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Program Practicalities

Induction and orientation

At the start of the programme you will have an induction to the programme, University and studying at MA level. This will take place in the first week and you may be asked to attend one or more induction sessions.

Important information about attendance

Studying for the MA in Photographic History and Practice involves regular attendance at all lecture and seminar sessions and you will be expected to attend off campus workshop study days. If you experience any problems with attendance you MUST inform the Programme Leader as soon as possible. Non-attendance will seriously affect your ability to pass the modules and overall programme. Each module defines the number of hours you will be expected to attend class and the number of hours you will be expected to spend in self-directed independent study. See Allocating Your Time (below) for examples of how this might work in practice.

Extenuating circumstances

Some students experience difficulties, during their time at university, which affects their ability to attend classes and/or submit work. The University has a well developed system for supporting students who are in difficulty, and you should familiarise yourself with the support available and with whom you need to speak if you wish to apply for deferral in any assignments due to extenuating circumstances. Full information is available through the links on page 23 and Appendix F below. It is partly for this reason that staff endeavour to keep a note of your attendance so that we can be proactive in offering support if there is evidence that this may be required. In the first instance you should see the programme leader at the earliest possible opportunity.

Hours of Study

Learning Hours per Module

Each module approximately 100 learning hours per 10 credits; so a 15 credit module involves 150, and 30 credits 300 learning hours distributed across 15 taught teaching weeks.

The Dissertation module involves 600 learning hours primarily in semester 3. The Dissertation module is largely managed by the student as independent study. However specialist tutorial and collection support will be available by the programme team and the collection organisations.

Learning Hours for Full Time students

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3

History of Photography Images and Practice 300

Research Methods 150

Photography Resources in a Digital Age 150

Theory and Photography 300

Photographic Ethnographies 150

Photography and Industry 150

Dissertation 600

Learning Hours for Part Time students

Year 1

History of Photography Images and Practice 300

Research Methods 75

Theory and Photography 300

Dissertation 300

Year 2

Research Methods 75

Photography Resources in a Digital Age 150

Photographic Ethnographies 150

Photography and Industry 150

Dissertation 300

Allocating your time

Each 30 credit module consists of 12 weeks of taught lecture/seminar/workshop time and 3 weeks of reading/independent study time and involves 300 hours of study. 15 credit modules consist of 6 weeks taught lecture/seminar time and involve 150 hours of study. You will be expected to attend lectures, seminars and tutorials for each module. In addition you can expect 2-3 pre-arranged off campus workshops of varying length. The remainder of your time is allocated to independent study (writing, reading, research). For each module you should expect to attend for approximately 3 hours per week. However, this is subject to the choice of full time /part time routes, off campus workshops and independent study weeks.

The Dissertation module involves 600 learning hours distributed throughout the calendar year, The Dissertation module is largely managed by the student as independent study. However specialist tutorial and collection support will be available by the programme team and the collection organisations. Tutors’ office hours for face to face tutorials will be established at the start of each module and will provide individual and small group seminars in addition to contact class time.


Some aspects of the modules will be taught off campus in workshop situations. As a guide, you can expect 2-3 workshops per module. These may take place in for example library, archive or collection storage facilities. The ‘off campus’ workshops are an important element of the programme and attendance is essential. This will be the primary opportunity to gain experience with and handle primary sources in a variety of ways, including; interpreting histories, handling objects correctly and identification. It is envisaged that students coming from professional practice will utilise aspects of their professional practice in the learning opportunities. In addition there will be significant opportunities to extend workshop presentations into independent research aiming towards the Dissertation module. This research is positively encouraged and needs to be agreed by the programme leader and module tutor prior to beginning the Dissertation.


The seminar is an opportunity to expand and explore your learning by handling material, meeting specialists in the field presenting papers and engaging in discussion about the ideas and practices encountered during your study. All the modules on the programme have seminar provision. Seminar is also an opportunity for formative assessment and where appropriate peer assessment. Seminar also provides an opportunity for tutors to chart the individual progress of your work within a more informal learning environment.


