A photograph of a hand in a bathtub of water

Photography MA (Online)

Become an accomplished and innovative image maker.

Key details
Location
Online
Course duration
2 years
Attendance
Part-time
Subject to validation during this academic year
Yes

Course overview

Push your practice in bold and experimental directions on Falmouth’s online Photography master’s course. Supported by award-winning lecturers and working with diverse peers from across the globe, you will enhance your critical thinking and learn how to make photographic work that explores and communicates challenging themes and ideas.  

Throughout the course you will embrace the myriad possibilities within contemporary photography and visual culture, making work that is critically informed and compelling. With a strong focus on professional practice, ethics and sustainable development, you will refine your creative voice and learn how to engage with new audiences and markets. 

By the time you graduate, you’ll be comfortable embracing new methodologies, and be equipped with the skills to take your photographic practice to the highest levels of the creative industries and beyond. 

Why study this course at Falmouth?

  • Join Falmouth’s renowned Institute of Photography from your own location on an established course designed specifically for online study 
  • Collaborate on industry-standard briefs with a global community of creative practitioners 
  • Develop skills required to excel professionally, along with the research abilities and theoretical approaches to underpin your work 
  • Expand your learning and your professional network at our optional in-person events

Top image credit: student work by Charlotte Squire

Ask us a question

Apply now

Get a prospectus

Start dates: January / May / September

(Three intakes per year) 

Course details

On this dynamic online Photography master’s, you will create photographic bodies of work that interrogate the world around you with increasing sophistication and critical depth. Supported by industry-active lecturers, you will refine your interests as a practitioner through working on a series of projects, strengthening your technical and visual skills whilst learning more about your subject specialism and developing your own, independent critical perspective.  

The four taught modules allow you to interrogate your practice from distinct angles, expanding your knowledge and skills and encouraging you to experiment and take creative risks with your photography. Culminating in a Final Major Project, you will learn how to express your creative identity with confidence and purpose. 

Modules 

The modules have been specifically designed to be studied in a non-linear order, with the order in which you’ll study the modules depending on when you begin the course. 

MA

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit Major Project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details for the MA.
 

PGDip

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total), and will not complete a Major Project. 

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details for the PGDip.

Module details

This module enables you to locate your practice within the broad contexts of professional contemporary photography. 

You will consider the importance of research in both academic and industry contexts, and critically reflect on core themes in contemporary visual culture. 

Through discursive activities with staff and peers, as well as self-directed research and personal reflection, you will analyse your practice in relation to specific themes and articulate your practical and conceptual intentions as an image-maker. 

(30 credits)

You will be introduced to the themes and debates that are fundamental to the study and consumption of imagery and will increase your understanding of how contemporary practice is enriched through critical and theoretical contextualisation. 

You will consider your own practice in relation to historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives around visual culture, helping you develop an informed and sophisticated photographic practice. 

(30 credits)

This module considers the myriad ways in which photography can be presented, and how its form influences how it is received and understood by audiences. 

You will explore the many creative strategies involved in the production, resolution, and publication of photographic work, and consider the possibility of interdisciplinary approaches in the making and presentation of your own creative output. Alongside this you’ll consider how your practice and research connects with the broader social, political and ecological landscape, and begin to engage new audiences with your work.  

As you study, you’ll devise strategies and workflows that are conscious of material consumption and work towards professional, and ecological and environmental sustainability. 

(30 credits)

This module strives to increase your understanding and appreciation of the roles, relationships, and responsibilities that can play a major part in progressing and sustaining your creative practice. 

As part of this, you will be encouraged to undertake commissions and work placements during this module, and to devise or engage in photography and visual arts initiatives relevant to your work. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to collaborate on a live brief with a small group of peers. These briefs will be set by clients and allow you to gain experience with real industry challenges. 

(30 credits)

This module provides you with the chance to produce a critically and professionally informed research project and deliver it to a public audience. 

