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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5805M Cultures of Contemporary Photography

30 creditsClass Size: 37

Module manager: James Brogden

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module has been designed to allow students to study key elements of contemporary photographic and convergent practice and situate them within developing traditions of practice and broader critical frameworks.


This module aims to provide students with the following:-

1.An understanding of key debates and critical thinking in relation to contemporary photographic practice with a broader visual global culture.
2. An understanding of how contemporary practitioners and critical thinkers have conceptualised the nature of photographic and convergent practices from within a transcultural global context.
3. A knowledge of the cultural and political contexts in which practice exists and an understanding of how it impacts debates about social issues.
4. Confidence in the production of a photographic series that reflects a primary and secondary investigation of a particular theme/subject.
5. The ability to produce a written self-reflexive submission, one that demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between creative practice and critical writing.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1) Explain and evaluate key issues and debates in relation to contemporary photographic practice, including the global nature of critical discourses around convergent, lens-based practice.
2) Produce a creative output that explores critical and theoretical concepts and demonstrates the divergences and synergies between visual communication and photography in the communication of ideas and concepts.
3) Review and reflect on the effectiveness of their chosen creative methods and actions, incorporating broad subject knowledge and transcultural perspectives.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
4) Independent Research and Project Management Skills - plan and develop an independent themed research project that uses research methodologies and self-reflexivity that are/is appropriate to the discipline.
5) Communication skills - Effectively communicate with different audiences in the creative process and group seminar critiques.
6) Technical Skills - apply technical skills in creating and formatting digital photographic content, including projected presentations, framing, POV, depth-of-field, exposure, film speeds, manual and automatic programmes, post-production enhancement via Lightroom/Photoshop, and exhibition concepts virtual/real-life.

Competence Standards
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following competence standards:
1. Apply effective communication skills to present a coherent and sustained presentation/argument to the group in the seminar critique sessions.
2. Contribute to contemporary photographic and cultural discourses by incorporating ethically aware and globally diverse perspectives in their communication strategies.
3. Demonstrate adherence to professional and ethical frameworks in the production of their photographic project work and the presentation of that work.
4. Engage responsibly and sensitively with cultural, historical, and global contexts in the synthesis of ethical and sustainable photographic solutions.
5. Developed a critical empathy in relation to the creative/critical work produced by other students on the module.
6. Apply time-management and project management strategies to fulfil their creative and critical aims/objective on the module.
7. An awareness of how creative work might be encountered by a range of diverse audiences in diverse contexts.


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

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Practical Demonstration12.002.00
Private study hours254.00
Total Contact hours46.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through an early formative assessment, participation in seminars and through the summative assessment regime. In addition they will be monitored through tutorials where work in progress will be discussed.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,500 - 3,000 words30.00
Report1 x 1,000 words10.00
PortfolioPhotographic Series60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/05/2024 09:20:42


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