Photography is a key medium of the 21st century. We record every aspect of our lives with smartphone cameras, consume knowledge through image flows, are exposed to constant surveillance via security cameras while feeding computer databases with our social media images.
Photography itself is undergoing a radical transformation in its encounter with CGI (computer generated images) and AI (artificial intelligence). This MA programme gives practitioners and theorists the opportunity to research and develop the new boundaries of image-making made possible by technological change within the context of post-industrial culture.
The programme joins theory and practice, equipping you to develop and achieve highly in the new image media culture. The practice uses both digital and analogue technology, still and durational photography, as well as the study and production of interactivity.
It also allows for specialisation in photography and/or electronic arts – which, in addition to still photography, can include interactive, durational, and internet work – but encompasses a broader interpretation of practice.
You'll look at the meaning, production, and distribution of images in their present and historical contexts, and at the relationship between theory and practice in image production and management.
You will also participate in enabling sessions in photography:
- medium/large format cameras
- portable and studio lighting technologies and their use
- film technology
- digital imaging
- output systems and processes
and/or in electronic arts:
- computer and video graphics
- computer-aided design
- digital publishing
- 2D and 3D computer animation
- still and durational image production and manipulation
- web construction
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
You will study:
- Photography: Durational & Still; Analogue & Digital
- Electronic Imagery: Motion & Still
- Visualisation: Stand-alone & Interactive
The programme draws on a broad range of cultural references and technical practices. It offers the opportunity to take stock of evolving practices and developments in image media culture and is structured to develop the intellectual imagination within each individual student. This is achieved through a combined study of practice and theory, with extensive instruction through 'enabling sessions' which engage technical familiarity; tutorials; The Ascent of the Image module and additional theoretical and practical study.
Recognising the rapidly changing definitions and context of these practice areas, and the value/positioning of traditional practices, these categories may also be understood through a variety of practices that involve image construction and presentation both still and durational, including: film/video, animation, interactivity, installations, motion graphics, and hyperspace constructs, as well as evolving new exploratory categories.
You will have the opportunity to develop and/or research aspects of visual style and draw on a broad range of cultural references as well as aesthetic and technical approaches engaged through ‘Practice Theory Sessions’, visiting lectures and the Ascent of the Image module. Fundamental to the programme is the space that it creates to make it possible for you to explore, question, change and consolidate your work and your ideas.
Original portfolio submission; coursework and essays.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject as well a level of practical experience in a relevant area.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £13870
- International - full-time: £21940
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.
There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
Find out more about funding opportunities on .
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You also need to supply visual/audiovisual work (this can include experimental or incomplete material as well as finished projects), and an essay done as part of your degree or diploma, or not more than 1,500 words in English on ‘Culture and Personal Passion’. The statement part of your application should give insight into the unresolved questions you may be thinking about, as well as your aspirations in relation to the MA.
When submitting your application, please also submit (upload under 'additional') an example of your recent work in a related field, or include links to a page hosting that work. Failing which, please post an example of that work to: Admissions Office, Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK. Please make sure you include your application reference number (which you will receive when you enter your online application) and the MA degree title.
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
Deadline for applications:
There is no deadline to apply for this programme.
How are applications considered?
Applications are considered starting in February for September entry.
Are applicants interviewed?
No. Some decisions are made on the basis of application and portfolio.
Is a portfolio required?
Yes. You'll need to submit 10-20 pictures (or relevant media) of your own work. These can be any subject area that you choose.
Find out more about applying.
Learning & teaching
This course is interested in the development of the individual voice while situating this development in the context of the wider developments in photography and post-photography, other forms of image-making and electronic arts. To this end, we use a number of teaching formats, such as lectures, seminars, technical sessions, groups crits and individual tutorials.
You will develop specific practice skills to a high level. You will also develop an advanced understanding of the recent developments in photography and other forms of image-making and/or electronic arts.
Graduates from the programme are extremely successful, with finalists working commercially, developing as artists or continuing to enlarge their academic knowledge. During the course, particular attention is given to the development of the individual voice. This, plus students' exposure to a range of technologies, means that our graduates can step into the arena of their choice, or sometimes of their making.
Here are just some examples of the sorts of careers graduates have gone onto:
- Art Director
- Senior Interactive Designer
- Head of Creative Department
- Head Technical Creative, Experimental Film and Dance
- Commercial Photography (fashion, editorial, photobooks, social, advertising)
- Director (commercial narrative)
- Director Of Photography
- Installation Artist
- Interactive Artist
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.