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Postgraduate

MA Photography

Exhibition shot of student photographs mounted on a green wall.
Maria Makridis, Everything I see is True, 2019, MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Photography at London College of Communication offers a variety of conceptual approaches to thinking, writing and exhibiting photography. As a research-led course, it equips students for a wider inquiry into the interdisciplinary aspects of the photographic medium by developing a single exhibition project over the 15-months duration of the course.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • MA Photography encourages active involvement with current photographic research including the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) and the Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary Research Hub both based at LCC.
  • Hear from high-profile artists, theorists and curators as part of our guest lecture series.
  • You will have access to excellent analogue and digital facilities and specialist equipment that will help you to expand your creative vocabulary.
  • For more than 15 years our graduates have developed distinctive practices that gain recognition across the creative industries as well as being respected as showing artists, inventive editors and critical writers.

Open Evenings

The next online Open Day for this course will be on Wednesday 24 February at 3pm. Book your place now

An introduction to postgraduate courses in the Photography programme is available online. Watch now

Join MA Photography staff and alumni at their latest symposium on Wednesday 16 December. Book your place now

Scholarships and awards

The Sam and Alida Haskins Study Grant

Course websites

Student Work

Student Voices: Mary Morgan

Mary talks through her immersive video installation in which she addresses her own experience of sexual assault.

Graduate Stories: Jessie McLaughlin

Jessie is from London and graduated from LCC’s MA Photography. Jessie now lives and works in North London.

Student Voices: Rosie Holtom

Rosie's final year work looks at replicating an experiment about intimacy using video portraits.

Student Voices: Ana Maria Guerra

Ana talks us through her final year project about the role of 3D technology in the preservation of corals.

Student Voices: Jacqueline Taylor

Jacqueline talks us through her final year work.

Student Voices: Ana Escobar

Ana talks us through her work at the MA Photography Postgraduate Shows.

MA Photography Alumni Group

MA Photography Alumni Group at LCC is designed to consolidate the relationship between MA Photography graduating students and its alumni, providing a network and a space to develop projects and exchange ideas.

Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary Research Hub

Research hub that brings together practitioners and theorists to explore and promote photography as a mode of imaginary thought and its relation to a collective imaginary.

Course stories

Course overview

MA Photography at London College of Communication offers a variety of conceptual approaches to thinking, writing and exhibiting photography.

It is a research-led course that equips students for a wider inquiry into the photographic medium, using a single exhibition project which students develop over 15-months.

The exhibition gives students the chance to produce a distinctive body of work, by supporting their individual practice through encouraging visual experimentation, theoretical contextualisation, and active research processes.

Situated within the Media School, we understand photography as an interdisciplinary medium, that expands as an effect on, and of culture.

As part of the respective project development, we interrogate the agency of a piece of work and its relationship with the viewer, in a post-documentary environment, alongside thinking about non-representational strategies in installation.

We encourage students to work experimentally and produce work that tests the ever expanding 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 artistic research culture, and the course has close ties with the Photography and the Archive Research Centre and The Stanley Kubrick Archive, both based at London College of Communication.

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, sculpture, and other areas of media practice as well as related theoretical subject disciplines. They are united by a desire to develop a distinctive practice with a high level of conceptual resolution.

What can you expect?

There are both analogue and digital photography facilities at London College of Communication, 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 the 3D workshop, book binding or screen-printing.

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.

The course is demanding of time and commitment in addition to attendance, and you will need a considerable capacity for self-directed study to fulfil the aims of the programme.

Please note: 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.

The Sproxton Photography Award

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 £1200 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 former Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre here at LCC, founded the Impressions Gallery in York in 1972.

Mode of Study

MA Photography is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves four units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term 1

Exploring the Possibilities (60 credits)

Following an Induction Week, you will begin to develop a body of work with tutorial support. 

You will also receive a series of critical context seminars to help you start developing your critical context review.

Spring, Term 2

Taking an Idea Forward (40 credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Taking an Idea Forward builds on the experience of Exploring the Possibilities unit, allowing you to consolidate and develop your knowledge and experience.

You will focus on and further develop one of your ideas for the body of work explored in the Exploring the Possibilities unit. 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 showcase of your developing research together with your peers and supported by other input.

Summer, Term 3

Taking an Idea Forward (continued)
Resolving Outcomes (60 credits)

Autumn, Term 4

Resolving Outcomes (continued)

In the Resolving Outcomes unit, you will undertake the resolution, finalisation, and presentation of the body of work in an exhibition or other outcomes you decide on, individually or as a group.

Through both practice and your written submission of a 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 will also be expected to engage in independent research, writing, coursework, 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.

Learning and teaching methods

Project tutorials & Context tutorials

Exhibition seminars & Critical Context seminars

Professional development seminars

Peer-learning & group work

Lectures & talks

 

Assessment methods

Initial, Intermediate & Final Project Proposal

Critical Context Review & Critical Context Paper

Presentation

Self-Evaluation

Research Documentation

Reflective portfolio

Body of Work, exhibition, documentation & portfolio

Critical Rationale

Staff

Wiebke  Leister

Dr Wiebke Leister

Course Leader, MA Photography

David  Mollin

Dr David Mollin

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts

Jananne Al Ani

Senior Lecturer

Professor Val Williams

Research Fellow

Lecturers

Douglas Fishbone, Claire Hiscock

Visiting speakers

There is also an extensive programme of visiting speakers and research events.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. 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 would advise prior acquisition of these before applying to the course.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with 6.5 in Speaking and a minimum of 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing.
     
