Aims, Learning Outcomes, Teaching and Learning Strategies

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The aims of the degree can be grouped as follows:

Research skills: identifying, organizing, and realizing research projects both singly and collaboratively, using methods appropriate to the nature of the study; writing and presenting results of research; developing knowledge of styles of writing in the literature relating to photographic history and pitching that writing for different audiences.

Contextual knowledge: understanding the rich diversity of themes and debates in the field of photographic history as it crosses other fields of study (visual culture, history of science); historical, theoretical, analytical and practical understanding of innovations and motivations in photography achieved through the application of technology and personal creativity.

Creative skills: development of original ideas, identifying, learning and mastering appropriate technologies; identifying and understanding the wider context in which the work is made; critical reflection on and communication of research processes and outcomes; seeing projects through to completion; liaison with relevant research venues like archives, museums, and private collections.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of their programme of study, students with an MA in Photographic History and Practice will be able to:

  • Show a critically-informed understanding of the key themes, debates and problems in photographic history and practice
  • Demonstrate analytical and discursive skills in Photographic History and practice
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and work with photographic primary materials
  • Produce Independent work that generates creative research questions demonstrating contextual knowledge
  • Assess and critique the photography/audience relationship for a diverse range of photography
  • Communicate critical and analytical material in variety a of formats
  • Interpret and evaluate information gathered from a range of different source materials spanning both images and objects
  • Formulate the skills to asses with confidence, materials from differing disciplines and contextual frameworks
  • Communicate the relationship between photographic histories and photographic practice
  • Understand and apply theory to both writing and practice in Photographic History
  • Synthesize and contextualise the relationships between appropriate image and text
  • Demonstrate an ability to handle and evaluate a range of materials and objects in the appropriate manner


All Master’s degrees in the Faculty (and the University as a whole) are modular in structure and are based on a scheme of credit accumulation. The total number of credits needed to complete a master’s degree is 180, representing 1800 notional learning hours. The programme is broken down into two core modules, which are worth 30 credits each, four specialist modules worth 15 credits each and one Dissertation worth 60 credits. There are two exit awards on this Programme which can be taken if you are unable to complete the programme or if your circumstances change. These are the Postgraduate Certificate (worth 60 credits or 600 learning hours) and the Postgraduate Diploma (worth 120 credits or 1200 learning hours).

NB: Entry is by the MA route only. The Certificate and PGDip are only available as exit awards.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The teaching, learning and assessment strategies in the MA in Photographic History and Practice seek to promote active, participatory, reflective and independent learning. They are designed to:

  • enable students to identify, share and then build on existing knowledge and experience
  • challenge students to critically examine their own practices in a constructive learning environment
  • inform students of the interrelationship between academic and professional practice, especially in an interdisciplinary context
  • support efficient transition to postgraduate study
  • promote independent reading, viewing, observation and research
  • introduce practical, workshop and project work including research and case studies
  • feature lectures and presentations by academic staff and visiting practitioners
  • include seminars and tutorials
  • enable group workshops and peer led learning

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