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Postgraduate

MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online)

A small dingy on a still sea, with a blue sky.
Lewis Bush, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2022
Course length
2 years (90 weeks)

An innovative master’s course with an international reputation, designed for aspiring photojournalists and documentary photographers who wish to develop a wider vision of the practice and potential of the medium.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Learn practical, critical and theoretical skills and knowledge which will help you develop and emerge as an independent photographer.
  • Learn through discussions and talks from tutors and visiting lecturers representing the widest span of documentary and photojournalism practice.
  • Study flexibly through an innovative online programme.
  • Graduates have gone on to exhibit and publish internationally and win numerous awards for their work.

Open Evenings

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

Follow us

@mapjd_online

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2021)

Course Leaders, Lewis Bush and Max Houghton, give an overview of studying MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (full and part-time/online) at London College of Communication.

Student work

  • Aisling-ORourke-A-Bower-For-Sisters-2.jpg
    , A Bower For Sisters, Aisling ORourke
  • Aisling-ORourke-A-Bower-For-Sisters-3.jpg
    , A Bower For Sisters, Aisling ORourke
  • Kings-Of-England-by-Graeme-Oxby-1.jpg
    , Kings Of England, Graeme Oxby
  • Screenshot_2020-04-26-TW026895tobiaswilkinson-jpg-Tobias-Wilkinson.png
    , Work by Tobias Wilkinson
  • Kings-Of-England-by-Graeme-Oxby-2.jpg
    , Kings Of England, Graeme Oxby
  • Luke-Watson-2.jpg
    , Work by Luke Watson

Course stories

Facilities

  • Library Services at London College of Communication, LCC

    Library Services

    We have a whole range of collections, services and facilities to support your written and practice-based work.

  • Figures walking through the Atrium Gallery.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Virtual Tour

    Have a look around the places and spaces that make up LCC and get an idea of what it's like to be here.

  • 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

Photojournalists and documentary photographers explore and record human experience. Beginning with figures like Henri Cartier-Bresson (regarded as the father of modern photojournalism), they have recorded significant moments in history, documented unfolding news and created images that have gained iconic status. Central to their work is the telling of a story through images.

This internationally-recognised course is aimed at people who want to pursue a career in photojournalism or documentary photography, or who are already active in these fields but wish to develop new skills and ideas.

What can you expect?

The aim is to equip you with a thorough grounding in the discipline, whether through film or digitally-based photography.

You’ll follow a rigorous programme of photographic assignments, as well as initiating and developing your own projects examining topics and issues of special interest to you. All this takes place within the framework of the history and development of the medium, together with critical ethical and theoretical contexts.

You’ll be encouraged to develop a wider vision of the practice and potential of the medium through an exploration of the uses of documentary and reportage photography in magazines, portfolios, exhibitions, books, television, online and other multimedia areas.

Graduates of this course have won numerous awards, including the World Press Photo (Daily Life, singles category) and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography is taught in both full-time and part-time/online modes. This course is taught within the Media School at LCC.

Mode of Study

MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Online is in part-time mode which runs for 90 weeks over 2 academic years. You will be expected to commit 20 hours per week to study.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

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

Year 1

Photojournalism Practice (40 credits)
History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (20 credits)

In the first week, you’ll take part in an online induction programme, using web conferencing, in which you will:

  • Become familiar with the course structure
  • Be introduced to the teaching staff and your fellow students
  • Access information about the Student Union, Student Services and Learning Resources
  • Become familiar with PGNET, delivered through the software Moodle

In the Photojournalism Practice unit you will examine the theoretical, methodological and practical frameworks necessary for the research and production of successful photo essays.

The unit will explore the technical, aesthetic and journalistic aspects of the photo essay, including the generation of ideas, research, shooting, picture editing and caption writing.

Particular emphasis will be placed on developing a news sense of what ‘makes’ a story, and on the application of multimedia techniques in narrative storytelling.

History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography unit traces and analyses the development and historical context of photojournalism and documentary photography, identifying the major practitioners and movements and paying particular attention to their methodologies.

The production, distribution and reception of contemporary photojournalism will be contextualised within a historical framework that takes account of social, political, cultural and economic factors.

Photojournalism Practice (continued)
History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (continued)
Documentary Practice with Research Methods (40 credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

The unit Documentary Practice with Research Methods further develops your knowledge of the methodology of documentary and photojournalistic production, culminating in the production of larger scale photo essays.

This is underpinned by an emphasis on research principles, strategies and methods and their application to a photojournalism/documentary context.

Year 2

Documentary Practice with Research Methods (continued)
Collaborative Unit (continued)
Major Project (60 credits)

Major Project unit is an original self-directed major research project involving the development and production of a substantial body of photographic work, supported by a critical, analytical and evaluative report.

You will also write a proposal and full captions to a professional standard. You’ll be expected to apply the methodologies developed on the course, and demonstrate evidence of a mature and considered personal vision.

Major Project (continued)

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

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group work

Assessment methods

  • Portfolio
  • Essay
  • Critical reports
  • Research papers
  • Documentary and photojournalistic projects

Other regular tutors on the course have included:

Peter Fraser, Leonie Hampton, Jose Saramento, Morag Livingstone, Ian Denning, Ziyah Gafic

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. MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree, or those with other, equivalent qualifications.

Graduates of all disciplines may apply, although most students have a background in Arts and Humanities. You must be socially aware, inquisitive, self-motivated and passionate about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography. Relevant professional experience or work experience in the industry is increasingly important.

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 a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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

  • Evidence of prior knowledge and/or experience of Photography that would indicate potential to successfully complete the programme of study.
  • Social awareness, inquisitiveness and passion about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography.
  • An ability to work on one or more projects over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way (portfolio).
  • A journalistic and documentary awareness and an understanding of research and practice methodologies and a realistic idea of what makes a strong project (project ideas).

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 project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

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.

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.

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 proposal/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 will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal/project advice

All applicants will be expected to submit an outline their major project ideas. This should describe the area of interest - the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project - the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. 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 project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

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

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.

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.

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.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Video task
  • Study proposal/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.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

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 will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal/project advice

All applicants will be expected to submit an outline their major project ideas. This should describe the area of interest - the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project - the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. 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, video task and interview information

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application, with all work clearly annotated and labelled.

Your portfolio should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material, consisting of 25-30 photographs of a documentary or journalistic nature on a related theme.

This should demonstrate evidence of an ability to work on a project over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way.

If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.

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. Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

Your video task should cover the following topics:

We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of photojournalism and documentary photography. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to MA Photojournalism and Documentary 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.

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

£5,610 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

£11,460 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

Career paths

The track record for this course is excellent. For many years, graduates from the full-time mode have dominated the UK student documentary photography prizes.

Former students of the course are working around the world for leading photographic agencies, freelancing for the worlds leading editorial publications and exhibiting internationally. At least twelve books have been published by ex students.