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Earlier experience of project-based visual inquiry.
  • A capacity for independent research-led study on PG level.
  • A strong project proposal ready to be explored on the course.
  • Knowledge of conceptual approaches to photography in contemporary exhibition context.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to own area of practice.

Making your application

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:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement, portfolio and study/project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • Study / project proposal.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Start your application now

Apply now

The online application 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 press submit.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You’ll be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photography. 

Your personal statement should describe what you specialised in during your undergraduate course , why you now want to study on MA Photography at LCC, and what you are hoping to do after the course.

The majority of our students have studied either BA Photography or other lens-based/fine-art subjects before applying to our course.

If you didn’t previously undertake a BA Photography course, please explain why you feel that you meet the academic criteria needed for further study in this subject area.

Project proposal advice (250 words maximum)

Your Project Proposal should be a feasible, researched outline of the intended project you plan to photograph during your time on the course.

This should include how you plan to develop your project, and also provide a sense of subject matter, visual style, conceptual approach and associated research, as well as your existing knowledge of contemporary fine art photography.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement, portfolio and study/project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

There are two ways international students can apply:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page. International applicants can alternatively apply through one of our official representatives in your country.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • Study / project proposal.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You’ll be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photography. 

Your personal statement should describe what you specialised in during your undergraduate course , why you now want to study on MA Photography at LCC, and what you are hoping to do after the course.

The majority of our students have studied either BA Photography or other lens-based/fine-art subjects before applying to our course.

If you didn’t previously undertake a BA Photography course, please explain why you feel that you meet the academic criteria needed for further study in this subject area.

Project proposal advice (250 words maximum)

Your Project Proposal should be a feasible, researched outline of the intended project you plan to photograph during your time on the course.

This should include how you plan to develop your project, and also provide a sense of subject matter, visual style, conceptual approach and associated research, as well as your existing knowledge of contemporary fine art photography.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview advice

MA Photography focuses on the development of an exhibition project (physical or online) which is both research-based and conceptually strong.

Your application should give us a sense of how you locate yourself in the art practice of your particular photographic area, and how the course will further your understanding of conceptual photography.

You will be asked to upload an electronic portfolio which should demonstrate your understanding of self-initiated, project-based visual inquiry.

Your portfolio should consist of 2 completed bodies of work (6-8 images per body of work, a maximum of 16 in total) which indicate the area of photography that you want to specialise in, including installation shots of how the work was exhibited, along with a short artist statement of 50-70 words.

You should only include self-authored works rather than research materials, visual inspiration or process documentation.

Please note that we don’t support fashion, travel, commercial or journalistic projects on the course.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Portfolio surgeries

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.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Graduates of the course go on to be successful exhibiting fine artists as well as documentary and commercial photographers, gallerists, curators and writers. Many prefer to find ways of supporting their art practice through combining it with teaching, commercial photography or other related activities.

Graduate destinations include; organisational roles in independent and publicly funded photography bodies, curators, archivists and gallerists, art buyers, journal editors, academics at secondary, FE and university level, and PhD studies to develop their practice as research.

Students are also encouraged to join the MA Photography Alumni Group to share the future development of their practice.

Alumni achievements include:

  • Winners of awards and competitions such as the Sony World Photography Awards, Deutsche Bank Photography Awards, Jerwood Photography Prize, Nikon Endframe Awards, Magenta Foundation Emerging Photographer Awards, Pavilion Commissions and the Arts Council and Rhubarb-Rhubarb Bursaries.
  • Peter Ainsworth, alumnus from MA Photography 2008 won the Dazed/Converse Emerging Artist of the Year Award 2010. Renhui Zhao of MAP 10 won the Sony World Photography Award for Constructed and Conceptual Photography 2010.
  • Alumna Alicja Dobrucka and Renhui Zhao won the Deutsche Bank Photography Award, in 2010 and 2011.
  • MA Photography alumni have been selected for major exhibitions such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Fresh Faced & Wild Eyed, Kay Saatchi’s Anticipation, the Prix Pictet and ReGeneration2 at the Musee de l’Elysee at Lausanne.
  • Our graduates have exhibited in galleries such as Yossi Milo Gallery (New York), Impressions Gallery (Bradford), National Media Museum (Bradford) and Tate Britain.
  • Alumni have had books accepted by major photographic publishers such as Dewi Lewis.
  • Alumni have been included in leading photography collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
  • Graduates have gained posts as freelance curators and in-curatorial posts at places including Autograph ABP and the Whitechapel Gallery.
  • We have produced alumni who have become co-founders and editors of academic journals Philosophy of Photography and the Journal for Artistic Research.
  • Graduates have been taken on as assistants to the painter Anselm Kiefer in the production of a new body of work for a major exhibition in 2012.
  • Some of our graduates have gone on to study academic and practice-led PhDs at the RCA, Goldsmiths and UAL.
  • A significant number of our graduates teach on HE photography and fine art courses.

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.