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MA Documentary Photography

Different course options

Study mode



2 years

Start date

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Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Documentary Photography Film / Video / Television Production

Course type


Course Summary

The University is world-renowned for the study of Documentary Photography and our alumni are extremely well regarded within the photographic community, winning awards, exhibitions and book publishing deals. With a focus on real-world engagement with social and political issues, this distinctive MA offers an exploratory and lively engagement with the subject. It is characterised by an expansive understanding of photography, encompassing networked imagery, data, archival material, audio and moving image.

You will predominantly study online with the option of having a more flexible and blended approach that includes access to facilities at the University of South Wales. There will be optional workshops and masterclasses both on campus in Wales and internationally. Peer to peer learning and networking will form an important component of the course.

You will be taught by experts in the field of photography and engage with international visiting speakers and our cohort of scholars undertaking PhDs in photography as part of our European Centre for Documentary Research (ECDR).

The aim is to develop a strong, expansive and sustainable documentary practice that unites rigorous critical thinking with a body of work that you can confidently exhibit and publish. The MA will provide a strong foundation for developing a career as an independent documentary practitioner within the photographic industry.

This course places an emphasis on the philosophical and theoretical implications of photography, as we believe it is important to help contextualise practice and enable clear communication to a variety of audiences.


Initially you will be assessed through the production of experimental work-in progress, with fully resolved work expected in later modules. Alongside your work you will be asked to develop a perspective through written texts, placing your work in its photographic and social context.


USW's documentary photography masters is particularly popular among those wishing to pursue a career in documentary production and research, photographic exhibition, publishing, teaching or journalism.

Recent graduates have regularly exhibited their work and several now teach in higher education. A number are also undertaking PhD study.

The documentary photography course has an eminent list of alumni now working within the photographic industry, including freelance photographers and those who have set up their own businesses.

Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.


During this module you will continue to explore distinct areas of contemporary photography as a way to define your practice. There will be a focus on understanding the importance of collaborative practices.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (overall cost)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (overall cost)


Entry requirements

Normally an Honours degree in a related subject is required. However, if you have solid professional industry experience rather than academic achievement, this may be acceptable for entry to study at this level through a process called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

University information

The University of South Wales offers students the opportunity to learn and develop key skills essential for employment. Courses are developed and delivered in partnerships with employers, representing the leaders of industry, the public sector and national bodies. Study is 100% focused on what employers need in the future and courses carry the relevant professional accreditation wherever possible. Students can enrol on full-time or part-time...more

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