In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.
You'll examine the relation of photography to environment, with a particular emphasis on space. Internal and external, urban and rural environments are an important feature of our cultural, social and political experience. The critical consideration of the complexities of environment represents an important aspect of contemporary practice. This unit provides the opportunity to explore these ideas through the genres of documentary, architecture, landscape and street photography.
You'll explore the ways in which identity is expressed in photography through an assemblage or articulation of semiotic elements such as props, pose, gesture or lighting. Identity is never a 'given' in a photograph, it's always a matter of construction and negotiation. When photographing a subject, there are a number of ways in which the identity of the sitter and the photographer are established.
After a basic introduction to a range of different methodologies, exploring the notions of the singular image, tableau, series and/or montage, you'll decide on the mode of production of your work. Your project can be realised in the studio, with the option to undertake set-builds; or on location, as appropriate to your concept. This will be a visual project with outputs such as a book, exhibition, installation, moving image, magazine, zine or online publication.
This concludes the first year and encourages you to reflect upon your progress so far, to consolidate your successes and begin to make work that's not defined by a set brief, but driven by personal research and exploration.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
Connecting Photography - Expanding Frames
Photography, as a medium, is in a constant state of flux. This unit allows you to explore this continuous breakdown and manipulation of photography by experimenting with alternative forms of image-making that test and blur the traditional limits of photography. Today, media no longer simply interact, they're converging into hybrid forms that both challenge and inform the worlds they construct.
Exposure: The Festival
This unit runs alongside, and directly interacts with, fashion film and beyond photography units. The project that you produce for either of these units will be exhibited as part of the Medway Photo Festival. This unit develops your understanding of producing, developing and presenting work for an external audience.
This unit aims to examine the use of narrative within photographic practice and associated creative disciplines. Stories emerge from media in a number of different ways; including models of mood creation, scene setting and resolution but also through fragmentation, association and juxtaposition.
This unit serves to consolidate your learning throughout the second year of this degree course. It's designed to synthesise your understanding of your own work with audiences, expectations, publication and dissemination of photographic work.
Study Abroad (optional)
Is an optional unit that will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas education institution.
The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.
This requires you to make a significant body of work. You'll draw upon the skills and knowledge you've acquired on the course. You're encouraged to employ an experimental and creative approach to the generation of ideas and the making of work, supported by an advanced creative methodology. Essentially, your independently led project requires sustained critical development, strong conceptual ideas, risk taking, aesthetic judgement, and sophisticated communication with a detailed understanding of context.
The Exposure unit has several outcomes and is intended to help you progress your photographic practice within an external context along with your communication and professional skills. The unit is run throughout year 3 and has two distinct elements. The first element is to produce a photographic body of work along with associated contextual input with a professional client. Secondly, you will produce a professional dossier that will include your career plan, personal branding, evidence to accompany your input into the year 3 exhibitions and a photographic portfolio.
This unit consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your chosen area of study (which may include specific disciplinary concern and/or wider cultural practice). This unit supports you towards the provision of structured engagement around your area of study. You have the opportunity to articulate this as a written response in a mode that conforms to academic conventions utilising detailed analysis and evaluation.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Through a mixture of industry- facing project briefs, strong links with practitioners at multiple levels, portfolio reviews, visiting lectures, studio visits and a notable series of course publications and annual exhibitions, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable contacts and experience within the real-world of photographic discourse. A selection of contacts include:
- Metro Imaging
- Carl Lyttle
- 3D Specialist
- Advertising Agency
- Burnham-Niker (leading photographer’s agency)
- Getty Images
- Royal Engineers Museum & Archive
- 125 Magazine
- Medway Council
- Association of Photographers.