Photography
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Ulster University - Belfast

Photography

At the Belfast School of Art, we strive to develop unique photographic voices at the cutting edge of a contemporary international context, while also mining the specifics of our unique geographical and cultural position.

We have been profiled by the British Journal of Photography as one of the most significant photography schools in Europe. The teaching team is comprised of contemporary practising photographers who exhibit and publish internationally at the highest level. These include Donovan Wylie, Ken Grant, Frederic Huska, Kevin Gaffney, Sandra Johnston, and Clare Gallagher, as well as Martin Parr and Ailbhe Greaney.

Students are often photographers who continue careers with a newly refined expansion of their personal and professional practices. Alongside photographers working in the commercial fields of editorial and design, graduates also publish, exhibit, and work as educators and developers of photographic culture.

The course is represented as a member of the Society for Photographic Education with a network of international partners in Europe and America. Opportunities for collaborations and exchanges have grown into formal partnerships that students may avail of during their studies.

Work placement / study abroad
The programme is complemented by a series of master classes and advanced skill workshops; an annual field trip to Paris and regular site visits to a variety of cultural institutions such as museums and galleries in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Reviewing Practice
The module develops the students' awareness of the cultural and critical determinants that have informed their practice. The module will introduce a range of issues that relate to photographic production and the construction of meaning; e.g. postmodernism, authorship, multi-vocal practices, subjectivity and reflexive practice, globalisation, fictional narrative, are all useful starting points within which to frame and reframe practice. The module reviews some key photographic practices; Issues of critical review, authorship, objectivity, photographic histories, social and cultural production and reflexive practice and use them to provide a framework within which students can question and challenge their existing practice.

Photography and Culture: History and Theory
The module will provide students with an historical and thematic introduction to current issues at the intersection of critical theory and photographic practice. It offers knowledge of key theoretical tools designed to encourage an understanding and skills of evaluating established and emerging issues in visual representation necessary to support their photography and sustain a professional creative practice in an international environment.

Contemporary Contexts
This module supports the ongoing development of the students' independent practice taking particular account of where photographs are sited in the expanding contemporary practices that comprise the medium today. The module encourages students to consider the exhibition, publication and distributional contexts of their work at the point of production. A number of case studies and gallery visits tease out the potential for photographs to change given their cultural context.

Photographic Futures
This module will enable students to develop their engagement with current issues at the intersection of theories of contemporary digital culture and the practice of photography. It offers knowledge of key theoretical tools designed to encourage students to understand, engage with, evaluate and critique established and emerging influences on photography and visual representation: to participate, contribute to and influence the photographic practices of the future.

Year two
Master's Project
This 60 Credit module is designed to facilitate a range of professional and critical outcomes encouraging students to develop a contextualised, independent professional practice that understands the complexities of disseminating visual material accompanied by a professionally resolved written statement. It is designed to provide a clear and committed direction that will result in a final body of photographic work demonstrating a high resolution of ideas and practice from which an appropriate selection will be made for a professional on-line exhibition. The module will strengthen and promote the student's ability to carry out professional photographic practice accompanied by independent research and disseminate this in a mature, confident and self-directed manner.

Extended Masters Project
This 60 Credit module is designed to facilitate a range of professional and critical outcomes encouraging students to develop a contextualised, independent professional practice that understands the complexities of disseminating visual material accompanied by a comprehensive academic written contextualisation. It is designed to provide a clear and committed direction that will result in a final body of photographic work demonstrating a high resolution of ideas and practice from which an appropriate selection will be made for a professional exhibition or publication. The written contextualisation allows the student to find the most appropriate form of expression for the historical and theoretical issues in relation to his/her practice-based work. It is initiated by student proposal and structured around tutorials that guide the student through research, content and academic conventions, resulting in a 4-7000 word contextualisation, properly bound and word-processed. The module will strengthen and promote the student's ability to carry out professional photographic practice accompanied by independent research and complete a substantial academic text in a mature, confident and self-directed manner.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold:
i) a second class honours degree or higher from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate abilities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

In all cases applicants must provide a portfolio of practical work at interview or on application.

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language this course requires
a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band
score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students.

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Credits

90

Fees

MA International Political Economy (W290) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 8525
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MA International Political Economy (W291) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 5600
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2023.

Post Course Info

Career options
Graduates are prepared for advanced careers in the field of photography. Graduates work as photographers in the fine art and commercial sector, as well as industry professionals. An MFA develops the ability to perform research related to the photographic arts, while also building communication skills and introducing students to new aesthetics and new technology. Such key skills enable graduates to work as photographic curators, editors and critics, within museums, galleries and in publishing. MFA graduates may also pursue a career in education.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MFA

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider