Each year the Sproxton Photography Award is given to one MA Photography student.
MA Photography at London College of Communication has produced many celebrated photographers and artists around the globe. This fine art photography MA has an international reputation for conceptually driven, research-led practices. Based in the still image, an interdisciplinary approach encourages students to explore the ever-expanding boundaries of the photographic medium to develop a distinctive body of work that is contextualised within a wider critical framework.
Additional costs: In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.
Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
London College of Communication
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)|
2017/18: £8,500 (Full-time)
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
2017/18: £17,920 (Full-time)
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
|Start Date||25 September 2017|
Direct to College
|Application Deadline||Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.|
MA Photography is a fine art photography programme aimed at developing a personal, distinctive and conceptually strong practice, grounded in research and critical thinking. While based in the still image it embraces cross-media and cross-genre practice.
MA Photography at London College of Communication is renowned for producing some of the most successful contemporary emerging photographers and artists. Part of the Media School, the course offers a unique opportunity for photographers to develop a major body of research-based practice in the context of a critical understanding of contemporary photographic culture.
The course encourages students to work experimentally and produce work that tests the boundaries of the medium, encompassing the still image, video, installation, performance and digital media, and culminating in a public exhibition. The Media School offers a longstanding tradition of photography education with a highly regarded research culture, and the course has close ties with the Photography and the Archive Research Centre and the Kubrick Archive, both based at LCC. Located close to central London, the course has excellent links with galleries, museums and archives.
MA Photography attracts a broad range of practitioners, from backgrounds in fine art photography, documentary photography, commercial photography and other areas of media practice. They are united by a desire to develop a distinctive personal practice with a high level of conceptual resolution. Graduates of the course go on to be successful fine artists as well as documentary and commercial photographers, gallerists, curators and writers, academics and teachers, and arts organisers of various kinds. Many prefer to find ways of supporting their art practice through combining it with teaching, commercial photography or other related activities. Students who may wish to progress to practice-led PhD are encouraged to develop their practice as research.
There are both analogue and digital photography facilities at LCC, including colour and black-and-white darkrooms, photographic studios and a Mac-based digital suite including Imacon scanners, as well as medium and large format analogue cameras, digital cameras, HD video cameras and lighting equipment. Students also have access to other technical facilities such as a 3D workshop or screenprinting.
The course runs for 45 weeks from September to December (15 months full time, across a four-term model) and attendance is 2 days per week, plus access to the facilities. The course is demanding of time and commitment in addition to attendance, and you will need considerable capacity for self-directed study to fulfill the aims of the programme.
NB The course assumes that you are technically proficient and able to research and develop any further skills you require. Technical tuition is restricted to the tutorial support of individual projects. If you need to acquire a significant skill base, then you are advised to do so before you apply for the course.
Staff, current students and alumni frequently post updates on the LCC MA Photography Facebook group.
The Sproxton Photography Award is given each year to one student in the MA Photography Final Show, as judged by a panel consisting of an industry professional and MA Photography Alumni. The winner receives £1000 to help them kickstart their photography career.
The prize was set up in memory of Andrew Sproxton, who together with Professor Val Williams, curator, historian and writer, and now Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre here at LCC, founded the Impressions Gallery in York in 1972.
Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.
Following an Induction week, you will begin to develop a body of work with tutorial support. This is the practice that defines your assessment submissions and encompasses technical, theoretical and professional considerations. You will also receive a series of critical context seminars to help you start developing your critical context paper synopsis.
Unit 2 builds on the experience of Unit 1 allowing you to consolidate and develop your knowledge and experience. In it you will focus on and further develop one of your ideas for the body of work explored in Unit 1. You'll also continue to develop a critical framework for your work through critical context seminars and the submission of the critical context paper. Increasingly, students take responsibility for leading seminars and group tutorials with staff acting as facilitators.
In the Collaborative Unit you will develop an interim show of your work together with your peers and other input.
In Unit 4 you'll undertake the resolution, finalisation and presentation of the body of work in an exhibition or any other outcomes you decide on, individually or as a group. Through both practice and your written submission of critical rationale you will demonstrate a reflective understanding of the medium, the critical and professional context, and the position of your practice within it.
You will need a high level of commitment and self-management to achieve the course outcomes. In addition to formal teaching sessions, seminar work, presentations, and tutorial work you'll also be expected to engage in independent research, writing, course work, and the origination, development and completion of the body of work, for which both tutor and peer support is provided through individual tutorials, group discussions and peer review.
If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.
The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.
Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.
In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
There is also an extensive programme of visiting speakers and research events.
MA Photography prepares graduates to research, develop and produce an individual fine art project to a high exhibition standard. They will also have developed the practical, critical and conceptual skills needed to work at a high level in related areas of photography and media practice. The course also provides graduates with a critical and professional understanding of the contemporary photography and fine art sectors which will prepare them for a number of career directions within the arts and media.
Graduate destinations include; exhibiting fine artists, commissions, bursaries and residencies, documentary and commercial (editorial/fashion/advertising) photographers, community artists and arts organisers, organisational roles in independent and publicly funded photography bodies, curators, archivists and gallerists, art buyers, journal editors, teachers at secondary, FE and university level, and PhD studies.
Students are also encouraged to join the MA Photography Alumni Group to share the future development of their practice.
Alumni achievements include:
The course has an active relationship with the art and photography world. Curators and critics regularly take part in tutorials, crits and workshops. In addition, we have strong links with photographers' agents, photographic agencies and art buyers in areas of the commercial sector which are interested in fine art photography.
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career.
Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here.
Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:
Applicants are expected to demonstrate sufficient prior knowledge of and / or potential in, photography to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and/ or have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject.
MA Photography does not include technical teaching (although it does include technical advice and support) and if there are specific programmes or techniques that you need to acquire in order to realise your creative ideas on MA Photography then we suggest that you acquire these before joining the course.
For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
Academic or professional reference are not required for this course.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
In the application form you will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for photography, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.
All applicants will be expected to submit a portfolio and project proposal with their application.
10-20 images, either print or digital, with prints no larger than A4 in size. Your portfolio should indicate an understanding of project-based visual inquiry. It is preferable to show projects rather than individual images.
Applicants from a commercial background are encouraged to develop personal projects before they apply. Your portfolio may be accompanied by an explanatory statement about the projects of no more than 300 words. Your portfolio should indicate that you have an understanding of project-based visual inquiry.
Your project proposal should be no more than 300 words indicating your intended practice project. You should include accompanying research for a specific project that you plan to be developed on the course and how the MA is going to further your understanding of conceptual photographic practice.
Your proposal should be a feasible, researched outline of a specific project that you are going to photograph and reasons why. Try to elaborate on your ideas for the project to give us a sense of subject, style, approach, concept, research, and how much you know about contemporary fine art photography.
For help and advice about what to include in your portfolio or project proposal we offer MA Photography portfolio surgeries. Dates are available to book when available on the course page under the Open Days aside.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Funding opportunities available for this course:
You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.
From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
MA Photography at LCC has been running since 1997 with its first graduating cohort exhibiting in autumn 1998, MAP16 being the 18th MA Photography final show. The exhibition catalogues are produced by the graduating students, who also put together a final show website to showcase their work.
If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.