. It enables you to develop your individual fine art practice, through a combination of group seminars, critiques and informal presentations. You will gain (through experience) a mature, discursive approach that develops a critical and theoretical framework to contextualise your practice. This module guides you through the key principles, perspectives and practices that inform the contemporary art arena. The module culminates in the presentation of a body of work with an emphasis on production and process and your ability to position your work within the wider contemporary art field.

    Read full module description

  • This module provides a forum for debate between students and staff, researchers, visiting theorists and practitioners. You will have the opportunity to:

    • develop and apply critical frameworks to your practice;
    • debate a range of theoretical, cultural and social issues; and
    • consider a variety of approaches to communicating, presenting and publishing your own work and research.

    You develop your ideas through:

    • seminar discussions;
    • tutorials;
    • individual and group reviews;
    • a programme of lectures and seminar events led by visiting artists and practitioners;
    • off-site visits to galleries, site-specific artworks, media venues and other cultural spaces; and
    • study tours abroad.

    Read full module description

  • Through a sustained and in-depth elaboration of a single pre-selected key photo text, this module engages you in an intellectually challenging exploration of the theoretical frameworks, philosophical concepts, and cogent areas of research enquiry, prevalent in the advanced study of photography.

    Photography theory is understood here as enquiry across the broad field of photo culture, hence the themes evaluated and interpreted will include considerations of photography as conceptualised through the frameworks and foci of such cogent intellectual disciplines and traditions as (but not limited to) perspectives from the fields of sociology; economic and social history; feminism; continental philosophy; Freudian theory; legal and criminological perspectives; science and technological research; semiology; and film studies.

    As you gain increased confidence in the field of critical photo theory this knowledge/ability will be activated, challenged, applied and, ultimately, assessed, through your requirement to plan and realise an individual practical response to the photo text (book or essay) in the form of a presentation of up to 10 images and an accompanying piece of self-reflective critical writing.

    The module structure comprises a series of lectures followed by seminar discussions and presentations. You develop your own seminar topics in relation to the lectures and then apply your thinking to the production of a body of photographic work which is submitted for assessment as a formal presentation.

  • This module develops your individual advanced photographic practice through concentration on context and audience (publishing is understood here in the widest sense: how will you place your images into a published context?). You are encouraged to conceptualise and articulate the complex relationships between technology, medium and audience. Following a period of research, critical evaluation and engagement with creative process, you are expected to realise a published photographic project – rooted in an orientation to a specified audience. In order to do this effectively you are encouraged to examine and develop your working methodology (critical/creative process) and develop requisite skills as appropriate – the module includes support from the Faculty in the use of relevant software packages such as Adobe InDesign.

  • You are expected to build upon previous module outcomes and ongoing individual research to complete a major project for public exhibition. This is the capstone project. The capstone project helps you to synthesise, reflect on and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their course. You should devise and manage the project alongside the peer group, with the support of a practising artist and tutor. You should research many aspects of exhibition making and production at a professional level.

    Read full module description

  • Critical Theory in Photography and Visual Culture
  • Photography Practices
  • Advanced Photography Practices

Keep in touch with news, events, awards and generally what's going on with the Photography MA at Kingston University.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Kingston School of Art at Knights Park

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art at Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art at Knights Park on our Google Maps
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