Personal tutorials are 1-1 sessions with the individual and module tutor. It is expected that each student will see their module leader and/or seminar tutor for a minimum of two tutorials for a 30 credit module and at least one tutorial for a 15 credit module. For the Dissertation module each tutor will ensure that regular meetings are scheduled and endeavour to keep regular contact and communication with the student. Tutors will advise students of a tutorial schedule for individual research where possible in advance. In addition each module leader/seminar tutor will be available for individual tutorials by booking in person or via email.

Independent Study

Independent study takes place outside the circumstances described above. It includes time for reading, writing, and research. Some of this time may be used to complete module reading and preparation for seminar and assignments. However you are also expected to use this time for self directed research in preparation for the collection practice and Dissertation modules.

Student Practicalities

Student Responsibilities and Requirements

We are committed to making your time with us as valuable and problem free as possible. However, in order to achieve this, we ask you to take note of and adhere to the following.

Notification of Change of Contact Details

You must inform the Department and Academic Registry of any changes to your contact details i.e. address, telephone number, email, by completing a “Change of Contact details” form. You can also update your details through the My DMU account. Please note important information is sent to you throughout the academic year and it is therefore vital to keep us updated with your contact details. Failure to do this will mean that we cannot communicate with you and you must then accept the consequences, however inconvenient (or unwelcome).

Student Email

The student email system is automatically available to you throughout your time with us. It is set up at the beginning of your programme and as a first time user instructions will be given to you on how to use it. It is a free service and it helps us to improve our communication with you. We ask that you use your university email address as it is a way in which we can convey important information to you. You should use your university email address as the primary account for programme communication and can be accessed remotely from Private address email addresses will not be used to convey information.

To access the student email system click here.

The system provides an email address and mail box and also a calendar system. It uses a World Wide Web (WWW) interface so you can use it from any computer throughout the world with a Web browser connected to the Internet.

You can send messages to anybody with an email account.

When you use the email system you need to login, this is so that the system can identify who you are. You need a user name and password. Your user name is your DMU p-number and your password is your Date of Birth in the format: DD/MM/YY. You must put the p at the beginning of the p-number and you must use the slashes in the password.

For example: user name P98123452

14th July 1983 is password 14/07/83

Data Protection Act

Please note that because of the Data Protection Act, any information we hold about you is confidential, and we will not release it to any third party without your express permission. Thus we regret that we cannot discuss your record, or release your results, to parents, relatives or friends without your written permission.

Student ID Card

At the beginning of your programme you will be issued with a student ID card; please keep this safe. You must carry this, at all times, while on campus. If you lose or have your card stolen please contact Academic Registry Tel: 0116 257 7301 or email or as soon as possible. A replacement will be issued but there will be a charge of 5.00. Your student ID number (sometimes called the p-number) will be printed on the card. Your student ID card acts as the access card to the MA room. It should be keyed to open the door at 1.24 Portland, but if this does not happen automatically, please go to the security building and request access to Portland 1.24. Sometimes the key cards do reset themselves. If this happens please have security give you access again. If there is a recurring problem with your card, please see the student services in Clephan.

Student Feedback

Your experience of individual modules and of the programme as a whole is of great value to us in planning future developments, and in revising what we already do. Each MA has a staff/student consultative committee which addresses immediate student concerns and reports directly to the Programme Management Board. Student feedback is a standing item on the Management Board agenda. Feedback on the modules will be gathered either by anonymous questionnaires or electronically at two points: an interim evaluation in week four, and an end of module evaluation, where we invite your comments on such issues as content, structure and delivery. These evaluations are also discussed at the Management Board.

Taught Postgraduate Programme Student Representatives

The student rep system is an important vehicle through which students can air their views and provide feedback on their programmes. Feedback from taught postgraduate programme student reps can be gathered in two ways. Student reps attend their relevant Programme Management Board and feed through the views of all the students on the programme in person. Two of the taught postgraduate reps will attend the Programme Management Board and submit any views or opinions about the postgraduate experience there. The University sees the role of the student rep as a very important one for it provides postgraduate students with the opportunity to give feedback to staff which ultimately helps us to improve the student experience. If you are interested in being the student rep for your programme, please contact the Programme Leader.

