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Photography

BA (Hons)
Photography
UCAS W640
3 years (full-time)

This practice based course aims to develop you as a creative practitioner and independent thinker. You will be introduced to a range of research methods and technical skills that expand your understanding of photography and open out your creativity. Individual and group tutorials, workshops, seminars and lectures by visiting speakers, will equip you with the skills to become a confident, unique and professional photographic practitioner. Your learning is supported by lecture based study to help develop a critical and historical awareness as well as technical workshops to develop your craft skills, including analogue, digital and hybrid practices.

Special Features

  • A practice based course that aims to provide an exciting and challenging learning environment to develop you as a practitioner and independent thinker.
  • Enables a wide range of diverse approaches to photography and other related mediums as appropriate to your creative development.
  • Manchester and the North West is a rich cultural and artistic centre from which the course benefits via exhibitions.

Course Content

The programme introduces you to a broad range of approaches to photography and encourages you to explore the boundaries of current photographic practice and related media. The programme has strong links with external partners to develop live projects – for example, students have in the past completed a project with Manchester Airport. Through a range of professional, creative and conceptual projects, the course aims to develop a highly individual practice fit for a competitive and contemporary photographic industry.

Year 1

Year 1 is aimed at introducing learning, research, and technical skills. You will be encouraged to undertake a series of set projects introducing approaches that are relevant to the development of a photographic practice.

Photography and Materials

This unit will introduce you to a range of materials and processes used in photographic and lens-related practice, giving you the opportunity to begin to consider how their application effect context and meaning. You will be asked to link creativity and materials to establish a practice that is inquisitive and responsive. This unit considers the learners' place within the Art School and wider context of Manchester, and begins to establish an independent approach.

The Figure and Photograph

This unit explores the relationship between the figure and the photographic image, through genres such as portraiture, fashion, documentary and fine art. You will develop research skills linked to your practice, and be introduced to concepts of narrative, meaning and representation.

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will develop your own individual style and approach. The emphasis is on ‘risk taking’ and the exploration of and experimentation with ideas, research methods, and imaginative approaches to practice.

Explore and Experiment

This unit will build your skills in conceptual development of ideas, exploring new photographic practices previously unfamiliar to you. Bringing together creative processes and critical research, you will begin to refine your own practice by testing ideas, creative risk-taking and experimentation. The unit brings your practice to a resolution through the production of a professional portfolio and presentation.

Exhibit in the City

A collaborative, externally facing unit that asks students to work together to organise, curate and host a public exhibition within the city of Manchester. You will explore the challenges and possibilities of exhibiting photography. Uniting practice with the city, you will gain professional skills and new networks. This unit brings together critical, creative, and professional skills.

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will focus on realising your creative potential by undertaking a major self-directed project. This practical body of work is supported by the writing of a contextual essay and research projects which will help to critically inform the practical work.

Reflect and Research

This unit requires you to define the direction of your practice in preparation for the next stage of study. This will involve visual investigation, critical reflection, enhancement of relevant technical / conceptual skills and project planning. You will develop an understanding of research as a process of investigation through practical application and study. This will enable you to identifying questions and key topics or themes relating to your own practice that can focus and develop at the next stage of your studies.

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.

Unit X

On the third year Unit X, there is a student authored final project leading to a showcase of finished work. The unit includes a brief generated by the student, which leads to the presentation of a significant body of final work. Collaborative and interdisciplinary work can be incorporated into the project in relation to the professional context and ambition of the student.

Contextualising Practice 3

Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Final Major Project : Portfolio and Exhibition

You will develop a substantial body of creative work that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of current contemporary practice in your chosen area of study. You will have the opportunity to investigate various models of the exhibition and display of photographic practice and develop ways to promote your work externally to relevant creative professionals.

Final Major Project: Portfolio

You will develop a substantial body of creative work that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of current contemporary practice in your chosen area of study. You will have the opportunity to investigate various models display of photographic practice and develop ways to promote your work externally to relevant creative professionals.

Placements

There will be opportunities to undertake live briefs with companies, for example the Fuji Film competition Awards, and Epson awards. You will also be able to undertake professional research project work, for example with freelance design companies and photographers, museum administration and picture editing.

Assessment Methods

Unit end assessment and final work exhibition at the Degree Show.

Assessment Weightings & Contact Hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A three year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be—

Study
  • Year 1 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 2 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 75% independent study
  • Year 3 15% lectures, seminars or similar; 85% independent study
Assessment
  • Year 1 100% coursework
  • Year 2 100% coursework
  • Year 3 90% coursework; 10% practical

You can find further details about the curriculum for the current academic year in the Programme Specification Document

Staff


Dr Sian Bonnell photographed Paula Sherriff MP for 209 Women project

Dr Sian Bonnell is curating an exhibition comprising over 20 Manchester School of Art students

Graduates

Graduates have gone on to study the MA Photography and/or become photographers, freelance curators, picture editors, exhibition assistants, exhibition artists and teachers.

Making an Application

How to Apply

Apply through UCAS.

If you meet our criteria we will invite you to an Interview and ask you to show us a Portfolio of your work.

You will be notified of our decision through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Learn more about MMU's Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Specific GCSE Requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate26 Points

International Students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 is required.

If you are based outside the UK and are unable to attend an interview, you will be asked to provide a digital portfolio.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Tuition Fees 2019 Entry

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

See Money Matters for further information and advice.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs

Optional £600* All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop and up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600.

* All amounts shown are estimates.