Photography MA


Barbara Taylor, 'Disneyland', MA Photography, BrightonImage: Barbara Taylor, 'Disneyland'
  • As a student on Brighton's MA Photography course you can expect a creative and critical environment in which to practise and think about photography. The course has a fine art-focused approach to photographic practice. Its close relationship with work in moving image and sound allows you to develop your own interests through individual research projects
  • At Brighton you will develop a strong professional identity as an independent practitioner. Your course tutors are experienced professional photographers and photographic researchers working across a range of cutting-edge practice.
  • Many of our students have enjoyed critical success for their photography. In recent years photography students have been awarded first place and runners-up in many of the most prestigious photography awards including the Jerwood Photography Prize, the Association of Photographers Photography Student of the Year Award, and the Guardian Newspaper Photography Student of the Year Award.
  • The practice and analysis of photography on the MA Photography course at Brighton aims to engender a culture fully committed to testing the boundaries of the medium and pushing at the edges of the discipline so as to develop a conception of what photography is and how it might be used and interpreted in the future.




Photography at Brighton is taught within the context of the fine arts and is oriented around the development of individual student project work. The aim is to enable students to develop a strong and sustainable artistic practice and a body of work that they can confidently aspire to exhibit or publish. This will provide the student with a strong foundation for developing a career as an independent photographer/ artist or alternatively to use their skills as a basis for more commercial or community based activities. The course has a strong theoretical component and the belief is that all students need to understand how to conceptualise and contextualise their practice and to be able to communicate clearly about it to a variety of audiences. We encourage students to engage with the latest developments in photography, fine art, and in wider media culture, and to constantly challenge the limits of the medium. Work that crosses technological boundaries and engages with film, video, sound and installation is encouraged - but so is photography's engagement with performance, painting and sculpture. More than anything we are committed to encouraging an exploratory and thoughtful form of picture making that is adequate to representing our experiences of the modern world.

Course structure

The course can be taken as a full-time course over one year or part-time over two years. Formal teaching is scheduled for one or two days of the week. The central core of the course is oriented around the three practice units of study: students are encouraged to use these units to develop a strong and individual artistic practice through the development of a series of closely related projects. The final unit - the Research Project - represents the culmination of this process and is expected to be a fully resolved body of work. Practice units are supported through a programme of individual and group tutorials and more formal critiques. Students also undertake a theoretical seminar course - Contemporary Issues in Photography - which introduces students to the theoretical debates underpinning contemporary photographic practices. The Professional Practice unit is built around a series of lectures from visiting artists, curators and editors, workshops on professional skills such as public speaking, fund-raising, research opportunities and web design. Students also write a 6,000-8,000-word dissertation exploring a theoretical or historical topic related to their practice interests.

Areas of study

Practice-based projects are supported by briefings, tutorials, lectures, seminars and technical workshops. Workshops include demonstrations in the latest digital and traditional analogue processes, involving camera use, lighting, black and white and colour printing. Key professional practice sessions include talks and seminars by photographers, artists, writers and other professionals concerned with commissioning, publishing and exhibiting photography.


Semester 1
Contemporary Issues in Photography (30 credits)
Photography Practice 1 (30 credits)

Semester 2
Professional Practice (30 credits)
Photography Practice 2 (30 credits)

Semester 3
Dissertation (30 credits)
Research Project (30 credits)

Career and progression opportunities

Photography at the University of Brighton enjoys a significant national and international reputation. Our graduates develop careers in photography and related industries including freelance photographic practice, curating, education, exhibiting, publishing, picture research and editing. Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study and careers in teaching and research. In recent years, our graduates have won prestigious awards. These include first place in the Guardian Student Media Awards, The S.A.M. Photo Award, two Jerwood Photography Awards, two winners of the Independent Photographers Terry O?Neill Awards, a NESTA Innovation Award and Student of the Year by the Association of Photographers. Many graduates also progress to postgraduate study with us at the University of Brighton (eg Photography MA and Arts and Cultural Research MRes).

Links with commercial, academic, governmental and other organisations

Photographic culture in Brighton
There is an established photographic culture in the city of Brighton. Photography has featured as a significant part of the Brighton Festival and has had a strong presence within the many visual arts spaces of the city. This continues to grow, particularly through the presence of the Brighton Photo Biennial and the location of the commissioning and publishing organisation, Photoworks in central Brighton.

Concurrent with this is the university's participation in Photoforum, the collaborative enterprise between key educational and arts providers within the south-east region aimed at promoting critical debate concerning contemporary photography. Key activities have included conferences held at the University of Brighton, the Victoria and Albert Museum and at KIAD Canterbury resulting in the first publication, Where is the Photograph?.

Key staff and their research

In the last few years our staff have produced six monographs, participated in over sixty major national and international solo and group exhibitions, with work appearing in countless exhibition catalogues and magazines, as well as featuring in many significant public and private art collections. During this time photography staff have been successful in achieving five awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), won top international prizes and continue to be represented by high-level photographic agencies and galleries. These achievements add up to a culture of ambitious individual research amongst its staff unrivalled in any other UK educational institution. The resulting impact of the above is the creation of an ambitious and stimulating environment in which to both study and teach and is intrinsically related to the success of former graduates.


Key facts

UCAS code

Duration Help

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Typical entry requirements Help
individual offers may vary

Location Help Grand Parade

For non-native speakers of English:
IELTS 6.5 overall and 6.0 in writing.

Degree and/or experience:
Normally an undergraduate degree in a visual arts discipline, for example photography or fine art. Applicants who do not match this criteria but who show great potential for development in their work may also be considered.



The fees listed here are for full-time courses for the upcoming academic year only. Further fees are payable for subsequent years of study.

The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, whether you study full- or part-time and whether or not you already have a higher education qualification. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - contact the course team for up-to-date information.

Visit for more information, including advice on international and island fee paying status, and the government's Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) policy.

Photography (MA) (Full time)

UK/EU (FT) - 5,580 GBP

Island Students (FT) - 5,580 GBP

International (FT) - 13,840 GBP


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