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Postgraduate

MA Photography

Gallery view of photographs displayed on the
Brian Bi, MA Photography, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2022
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

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

Scholarships and awards

Online Open Day

Postgraduate course overview for Photography

Course Leader, Daniel Alexander, gives an overview of studying MA Photography at London College of Communication. (Recorded February 2022)

MA Photography | Postgraduate Showcase

Virtual Collection at Turner Contemporary

As part of our 2021 Postgraduate Showcase, graduating students explored new possibilities in exhibitions and curatorial practice through a virtual collection devised with one of the UK’s leading art galleries, Turner Contemporary. Explore more work from our MA Photography class on the UAL Postgraduate Showcase.

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Braintree: Past & Present
    Braintree: Past & Present, Johnathon 'JJ' Fenwick, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • The Waste Land
    The Waste Land, Jiaqi Wu, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Electronic Pets
    Electronic Pets, Yanjie Xu, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • 44 Beats per Minute
    44 Beats per Minute, Ruifeng Ding, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Still in the Dark
    Still in the Dark, Robert Tucker, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Under Everything
    Under Everything, Daniel Ginsburg, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Non-Conforming Bodies
    Non-Conforming Bodies, Liliana Zaharia, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Hiraeth
    Hiraeth, Xindi Li, 2021 MA Photography, London College of Communication, UAL

Gallery

Student voices

Mary Morgan

Student voices

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

Jessie McLaughlin

Graduate stories

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

Rosie Holtom

Student voices

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

Ana Maria Guerra

Student voices

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

Jacqueline Taylor

Student voices

Jacqueline talks us through her final year work.

Ana Escobar

Student voices

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

Course catalogues

Course stories

  • Winner of the 2020 Sproxton Award for Photography announced
    'Pressure', The Dressing of an Octopus by Nilu Nuthall. Sproxton Award for Photography Winner 2020

    Winner of the 2020 Sproxton Award for Photography announced

    We chat to graduating MA Photography student Nilufar Nuthal on her winning work, 'The Dressing of an Octopus', and reflections from her time at London College of Communication.

  • MA Photography collaborates with Turner Contemporary for Postgraduate Showcase 2021
    Image credit: Shihui Gao.

    MA Photography collaborates with Turner Contemporary for Postgraduate Showcase 2021

    We catch up with Exhibitions Manager Charlotte Reeves to explore how LCC students were able to overcome the barriers of the Covid-19 Pandemic and conceptualise a virtual exhibition.

  • Graduate Voices: Paloma Tendero
    Flawed Beauty, Series 2016. Digital C-Type Photograph. Image credit: Paloma Tendero.

    Graduate Voices: Paloma Tendero

    We chat to visual artist Paloma Tendero about the highlights of her time on MA Photography and her role as Alumni Ambassador.

  • Graduate Voices: Magali Avezou
    'Between the Lines' at Roz Barr Gallery, designed.by Benedetta Rogers. Image credit: Magali Avezou.

    Graduate Voices: Magali Avezou

    We catch up with the founder of archipelago curatorial studio to explore the highlights of her time on MA Photography at London College of Communication.

Facilities

  • A vintage camera enclosed in a transparent box atop a plinth.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Media Photography

    Photography students benefit from access to resources held in the Media Photography areas.

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

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.

Course Structure

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.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

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 and context tutorials
  • Exhibition seminars and Critical Context seminars
  • Professional development seminars
  • Peer-learning and group work
  • Lectures and talks

Assessment methods

  • Initial, Intermediate and Final Project Proposal
  • Critical Context Review and Critical Context Paper
  • Presentation
  • Self-evaluation
  • Research documentation
  • Reflective portfolio
  • Body of work, exhibition, documentation and portfolio
  • Critical rationale

Visiting speakers

We have an extensive programme of visiting speakers and research events.

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

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.

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.
  • Video task.
  • Study / project proposal.

Start your application 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.

Apply now

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, we will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

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.

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). Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • Video task.
  • Study / project proposal.

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

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 accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

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

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.

Video task

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio via PebblePad
  • Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

  • We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of photography. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to MA Photography at London College of Communication.

Interview

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

£11,550

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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 nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£23,610

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

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.