Disability/Medical Condition

If you have a disability/medical condition, or believe that you may have one, and have not already contacted the Disability Unit, please make an appointment to see the Faculty Disability Coordinator

Donna Neal who sits in Clephan 0.25. Her email is <> , and her phone number is 0116 257 7003.

We will be able to inform you about what the University/Faculty has to offer in terms of support and facilities for students with disabilities/medical conditions. We will also be able to establish whether you are eligible for any special support and extra funding (should you wish to receive it).

Our Guidance Assistants are

Hayley Coles (Mon, Tues and Wed AM) <>


Razeen Valdjee (Wed PM, Thurs, Fri) <>

Clephan 0.26

Tel: 0116 257 7621

The Faculty Disability Coordinator (FDC) is responsible for ensuring that disabled students (including those with medical conditions and mental health) are supported appropriately during their studies. The Faculty Disability Coordinator works closely with colleagues in the central Disability Advice and Support team and the Mental Health Advisor to ensure that support is offered to disabled students right through from the application process to graduation. The Faculty Disability Coordinator provides information, advice and guidance to academic colleagues to ensure that they are aware of the relevant learning and teaching support recommendations for disabled students.

The Faculty Guidance Assistants (FGAs) undertake a student focussed front line role, providing one-to-one welfare support, advice and guidance to students. They will personally handle more complex welfare situations and support our students by providing accurate guidance and making appropriate referrals onto other services available within the Faculty, Students Services Directorate and the wider University. Academic staff are able encouraged to refer students who are experiencing difficulties to the FGAs.

It is your decision whether you want to disclose any information on or related to your disability/medical condition. However, if you choose not to disclose this, we will be unable to provide you with the related support required.

Pastoral Care and Counselling Services

The University has well established student welfare facilities. You can contact the Students’ Union Welfare and Education Centre on +44 (0)116 257 6307, and the Student Finance Advice Centre (SFAC) on +44 (0)116 257 7595 or The Counselling Service offers a confidential drop-in email support service on, or you can phone Counselling Reception on +44 (0)116 257 7602 or email an enquiry to The university chaplaincy team can be contacted via the Coordinating Chaplain on 0116 250 6389 or email or for more information.

Illness or Interruption of Study

If you are absent due to illness or other circumstances, you must inform the programme leader. On the production of appropriate medical or other evidence, programme leaders can extend programme work deadlines. You should inform the programme team in writing of extenuating circumstances as soon as possible. If you are unable to complete assessed work, we would advise you to request deferral of assessment on the grounds of extenuating circumstances for which third party evidence will be required.

Interruption of study means that you withdraw from the University for as long as your illness or circumstances last. If you wish to interrupt at any time during your programme, you must discuss this with the programme leader. The University permits you to interrupt for one year only in the first instance. The situation would then be reviewed by the Head of Studies. Please fill in the form File:Interruption of Registration.docx with the help of your tutor.

Further Study at Postgraduate Level

The University also supervises research students engaged in MA by Independent Study, MPhil and PhD. If you are interested in continuing your studies at De Montfort University, please contact the Programme Leader who will advise you further.


Plagiarism is an attempt to gain an advantage by unfair means, and is taken very seriously by the Faculty and the University. Students found guilty of plagiarism certainly find their marks for that assessment reduced to zero, and in extreme cases, may be expelled from the University.

Clearly, students are expected to make use of books, journal articles, and the critical judgments of others when writing essays, but it is crucial to acknowledge sources openly and honestly, and to express and develop ideas in your own words.

Plagiarism can, however, easily be avoided:

  • Always cite in your own words
  • Always acknowledge the sources of your material
  • Always note the reference when you take notes from books etc
  • Always quote sparingly and identify the quotations you use
  • Practice accurate referencing and always give a bibliography

Details of current procedures for dealing with plagiarism offences can be found by following this link. Also overview on plagiarism follow avoiding plagiarism link

Faculty Human Research Ethics

It is necessary that members or students of the University proposing to engage in any activities outlined below gain approval for such activity before it begins. Upon completing your research application (including external applications e.g. to research councils) you should submit a Human Research Ethics approval form to the Postgraduate Office who will submit to the Faculty Human Research Ethics Committee for consideration or seek approval by Chairs Action.