You will submit a proposal outlining a scheme of work and the critical contexts surrounding your project. You’ll then work continuously on the module over the course of two study blocks, working closely with your peers and supported by your supervisor. 

The project will be your opportunity to demonstrate increasing autonomy in respect of your research capabilities. 

You will also continue to benefit from the programme’s ongoing series of guest lectures by leading contemporary practitioners and industry experts. 

(60 credits)

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

Student work

Stories from our community

Explore student projects, graduate successes, staff news and industry insights

Commercial photography

Behind the scenes on a BMW photo shoot with student Hannah Mittelstaedt

23 May 2024

Commercial Photography BA student, Hannah Mittelstaedt, chats to us about what it’s like taking on...

Behind the scenes on a BMW photo shoot with student Hannah Mittelstaedt
Photography student Natalie Persoglio standing next to her award-winning image of two people on a bus
Natalie Persoglio

Online Photography student wins Emerging Artist Award at The Photography & Video Show

24 April 2024

Current Photography MA (Online) student Natalie Persoglio has won the 2024 Emerging Artist Award at ...

Online Photography student wins Emerging Artist Award at The Photography & Video Show
Photography: person holding another person by the wrists
Meltdown - Emily June Smith

Meltdown, Emily June Smith

Falmouth student’s photo series unmasks the reality of growing up with Autism and ADHD

02 April 2024

Introducing 'A Dissonant Past Unmasked' by Emily June Smith.

Falmouth student’s photo series unmasks the reality of growing up with Autism and ADHD
A set of three wooden blocks against a yellow background with a hand in shot holding one block
Chris Finnegan 1

Credit: Chris Finnegan

Photography graduate selected for PhotoIreland FUTURES programme

20 March 2024

Photography MA (Online) graduate Chris Finnegan has been selected for the PhotoIreland FUTURES progr...

Photography graduate selected for PhotoIreland FUTURES programme
Four girls sat by a poolside in Cape Town, South Africa.
Zenande, Sinawe, Zinathi and Buhle at Sea Point Pavilion, Cape Town, South Africa.

Zenande, Sinawe, Zinathi and Buhle at Sea Point Pavilion, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Michelle Sank

Photography tutor wins Sony World Photography award

18 March 2024

Michelle Sank, a photographer and online tutor on Falmouth’s Photography MA (Online) course, has w...

Photography tutor wins Sony World Photography award
Underwater photography by Marine & Natural History Photography BA student Flora Tomlinson Pilley
Flora Tomlinson-Pilley - Underwater Photography

Imagination category winner, by Flora Tomlinson-Pilley

Students impress industry judges at underwater photography Red Sea exhibition

22 February 2024

Industry judges were impressed by students' underwater photography work, which was captured during t...

Students impress industry judges at underwater photography Red Sea exhibition
Student Lucy sat on a small boat on a lake
Lucy Morris

Why I chose to study a Photography degree online

18 January 2024

Photography BA(Hons) (Online) student Lucy talks about how joining Falmouth's online community is he...

Why I chose to study a Photography degree online
Woman wearing hijab standing in the sea. Portrait of Britain 2023 winning photo by Peter Flude.
'Naseema Begum' by Peter Flude

'Naseema Begum' by Peter Flude 

Falmouth graduate Peter Flude announced as 2023 Portrait of Britain winner

17 January 2024

The winning portrait was originally commissioned by Guardian Labs.

Falmouth graduate Peter Flude announced as 2023 Portrait of Britain winner
Piccadilly Circus billboard displays work by Photography graduate Serena Brown as part of the Mayor of London's 'London for Everyone' campaign.
Serena Brown - London for Everyone

Photography graduate's work lights up Piccadilly Circus on NYE

04 January 2024

Serena Brown's work lit up Picadilly Circus this New Year's Eve as part of the Mayor of London's 'Lo...

