MA Photography

Gain a fresh outlook on your work. Learn how to critically analyse and develop your practice.


The photography industry is complex and competitive. To succeed, you need a course that pushes you further than simply mastering your technical skills, deepening your photographic knowledge and ability to innovate.

With the help of our course  you’ll draw on other disciplines, build international connections, and explore wider contexts to engage meaningfully with this technologically and socially evolving medium. Through a range of activities including live briefs set by real clients, you’ll develop the professional skillset to make your mark in the industry, ready to join our rich legacy of accomplished and award-winning graduates.

You will:

  • Immediately apply fresh insight to your work and embrace multidisciplined approaches
  • Enhance your learning experience at our optional in-person face-to-face events
  • Become more inquisitive, innovative, and outward-looking
  • Confidently collaborate with other practitioners on a global scale
  • Embrace and uphold ethical and sustainable photography practices

As well as an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification, as a successful graduate you’ll leave the course with a body of work strong enough to take you to the next stage in your career and sustain your practice beyond.


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Course Details

Level: 7
Duration: MA 2 years; PGDip 15 months
Mode of study: Online, part-time
Total MA fee: £12,150
3 start dates per year: January, May and September
Next welcome week: 18 September 2023
Next start date: 25 September 2023
Application deadline: 11 September 2023

Why this course?

Find your creative voice

This MA is designed to enhance your artistic, critical, and professional skills, regardless of where you are in your career. Live briefs with real clients will equip you with the skillset, experience, and connections to thrive in this demanding and competitive industry.

You’ll be challenged to interrogate your practice and develop your creative voice. By experimenting with new materials and techniques, you’ll push your technical abilities and creative boundaries to excel as a specialist.

As well as joining our own collective of artistic minds, designers, and makers, you’ll expand your creative circle even further, becoming part of a global network of practitioners and finding your place within the wider photography community.


Please note the module orders are subject to change. MA: You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. PGDip: You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required.
Module 1 - Positions and Practice (30 credits)

This module enables you to locate your practice within the broad contexts of professional contemporary photography.

You will consider the importance of research as a fundamental aspect of contemporary photography in both academic and industry contexts, and critically reflect on core themes in contemporary visual culture.

Through discursive activities with faculty staff and peers, as well as self-directed research and personal reflection, you will analyse your practice in relation to specific themes, and articulate your practical and conceptual motivations and intentions as an image-maker.

Module 2 - Informing Contexts (30 credits)

'Informing Contexts' aims to increase your understanding of how contemporary practice is enriched through critical and theoretical contextualisation, helping you develop an informed and sophisticated photographic practice.

The module will introduce you to a number of themes and debates that are fundamental to the study of the image, such as debates around looking and subjectivity.

You will also consider your own practice in relation to historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives around photography and visual culture.

Module 3 - Sustainable Strategies (30 credits)

This module considers the different contexts in which the photography is published, and how its form influences how it is received and understood by audiences.

You will explore the many creative strategies involved in the production, resolution, and publication of photographic work, and consider the possibility of interdisciplinary approaches in the making and presentation of your own creative output.

As you study, you’ll also devise strategies and workflows that are conscious of material consumption and work towards professional, and ecological and environmental sustainability.

You’ll be encouraged to experiment with new materials, processes, and creative strategies as appropriate to your specialism.

Module 4 - Collaboration and Professional Locations (30 credits)

‘Collaboration and Professional Locations’ strives to increase your understanding and appreciation of the roles, relationships, and responsibilities that can play a major part in progressing and sustaining your professional practice.

As part of this, you will be encouraged to undertake commissions and work placements during this module, and to devise or engage in photography and visual arts initiatives relevant to your work.

You’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate on a live brief with a small group of peers. These briefs will be set by clients and allow you to gain experience with real world, industry challenges.

Module 5 - Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)

This module provides you with the chance to produce a critically and professionally informed research project and deliver it to a public audience.

Initially, you will submit a proposal outlining a scheme of work and the critical contexts surrounding your project. You’ll then work continuously on the module over the course of two study blocks.

The project will be your opportunity to demonstrate increasing autonomy in respect of your research capabilities, alongside support from your supervisor.

You will also continue to benefit from the programme’s ongoing series of guest lectures by leading contemporary practitioners and industry experts.

