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Photography MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 17 months 3–5 days per week September 2018
Part time 29 months 1–3 days a week September 2018

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.


  • Critical Theory in Photography and Visual Culture enables students to develop an independent and critical approach to 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; post-colonial theory; Freudian theory; legal and criminological perspectives; science and technological research; semiology; photo-digital technologies; scopophilia/surveillance.

    As students gain increased confidence in the field of critical photo-theory their knowledge/ability will be activated, challenged, applied and assessed, through the students' requirement to plan and realise a critically aware and reflective thesis essay.

    Students' enquiry and analysis of the field of photography and visual culture are developed through seminars and presentations by staff and students. Students' knowledge and critical skills are assessed through the submission of a 5,000 word written essay and supporting notebooks.

    Students are encouraged to engage with practices and concepts in contemporary photographic discourse that are relevant to their own interests by identifying their field of context and setting their own research objectives and particular trajectory. The outcome essay will tend to be a detailed analysis of photographers/artists relevant to the students practice.

    Read full module description

  • Students will conceive and develop a substantial body of work through self-initiated research supported by tutorials, group seminars, critiques and informal presentations that deepen their understanding of how their work can be situated within contemporary and historical frameworks, and its expanded definitions.

    Photography Practices is designed to support creative photo-practice by engaging the students with a diverse range of approaches to planning, producing, exhibiting and disseminating photographs - across expanded definitions of the photographic.
    Initial skills acquisition (as project type requires) and key inductions will take place in analogue and digital resources and processes, studio and lighting workshops and different camera formats as well as screen printing, animation and moving image workshops and inductions to the 3D workshop.

    Conceptualising the social, political and economic concerns running through student work is a central concern. Students will debate questions of spectatorship, documentary, photography and the gallery, new media and technology, the still and moving image, sound and installation. As well as, current engagements with the archive and thinking through the presentation of their work to varied audiences.

    Students establish working methodologies relative to a number of contributing modes of study: one-to one tutorials, seminars/discussion, research processes, the sharing and reviewing of work in progress, discourse and lectures by visiting professionals/theorists/practitioners, field visits and group critique.

    Students are expected to form a combination of practice and research-based investigations in response to photography and its expanded definitions with research seminars prompting and guiding the development of a body of work and contextualised analysis.

    The module culminates in the presentation of a body of work (and research seminar) at an assessment point where students evidence the development, planning, production and presentation of a body of work supported by the submission of blog and sketchbooks that evidences critical reflection; a 1000-1500 word critical reflective statement.

    Read full module description

  • Advanced Photography Practices enables students to realise a body of photographic-based work that is coherent, innovative, conceptually resolved and technically competent - for exhibition and publication.

    Students conceive and develop a substantial body of work through self-initiated research supported by a combination of tutorials, group seminars, critiques and informal presentations. Students gain through experience a mature, discursive approach that develops a critical and theoretical framework to contextualise their practice, as well advancing their editing and production skill in assembling a sophisticated body of work.

    This module culminates in the presentation of a body of work for final exhibition in January (TB1 in YR 2) with an emphasis on research, production and process and the ability of the student to position their work within the wider context of photography and contemporary art. In addition students are also required to submit a publication, a 1000-1500 word critical reflective statement, and an artist's statement 150-300 words which serves as an introduction to the body of work for audiences.

    In tandem following a period of research, critical evaluation and engagement with creative process, students are expected to realise their on-going research in the form of a publication focusing on context and audience (publishing is understood here in the widest sense). The publication can take the form of a book, ‘zine, magazine, pamphlet, newspaper etc. It can be professionally printed or hand-made or/and online working across multiple platforms. The publication should taking into consideration audience, narrative, editing, text, design, binding, paper etc. Students develop requisite skills as appropriate with workshops in bookmaking and support from the Faculty in the use of relevant software packages such as Adobe InDesign.

    Read full module description


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 term dates for this course can be found here

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Admissions team

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

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

Contact us

Admissions team

*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.


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

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