Photography graduate's work lights up Piccadilly Circus on NYE
View Point book
View Point book

View Point by Jo Bradford

Phone photography making an impact in new book by Associate Lecturer

04 December 2023

Associate Lecturer on BA Marine & Natural History Photography Jo Bradford has had a new book publish...

Phone photography making an impact in new book by Associate Lecturer
Jane Morgan Isles of Scilly diving shot
Jane Morgan Isles of Scilly diving shot

Glimpses below the waves: Falmouth’s Jane Morgan featured in Dive Travel Adventures

14 November 2023

Falmouth’s Dive Safety Officer and Diving Technician Jane Morgan, has been featured in the latest ...

Glimpses below the waves: Falmouth’s Jane Morgan featured in Dive Travel Adventures
Jenna Hinton  headshot
Jenna Hinton

Graduate Spotlight: Photographer Jenna Hinton is forging ahead with her career

06 October 2023

We're chatting to BA Commercial Photography graduate Jenna Hinton about her new role at post-product...

Graduate Spotlight: Photographer Jenna Hinton is forging ahead with her career
Jellyfish and seaweed photo up towards sky
Gina Goodman photo - jellyfish - MNHP

'Ocean Chapel' by Gina Goodman

Falmouth lecturer recognised at International Photography Awards 2023

29 September 2023

Gina Goodman has been awarded Honourable Mention at the International Photography Awards 2023.

Falmouth lecturer recognised at International Photography Awards 2023
Serena Brown's younger sister photographer in Ghana while visiting thier grandmother - Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize Shortlisted Image by Serena Brown
Serena Brown - Me Nana Fie

© Serena Brown

Serena Brown named as finalist for Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023

31 August 2023

Find out more about the Falmouth graduate's shortlisted work.

Serena Brown named as finalist for Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023
Two sunbathers lying on scorched grass
Jordan Pettitt

Friends sunbathe on the dry grass of Southampton Common which resembles a sandy beach during the hot weather as Hampshire and other neighbouring counties were hit with a hosepipe ban in 2022 to protect low reservoir and river levels.

Falmouth photographers among the best in British press photography

31 August 2023

Two photographers from Falmouth’s Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons) course have been shortlis...

Falmouth photographers among the best in British press photography
James Bannister, male with brown hair, smiling at the camera
Ones To Watch- James Bannister

Ones to Watch | Photographer James Bannister

01 August 2023

Meet James Bannister, a graduate from our BA(Hons) Photography course who has paved a way for himsel...

Ones to Watch | Photographer James Bannister
AOP Student Award Gold winning entry from Falmouth Photography student Alexander Norman
Alexander Norman - Photography Student - I Float Alone

Photography students win Gold and Silver at AOP Student Awards

29 June 2023

Photography students Alexander Norman and Olivia Eden have won Gold and Silver respectively in the 2...

Photography students win Gold and Silver at AOP Student Awards
Portrait of women by the sea
Emily Barlow work

Commercial Photography student selected for Canon Student Development Programme 2023

22 June 2023

It’s been an exciting few months for Commercial Photography BA(Hons) student Emily Barlow. We spok...

Commercial Photography student selected for Canon Student Development Programme 2023
A Falmouth University Commercial Photography student editing a photograph of a watch on a large screen
Commercial Photography watch on screen

What is Commercial Photography?

12 June 2023

Course Leader, Anthony Prothero explains what commercial photography is and why it’s a vital tool.

What is Commercial Photography?
Dr Catarina Fontoura
Dr Catarina Fontoura

From Polaroids to creating positive change: an interview with Dr Catarina Fontoura

26 May 2023

Catarina Fontoura is an artist, educator and writer. With an abundance of experience across photojou...

From Polaroids to creating positive change: an interview with Dr Catarina Fontoura

Resources and Support

  • Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Accessible online audio / visual content
  • A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
  • Access to our Employability Service
  • 24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
  • Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
  • Students' Union community
  • Optional in-person events
  • Invitation to attend alumni events

Although online students don't have access to on-campus facilities as part of the course, you can hire equipment and access facilities by paying a charge. Find out more about availability and prices here.

