MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
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This course is taught within the School of Media at LCC
|Study Mode||Full Time|
|Course Length||45 weeks|
£7,500 (2012-13 full-time fees). Fees given could be subject to review.
£1000 discount available to Home/EU students successfully awarded a UAL BA,FdA,PgCert or PgDip. For details call +44(0)20 7514 6569.
For a full breakdown of standard fees visit the University's Tuition Fees pages.
£13,800 (full-time 2012-13 fees). Fees given could be subject to review. Some courses charge non-standard fee rates and additional costs. For details call the International Office on +44 (0)20 7514 8138.
A small number of Rector's Scholarships worth £5,000 each are available to UK and EU students on this course. For more information please go to the MA funding page.
|Term Dates||Spring term: Monday 7th January to Friday 15th March 2013, Summer term: Monday 22nd April to Friday 21st June 2013, Autumn term: Monday 23rd September to Friday 6th December 2012.|
Through College. UK and EU students should download this application form (PDF - 4MB). International students should use the international postgraduate application form which is available to download on the International Office's web pages.
A practical, cutting-edge Masters course with an international reputation, designed for aspiring photojournalists and documentary photographers.
Photojournalists and documentary photographers explore and record human experience. Beginning with 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. The aim is to equip students with a thorough grounding in the discipline, whether through film or digitally-based photography. You will follow a rigorous programme of photographic assignments, as well as initiating and developing your own projects and areas of special interest. All this takes place within the framework of the history and development of the medium, together with critical ethical and theoretical contexts. You will be encouraged to develop a wider vision of the practice and potential of the medium through exploration of the uses of documentary and reportage photography in magazines, portfolios, gallery exhibitions, books, television, web, CD-based productions and other media.
To see examples of work produced by recent students from this course visit the Home Exhibition online on the Guardian website.
This course is taught within the School of Media
This course is also taught in a part-time, online mode.
Who teaches the course
You will be taught by a team of highly experienced professionals that includes visiting tutors who are successful practitioners are the forefront of the profession. The course director, Paul Lowe, is an internationally respected photojournalist and documentary photographer, who has worked for many of the world's most prestigious magazines in a 20 year career during which he has covered news and current affairs stories all over the world, notably the fall of the Berlin Wall, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East and famines in Africa.
Patrick Sutherland is well known for his extensive long term documentation of social issues, especially his unique exploration of the Tibetan community of Spiti, in which he has combined photographs and sound recordings of traditional music practices.
Other tutors on the course have included Homer Sykes, Judah Passow, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Tom Hunter, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Felicia Webb and Brigitte Lardinois.
What students say about the course
"For me photography is a door to new experiences, places and people. By the end of the year the way I saw the world had changed."
"It may sound unbelievable but this was probably the most enjoyable year of my life - hard work and challenging but life changing."
"This course was so fast paced and so 'skin of your teeth', that getting out into the real world felt natural and familiar. The focus is squarely on the things that really make great photographers - what's going on in your mind, how you see things, developing ideas for stories, gaining access to situations and places, critical sessions with expert mentors, editing your own work and a heavy amount of practical, on-the-job picture making. The challenge was formidable, always forcing me to fight to stay two steps ahead of what I thought I could achieve. As a result, I achieved more than I thought I would, both during the course and since. Within a short while of finishing the course, I worked on a three-week, major international news story for Virgin Atlantic and was surprised by my own ability to take it in my stride - something which I put down to the real-world training I received from some of the best people in the industry."
- Photojournalism Practice
- History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
In the first week, there will be an induction programme in which you will:
- become familiar with the course structure
- meet the teaching staff and your fellow students
- meet representatives from student and academic bodies including representatives of the Student Union, Student Services and Learning Resources
- become familiar with the geography and structure of the college with tours of the library and resources
- become familiar with PGNET, delivered through the software, Blackboard
In Photojournalism Practice, 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.
The unit History of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography 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 an historical framework that takes account of social, political, cultural and economic factors.
- Documentary Practice with Research Methods
- Critical Perspectives on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
The unit Documentary Practice 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.
