When considering the next steps after graduation I considered the option of studying a Masters. After deep thought I felt this may not be the best route for me. Through my experiences at university, I have at times struggled with personal issues and motivation which as a result has made me question my passion for photography on several occasions. Knowing deep down that photography is where I want to be, making a name for myself as a practitioner, I made a conscious decision not to approach applying for a Masters, allowing myself to get out there and continue to actively make work because I WANT to not because I have a deadline approaching. I also feel that this decision will allow me to gain more experience with the action of doing.
Despite this decision I felt it would be of benefit to research possible Masters courses that I would consider if for any reason I was to change my mind in the future about my decision to discontinue study.
I came across a Masters degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. The course itself sounds like the exact thing I want to participate in when approaching my career, but as said before the idea of studying for another two years is not of an attraction to me now.
The course itself is online based, and has an excellent track record for successful graduates, who have “dominated the UK student documentary photography prizes”. The course allows students to build on knowledge of the industry and encourages the use of multi-media. The course is two years and employs a variety of highly successful practitioners such as Tom Hunter to tutor the course.
The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course, or a professional or academic qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours degree, or those with other, equivalent qualifications.
Graduates of all disciplines may apply, although most students have a background in Arts and Humanities. You must be socially aware, inquisitive, self-motivated and passionate about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography. Relevant professional experience or work experience in the industry is increasingly important.
Candidates without a first degree can be accepted onto the course if they can demonstrate past experience equivalent to a first degree, such as professional experience. This is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.
Educational level may be demonstrated by:
- Honours degree (named above);
- Possession of equivalent qualifications;
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
- Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS (INTERNATIONAL/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.5, with 5.5 in each four skills is required.
- If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- Evidence of prior knowledge and/or experience of Photography that would indicate potential to successfully complete the programme of study
- Social awareness, inquisitiveness and passion about a career in photojournalism or documentary photography
- An ability to work on one or more projects over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way (Portfolio)
- A journalistic and documentary awareness and an understanding of research and practice methodologies and a realistic idea of what makes a strong project (Project ideas)
Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
PERSONAL STATEMENT ADVICE
You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.
The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.
Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.
STUDY PROPOSAL/PROJECT PROPOSAL ADVICE
All applicants will be expected to submit an outline of their major project ideas. This should describe the area of interest – the field of study and the particular focus of their intended work across the year. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project – the methodology.
It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.
PORTFOLIO ADVICE (25-30 IMAGES)
All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application, with all work clearly annotated and labelled. Your portfolio should include a maximum of six projects and supporting material, consisting of 25-30 photographs of a documentary or journalistic nature on a related theme. This should demonstrate evidence of an ability to work on a project over a sustained period of time and in an intimate and involved way.
If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.
What happens next?
Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.
I feel the entry requirements of the course are of an achievable level for my abilities which makes me feel more confident about the opportunity should I one day chose to approach it. However, they are also another aspect that has put me off the idea of continuing education straight after graduation. At a time where I am so busy with completing my degree, this would be an awful lot of work to be taking on at the same time, with a deadline fast approaching for the applications in February.
FEES AND FUNDING
HOME / EU FEE
£4,750 (2018/19) entry.
UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
FEES & FUNDING CALCULATOR
Find out how much your studies may cost and what financial help may be available.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
Although there are various options available to applicants for the funding of the course, it is something that I have had to question deeply when considering this as my decision. With an extensive debt on my back when graduating from uni, it is an extra debt I’m not sure I’m willing to have when debating my future. However, realistically the price of the Masters is extensively cheaper, and I wouldn’t necessarily have to consider accommodation costs as the course can be completed online.
At this current point, I don’t feel that a masters is an option for me straight after graduation. I would like to go out into the real world and give it a good go, encouraging myself out of my comfort zone and indulging in my passion for photography because I want to get a career and not because I have a deadline. Although I feel this course would be of a great benefit I also feel that entering the working world will also give me a substantial amount of knowledge and experience which I feel is incredibly important when starting a career within a competitive industry. If things don’t go to plan for me, this option is definitely one I will revisit in the future as a back up option.