An online student on their laptop
Is online study for me banner

Is Online Study for Me?

The creative culture at our core is not confined to our Cornwall campuses; with our online degrees, ...

Is Online Study for Me?
Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Online Learning Support

You'll have access to a range of support throughout your studies with us to help you thrive and deve...

Online Learning Support
BA Creative Writing (Online) students meeting each other for the first time
BA Creative Writing (Online) students meeting each other for the first time

Creative Writing BA(Hons) (Online) in-person event © Ellie Hope / © Mayn Creative

In-Person Events

As an online student at Falmouth, you’ll have the opportunity to attend in-person events throughou...

In-Person Events
Person sat at laptop working with design book
Interior Design online 2024

Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

See how you can support a student considering an online degree at Falmouth.  

Parents & Carers Guide to Online Study

How will I learn & be assessed

How online study works

How will I study online? 

You'll learn through a blend of lectures, webinars, guest talks, tasks and discussion forums, which you'll access via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you'll find all key documentation, get course announcements and access extensive learning resources. 

You'll refine dynamic practices, spending 20-25 hours a week working on your craft. We incorporate optional in-person events for all our online students. There will be up to two per year and will typically run over a long weekend, to fit around your other commitments.  

Find out more about learning online

How will I be supported? 

You'll have weekly contact with faculty staff, and will be supported academically by Online Tutors throughout each module. If you need assistance with anything that isn't directly related to course material, a dedicated Student Advisor team will be on hand to help. You'll also have access to Falmouth University's excellent Employability Service. 

Assessment methods

All assessments are taken and submitted online.

Assessment methods for the master's degree in Photography can typically include:

  • Coursework assessment with no formal examinations
  • Oral presentations
  • Collaborations on live, client briefs
  • Projects, individual reports and public presentations

Meet the team

Jesse Alexander

Course Leader, MA Photography (Online)

After graduating in Photography from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham, Jesse establ...

Jesse Alexander

Dr Wendy McMurdo

Module leader, MA Photography

Wendy McMurdo is Module Leader for Final Project for the MA Photography at Falmouth. She is a widely...

Dr Wendy McMurdo

Professional standards and practice are at the core of this online master’s course, which is delivered by a research-active academic team from the Institute of Photography at Falmouth University. There is a wide range of subject expertise within the team, and the ability to facilitate networking opportunities across the creative industries.  

The course also benefits from the insight of photographers and other leading figures across the industry who contribute to our ongoing programme of Guest Lectures. Previous speakers include: 

  • Laia Abril 
  • Charlotte Cotton 
  • Geoff Dyer 
  • Julia Fullerton-Batten 
  • Nathan Jurgenson 
  • Kalpesh Lathigra 
  • Amak Mahmoodian 
  • Silvia Rosi 
  • Anastasia Samoylova 
  • Arpita Shah 
  • Vanessa Winship 

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Careers

There is no ‘typical’ route for career development as a photographer, but our graduates use the skills, network, and the portfolio they develop during the programme to advance their careers in various ways: winning awards, commissions, bursaries and residencies; gaining new commercial clients; and securing permanent roles as photographers within industry. 

As a postgraduate course, most students will already be working with photography or media in some professional capacity and make use of the course to progress or diversify their careers in the photography industry. As an internationally recognised master’s degree, the award will make roles and careers outside of the creative industries accessible, too. 

Whilst the course is designed with the career progression of its graduates in mind, the programme welcomes those who are taking the course primarily for personal development. Some graduates explore careers in academia and further study at doctoral level.  

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to five years following graduation. Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more.  

How to apply

Speak to us about the course

If you'd like to talk to an Advisor about this course or your application, get in touch with us via the form below.

