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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3059 Critical approaches to photography

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Maki Fukuoka

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Photographs saturate every corner of contemporary society. Yet, the popular concepts in discussions of photography, such as truth and index, remain overused and unexamined at best. By engaging with historical and cultural treatises about the medium and its property, this module excavates the multiple layers of philosophical issues embedded in concepts such as reality and mediation within the photographic discourse.


This module surveys the major theoretical concepts in the study of photographic images and their meanings. This module aims to achieve the following three goals: you will become familiar with major discursive concerns in thinking about photography, learn to ‘see’ abstract issues informing the works examined, and vice versa, and engage in critical discourse on photographic images in your own words by incorporating, extending, and challenging the ideas you learn in class.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module you will be able to:
1. Recognise key issues of photography
2. Analyse photographic images from wide-ranging sources
3. Discuss how and to what extent ‘reading’ photographic images are informed by historical and cultural assumptions and practices

Skills learning outcomes
On completion of this module you will have developed skills in:
4. Self-Reflection: The ability to recognise and express knowledge and understanding and how it relates to personal experience and to demonstrate learning and growth from the experience.
5. Critical Thinking. The ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives, using supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories and ideas.
6. Academic Writing: the ability to write in a clear, concise, focused and structured manner that is supported by relevant evidence.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours181.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The in-class seminar discussion, and reading logs allow on-going monitoring of student progress. The successful completion of the essay will be also monitored through submissions of abstract, bibliography, and individual tutorial.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentReading log40.00
PresentationPoster presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 13/05/2024 12:00:37


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