Students who wish to engage in research whether at postgraduate or undergraduate level, by: Gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through:

  1. interviewing
  2. surveying
  3. questionnaires
  4. observation of human behaviour
  5. taking human tissue/fluids
  6. interfering in normal physiological and / or psychological processes
  7. Using archived data in which individuals are identifiable
  8. Researching into illegal activities

It should be noted that in regard to research into illegal activities there are no exclusions or blanket permissions and the University Insurance cover may not apply if the research activity has not been cleared by the University or, in certain cases with delegated authority, the appropriate Faculty Committee. Ethical Issues with regard to Human Research may be generally described as follows:-

Ethical issues arising when the conduct of research or teaching involves the interests and rights of others. Perhaps the most obvious cases concern people who act as “subjects” in medical research involving innovatory and invasive treatments. However humanitarian are the long-term prospects of the research, there may be immediate or impending threats to the participants’ safety comfort or convenience.

The adoption of an ethical position in respect of such research requires that the researcher observes and protects the rights of would-be participants and systematically acts to permit the participants to exercise those rights.

Ethical practice in such cases requires that participants, at a minimum, be fully informed, to volunteer freely without inducement, free to opt out without prejudice, and be fully protected in regard to safety to the limits of best practice.

Ethical practice in the management of this work requires that a body independent of the research team examine the research design and the system for protecting participants’ interests with a view to adjudicating on their ethical acceptability and their accountability.

Any research that involves others as participants creates the possibility of an invasion of the participants’ interests or rights. Social research involving interviewing or observation especially where veridical records (particularly on audio or videotape) are kept, may impinge on the confidentiality, privacy, convenience, comfort or safety of others. Such threats constitute ethical problems.

An ethical approach to this work requires that participants, at a minimum, be fully informed of their rights, volunteer without inducement, be free to opt out and be given written undertakings as to how their rights and interests will be protected. Procedures not involving consent may be considered for submission to the Faculty Committee, where they will be subjected to special scrutiny.

Ethical issues may also be raised by research which makes reference to named persons either living or dead with living relatives. Research that apparently impacts only on the dead may raise issues of privacy and confidentiality.

The above illustrations indicate that a great deal of work conducted by students and staff in science, social science and professional disciplines will inevitably raise ethical issues. Such work is not limited to research. A significant element of the education of professionals, whether it be pre-or in-service, involves working with others. It therefore involves a systematic regard for the rights and interest of those others as they may be affected by the professional relationship. Similar considerations pertain to the involvement of living animals in research or teaching. Statutory controls and codes of practice must be observed at all times. The University has separate arrangements in place to ensure that such controls and codes are observed. In all these respects the University and its Faculties have the responsibility for ensuring that ethical practices are followed and ethical principles are explicitly taught where appropriate.

For full details of regulations and further information please follow the link

Academic and Administrative Queries

During your time with us you may find you require some help and guidance. It may be that you are not too sure where to go to find the answer to a question or you may be experiencing some personal problems which are impacting on your postgraduate studies. Whatever your query or problem there are people available to help guide and support you through your studies. Below you will find possible sources of help, which will enable you to seek guidance from the appropriate person/area within the Faculty.

Queries to do with the Programme itself should be directed to the Programme Leader, Dr Kelley Wilder (see below), or the Module Leader.

Administrative queries can be dealt with by the Clark Summers, the programmes Manager, 0116 255 1551,

If there are issues or problems which you feel cannot be dealt with by the Programme Leader, or your student rep then either email or telephone the Student Support Manager. The Student Support Manager, Rob Cummings 0116 250 6160, is available to discuss, and advise on, most matters concerning your student experience and also works closely with the programme team, as well as other university central support services, to ensure that you receive the best service possible.

Concerns and Complaints

It is our intention as a Faculty to deal with your concerns and queries as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are unhappy about the advice you have received or have encountered difficulties at all you should, in the first instance contact the Programme Leader, Dr Kelley Wilder 0116 2078 865. You may also contact the Head of School of Media and Communication, Stephen Brown

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