How you will learn

Benefits of learning online with us

Falmouth Flexible
Access course content anywhere. With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources through Canvas, our easy-to-use online platform. You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can watch, pause, and rewind lectures whenever you want.
Learning activities
Engaging learning activities will help you apply theory to practice. They could include: -Concise online presentations to introduce key concepts -Small group and class discussions and crits to facilitate interaction and dialogue -Online critiques to test assumptions, ideas and to receive feedback from peers and tutors -Individual and group tutorials throughout the course -Independent study -Self-evaluation and peer feedback.
Student support
As one of our students, you’ll have access to a range of services designed to support your studies and make your time with us as enjoyable as possible. Falmouth’s comprehensive online library of books, journals, and resources A Student Advisor team to answer non-academic queries Online software tutorials via LinkedIn Learning The Students' Union community Career advice, CV creation, practice interviews, and more via our careers platform As a Falmouth Flexible MA Photography student, you'll also be entitled to a free student membership of the Association of Photographers. 
All assessments are taken and submitted online. Assessment methods for the masters degree in photography can typically include: -Coursework assessment with no formal examinations -Oral presentations -Collaborations on live, client briefs -Projects, individual reports and public presentations

How students study with us

• No visas or moving costs
• Access course from anywhere in the world
• Spend approx. 20-25 hours studying each week
• All course materials are available on demand
• Revise on the days and times that suit you best
• Course modules broken down into weekly
• Fit studies around work, family and social life
• Support with non-academic queries from a
student adviser team

Additional Support

As one of our students, you’ll have access to a range of services designed to support your studies and make your time with us as enjoyable as possible. -Our comprehensive online library of books, journals, and resources -A Student Advisor team to answer non-academic queries -Online software tutorials via LinkedIn Learning -The Students’ Union community -Career advice, CV creation, practice interviews, and more via our careers platform

Career prospects and opportunities

Our graduates go on to achieve great things: from successful careers in travel, fashion, and editorial photography to becoming award-winning documentary photographers and internationally celebrated portrait photographers.

Talent and technical ability are vital, but we’ll also prepare you for the realities of life in the industry, encouraging you go out and gain first-hand experience with commissions, work placements, and a live brief project set by a real client.

Past clients have included organisations such as Oxfam, the Royal Photographic Society, and the Wellcome Photography Prize. You’ll develop the professional and transferrable skills – from pitching to collaborating – needed to thrive in many fields of the creative industries.

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access RealWORKS, our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to 5 years following graduation.

Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more.

Photography careers

Graduates of our MA Photography course can use their creative and technical skills to thrive in a range of career paths. You’ll gain a clearer idea of your interests and develop a distinctive voice, allowing you to either focus on a photography specialism that suits you, or branch out into exciting related areas.

It is also worth bearing in mind that all creative arts degrees promote fundamental, transferrable skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation – all of which are in the World Economic Forum’s top five skills priorities.

Professional photography can be a lucrative field that gives you an opportunity to earn an income doing what you love. In practice, there are relatively few full-time photographer roles, and the overwhelming majority are self-employed or ‘freelance’, working for a range of clients.

Whilst some will find a particular niche or specialism that is sustainable and fulfilling, most freelance photographers have ‘portfolio careers’, and their work might be comprised of a combination of some of the roles outlined here. Although day rates for freelances can be high, establishing a steady, reliable stream of clients and contracts can take several years to establish.

Whether you seek out a path towards commercial or editorial photography, or see yourself working within the art world and cultural industries, a good undergraduate degree will equip you with the tools you need to carve out a career within this ever-evolving medium.

Here are just a few of the career paths that photography graduates will take:

  • Staff photographer
  • Commercial photographer
  • Photographer’s assistant / studio manager
  • Editorial photographer
  • Education
  • Stock photography
  • Social photographer
  • Art director
  • Curator / gallerist
  • Picture researcher / editor and retoucher.

How to apply

Benefits of learning online with us


  • An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification.


  • A digital portfolio of your current photographic practice. The portfolio should indicate both your technical aptitude and the quality and sophistication of your practice.
  • You shouldn’t attempt to encompass a range of styles and genres of photography, but rather try to give the admissions team a sense of your practice specialisms and your interests as a practitioner.
  • You should title or briefly caption each image in your portfolio, explaining – if necessary – how the image is indicative of your practice and why you have selected it.

English language requirements:

  • IELTS – minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) – minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components
  • LanguageCert (online test) – a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts)

We accept a number of additional English language qualifications as well.

Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are also encouraged to apply. If you have prior learning or experience with this subject, you may even be able to apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to apply, please get in touch with our course adviser team for advice.


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Share your details in order to receive information about this high quality online masters course.

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