In the unit Critical Perspectives on Photojournalism and Documentary Photography you will explore a range of social, cultural and ethical issues that face contemporary photojournalism and documentary photography, and develop a critical awareness of the relationship between photography and the wider world, including issues of representation, the law, ethics and the commercial environment. You will also examine the context of photojournalism in terms of media ownership, structures and markets. You will undertake a self directed research project as part of a larger group research collaboration on a theme relevant to the concerns of the course.
- Major Project
This final Phase 3 of the MA aims to consolidate your learning experience of the previous units through the completion of a Major Project. This will involve both the production of a major body of documentary/photojournalistic work and a 5000 word related self-reflective, critical and evaluative report. Your major project will be accompanied by a detailed proposal that will explain the rationale behind the project and its intended audience, as well as a detailed budget and timescale. Full captions and supporting text will also be necessary. The final form of the work is flexible, although many students will present a portfolio of images as prints, some may use a multimedia presentation, and others may present the work in the form of a book dummy or exhibition. Your related report must reflect academic rigour and a critical and scholarly approach.
During Phase 3 you will also be expected to engage in a process of self-evaluation and peer review in order to deepen your understanding of the role of documentary photography in relation to a wider social context. You will be expected to participate in peer-review sessions to facilitate your learning process and the learning process of others. Although these sessions are not assessed, it is anticipated that they will play a developmental role in the learning process towards your final submission.
Note that the majority of students produce the work for the Major Project during the summer period, this means that they work independently of the tutors during much of this time, so they must be self reliant and well prepared in advance for this part of the project. The final term serves mainly to edit and produce the final body of work for submission.
During this Phase there will also be an ongoing series of lectures and workshops that will prepare you for entry into the marketplace. These will be given by visiting speakers from the industry, and will cover aspects of business planning and costing, media law, self-promotion, book publishing and exhibitions, digital photography, editorial design and layout and other related topics.
The intention of the Major Project is that it should reflect your own interests and support your career development. For the duration of the project, you will be assigned a supervisor/mentor who will support you in the planning, organising, implementation, editing, presentation and writing up of this substantial and focused work.
The track record for this course is excellent. For many years, graduates have had considerable success at the UK student documentary photography prizes. Alumni of the course are working around the world for leading photographic agencies, freelancing for the world's leading editorial publications and exhibiting internationally. At least 12 books have been published by former students.
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Graduates of all disciplines may apply. 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.
Candidates without a first degree can be accepted onto the course if they can demonstrate past professional or life experience equivalent to a first degree.
International and EU students: If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our International Applications page.
On application, you will provide a portfolio of photographic work of between 25 and 30 photographs of a documentary or journalistic nature on a related theme that shows evidence of an ability to work on a project over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way.
Should you be invited to interview subsequent to your application, you will need to present two story proposals/ideas, one for a small local project and one for a larger, more in depth one. We would be interested in how you think and research ideas and your commitment to following an in-depth approach.
In order to assess your suitability for interview, please fill in the standard LCC Application form (PDF 4MB). We also ask you to supply a portfolio of between 25 and 30 photographs (preferably showing the ability to work on an extended series of images on a related theme), either on a CD as low-res images (1-3mb) or as prints (inkjets are sufficient).
There is no official deadline, but applications should be sent by August at the latest for the best chance of getting onto the course.
Please send completed application form and supporting work to:
Central Administration Office,
5th Floor Tower Block,
London College of Communication,
Elephant and Castle,
London, SE1 6SB
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS IN ANY EMAILS.
At interview you will present a portfolio of photographic work and two story proposals. Relevant professional experience or work experience in the industry is increasingly important. You are advised to apply by early August at the latest as the course is usually over-subscribed.
International students should use the international postgraduate application form which is available to download on the International Office's web pages.
Home/EU student fee discounts
If you have successfully completed a UAL undergraduate degree, PgDip or PgCert you will qualify for a £1,000 discount from your tuition fees. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries about admissions please call the postgraduate admissions team on +44 (0)20 7514 6599 or email email@example.com (for UK and EU student enquiries) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for international enquiries).
The AHRC has awarded the University a limited number of Block Grant Partnership Studentships for MA and Research students. Find out more about AHRC scholarships.