Ask us a question

Apply now

Ready to apply for postgraduate study? We have three start dates a year: January / May / September. Select the start date you'd like to apply for in the drop-downs below and then click the relevant apply button to begin.

Qualifications

An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification is desirable. However, candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. If you'd like to discuss our entry requirements, speak to an advisor. 

Portfolio

A digital portfolio of your current photographic practice. The portfolio should indicate both your technical aptitude and the quality and sophistication of your practice. 

You shouldn’t attempt to encompass a range of styles and genres of photography, but rather try to give the admissions team a sense of your practice specialisms and your interests as a practitioner. 

You should title or briefly caption each image in your portfolio, explaining - if necessary - how the image is indicative of your practice and why you have selected it. 

If you'd like to talk to us about your application, get in touch. 

If your first language is not English, you'll need to take an English Language test.  We accept:  

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening  
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components  
  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts) 

We also accept a range of other recognised English language qualifications.  You can visit our English Language Requirements page for more information.  

For more information about equivalent international qualifications or English language requirements please contact our friendly Course Advisors.

This course has three intakes per year: January, May and September.

Academic start date* Application deadline
23 September 2024 2 September 2024
20 January 2025 8 January 2025
26 May 2025 6 May 2025

Please note:

*Virtual Welcome Week begins the week before the academic start date. During this time, our Student Advisor team will host Welcome Webinars and be in touch with practical information on how to study online.

An Early Bird discount is available for early applications. For January 2024, the scheme offers up to £600 off MA tuition fees: £300 if you apply by the Early Bird discount submission deadline, and a further £300 off your tuition fees if you receive an offer and within two weeks you accept the place and pay the acceptance fee. Both these payments would be applied to your final fee instalment. Please note the discount amount is subject to change for future intakes.

Early Bird discount submission deadline Academic start date
5 August 2024 23 September 2024
25 November 2024 20 January 2025
31 March 2025 26 May 2025

To discuss all our discount opportunities, contact an advisor.

Speak to an advisor

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

£12,150 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - 2 years part time - MA/MSc course

£7,921 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - PGDip course

£12,150 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - 2 years part time - MA/MSc course

£7,921 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - PGDip course

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

As part of studying MA Photography Online you will require: 

Laptop/computer 

You will need a laptop or computer with a webcam, microphone and speakers/headphones. You'll also need a good internet connection or a data allowance capable of supporting frequent video meetings and streaming. 

Resources and materials 

Although all assignments will be submitted digitally, you will need to manage your own resources and materials, reflecting your own style and practice.  

This will depend on the technology, equipment and consumables that you use for your practice, or would like to experiment with. These will vary from student to student, but you should be prepared to be making practical work on a weekly basis throughout the course.  

Photographic Equipment 

There is no minimum technical requirement for the course: the camera and technologies that you use will entirely depend upon what is appropriate for your particular specialism, and what you have access to.  

The majority of students work with digital SLR or mirrorless camera systems, although many work with film (in all formats) and camera-less technologies. The course encourages purchasing equipment second-hand, or borrowing where possible.   

Workspace

We recommend, where possible, a dedicated workspace where you can complete coursework and participate in live meetings.  

This does not need to be a dedicated, hired studio space; many students work from a quiet room in their homes, home offices or a communal workspace.  

Adobe Creative Cloud 

Depending on the mediums you choose to work in, you may require access to Adobe Creative Cloud. You may be eligible for discounted licenses through Adobe's education pricing and Falmouth University seeks to provide further discounts when possible. If any discounts are available, we will communicate these to you. 

For more information please visit Adobe Creative Cloud. 

Optional in-person events 

You will be expected to cover your own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs to attend these events. Where ticketed activities are part of the event, such as festivals and fairs, you will also need to meet these costs.

Speak to an advisor

Do you have questions about the course or studying online with Falmouth? Fill in our simple online form and we'll get in touch to support your application journey.

Submit form
Hands on a white table with a range of documents