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MA Photography

1 year 2 years Lincoln School of Film and Media Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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This Master’s programme provides the opportunity to experiment with new photographic processes and to explore photography as a tool to engage and stimulate social thinking.

While the photographic image remains fundamental to your study, the focus of this programme is social, cultural and political. To support your ongoing practice in photographic exhibition and scholarly research, the course includes seminars on cultural, media and philosophical theory, talks by visiting practitioners, group debates about different methodologies and workshops on photographic technique.

You will be encouraged to learn from, and collaborate with, experienced staff and your fellow students in order to develop your own creative style.

Days Taught

This programme is taught on Wednesdays and students should expect to receive 8 hours of contact time. As a general rule, students are also expected to complete 3-4 hours of independent study per contact hour.

How You Study

The taught aspect of the course is structured around two 12-week terms comprised of workshops, lectures, seminars and group critiques, with an additional emphasis on self-directed study.

For the majority of the course, students will typically be expected to attend timetabled classes one day a week. Outside of that time, there will be further opportunities to attend tutorials, workshops, screenings, etc. In the final term, where you will be expected to focus on the development of your creative practice, tutorials and other contact time will be arranged to accommodate the complexities of producing a body of work for exhibition.

How You Are Assessed

There is continuous assessment throughout both full-time and part-time modes of study. The various modules will be assessed through production projects/portfolios/exhibitions, presentations, production research with critical evaluation and essays.

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Interviews & Applicant Days

All applicants will be invited to an interview in the form of an informal conversation, which may be held via Skype or similar remote means if necessary.

We welcome students who are keen to join us in exploring three key areas:

  • Photography in a 'media ecological' context

We aim to focus on the relations between technical, social and political processes of mediation. We are interested in photographyʼs entangled role as part of a dynamic system in which image production and consumption is informed by a pattern of relations between individuals, political and economic institutions and commercial brands. This means we also approach photography as something with affective consequences which influences the way we live.

  • The role of photography in the 21st Century

We are interested in making creative work that is attuned to the concerns of the present and opens up and challenges present assumptions. You will have the chance to interrogate the work of others against these criteria. Yet by focusing on the critical importance of the 21st Century we do not advocate a historical approach, we see photography as a tool to perceive history as the means to bringing the past into the presentʼs critical context.

  • Photography as a socially-engaged practice

Examining photography in terms of relationships and processes is designed to ensure that our students are less fixated on individual self-expression and more decisively engaged in collaboration. Students embarking on this MA will have the opportunity to explore how photography can do something more than represent social dynamics. You have the chance to explore photography as a device of both artistic and social engagement, and employ photographic mediation as a way to make things happen.

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in a media-related subject or equivalent experience in a related industry.

We welcome students from a multiplicity of backgrounds, meaning that these qualifications and professional experiences need not have been gained in the field of photography.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Clementine Monro
+44 (0)1522 886271

+44 (0)1522 886644

Master's Level

Advanced Photographic Practice 3 (Core)

Following confirmation of progression to this final module, you will have the opportunity to further extend the processes developed throughout Photographic Practice: 1 and 2. Here, you will have the opportunity to undertake a concerned period of focused study on their practice leading towards a final exhibition of work. It is the aim of this module that you bring together and utilise the various skills, methods and approaches you have developed throughout the course as a whole.

Human and Inhuman in the 21st Century (Option)

This module examines the specific social, cultural and political implications of everyday life in the 21st Century. It will aim to do this by attending to the expression and mediation of these issues in popular culture, dominant discourse and creative practice.

Media Ecologies 1 (Core)

This module is designed to critically tackle the current disintegration between discrete media forms. It recognises that long established boundaries between modes, practices and conventions of media have become diffuse. Where, in the past, individual media forms were comfortably self-contained and distinctive, today these forms are experienced as a type of informational content that we access on multiple devices and in multiple contexts.

The module understands contemporary media to be a complex, entangled ‘ecology’, a dynamic system in which any one product, device or image is always multiply connected, and in which our use of such media is necessarily informed by such connections. It insists that media activity is informed by a pattern of relations between individuals, political and economic institutions, commercial brands, and technologies.

Media Ecologies 2 (Core)

This module is designed to take the form of a reading group in which discussions revolve around close readings of selected texts. The module aims to identify a small number of new and recent texts of importance to emergent lines of inquiry in contemporary media and cultural scholarship. Specifically, these readings provide the opportunity to extend and deepen our understanding of ecological perspectives on media, which can provide points of entry into debates relevant to this focus.

Media Industries (Option)

This module provides the opportunity to develop an understanding of the structures of media systems regionally, nationally and globally, with a specific focus on private and public funding sources and the organisation of media production, distribution and exhibition for traditional as well as new media platforms and outlets.

The module will be organised around discussion and examination of:

  • UK Creative Industries and their relation to global media systems and markets.
  • Existing media markets and the identification of future markets
  • The development of new media technologies and their impact on media markets
  • Normative practices operating in media corporations and small and media sized businesses
  • Case studies of innovation and creativity in media production.

The module will also have contributions from visiting media professionals.

Photographic Practice 1 (Core)

This module introduces thinking about and making photographic work that opposes its conventional role in recording, classifying and organising society as subjects and objects.

You will have the opportunity to explore the creation of photographic work in relation to society. From the outset, you will be required to critically and reflexively examine your own practice, specifically in order to explore ways in which photography can break free of ‘fixing’ society, to avoid representing society as something ‘out there’, something the photographer visits but does not inhabit, captures but does not experience.

Photographic Practice 2 (Core)

This module aims to directly extend the processes implemented in Photographic Practice: 1. You will have the opportunity to develop and enhance your ability to employ photography as a social and political tool.

Rethinking Society for the 21st Century (Core)

This module aims to critically examine the social, cultural and political implications of everyday experience unique to the 21st Century. It looks at to how these implications are mediated and expressed in popular culture, dominant discourse and creative practice. It is investigative rather than instructive and takes as its focus topics relevant to contemporary social life, including, for example, debt, conflict, global civil unrest, network culture, ideas of the future, utopia and dystopia.

You will be encouraged to experiment with various ways of exploring such topics, both individually and collaboratively, and through the development of modes of inquiry which overcome false divisions between theory and practice.


The purpose-built Photography Centre includes lecture and seminar rooms, photography studios with tungsten and electronic flash lighting, film processing facilities, darkrooms and a digital video edit suite. Students have also access to a range of camera formats (5x4, 6x6, 35mm and digital) and computer suites.

Career and Personal Development

The course aims to develop the technical and critical-thinking skills that can prepare students for careers in a variety of creative industry sectors. Graduates have gone on to work as independent photographers, in arts organisations or on to careers in academia. Some choose to undertake study and research at doctoral level.

This course recognises that photography is no longer the exclusive preserve of photographers. Image making has become diffuse, it has crossed boundaries, it has been drawn into many diverse fields of employment. Accordingly, the value of the various skills
and experience that you have the opportunity to develop throughout this MA may not be limited to work in the field of photography but could be valued within any number of employment sectors.

By encouraging you to embark upon and develop a socially-engaged practice, we hope to inspire you to develop new relationships with communities, organisations and individuals.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation and general living costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

  2017/18 Entry*
Home/EU £7,300
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £13,800
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £77 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Find out if you are eligible.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.