Commercial Photography


You can find a list of questions about our MA Commercial Photography course below. To view an answer, simply click on the question.

What are the photography facilities like at AUB?

The photography department at AUB is equipped to the highest professional level.

There are seven studios with Profoto and Broncolor lighting equipment plus numerous location kits of Profoto and Bowens lighting.

The digital camera equipment includes Hasselblad and Phase One plus numerous high-end 35mm based DSLRs. There are two photography dedicated retouching suites all equipped with the top end Apple tower computers and the latest versions of Adobe Creative Suite software.

We have digital printing in the digital suites to A2 and in addition a 40 inch-wide large format inkjet printer plus an amazing Chromira printing system that prints digital files onto C-type light sensitive colour paper.

This printer is the same type as several of the top London profession photographic laboratories. In addition to all the digital equipment we have a comprehensive set of analogue facilities.

There are two large B/W darkrooms, one wet and one dry plus c-type darkroom printing and high-end scanning available.

We have numerous film cameras of many types including Hasselblad, Mamiya, Sinar, Toyo and even a 10×8 camera.

Can I make one large body of work?

Yes you can. The course is made of three units, but in agreement with your course leader you can run one project across all three units.

However, you probably will use the first unit to experiment and then run one large project across the two MA projects.

Units: Redefining Practice (60 credits), Master’s Project 1 & Master’s Project 2.

How often will I attend as a Full Time student?

The Full Time mode of study requires that you are working on your MA studies five days a week either off campus or on campus.

You have contact time on Tuesdays throughout the course apart for holidays and in the weeks in which work is assessed. You have access to the campus facilities six days a week.

Tutorials can be carried out by Skype or email and long periods of study off campus can be agreed with your course leader.

The full-time and part-time students are in on Tuesdays in order that they can interact and share appropriate sessions. Cross-course activities are timetabled on Tuesdays, to coincide with the core attendance day.

Typically, such activities may include study visits, lectures, formal or peer assessments, presentations, workshops or inductions, and are specific to the Unit being studied.

How many hours a week am I expected to dedicate to my MA studies?

Each of the three taught units are equally weighted, with a study time of 600 hours and 60 credits over 15 weeks (Full Time) and 30 weeks (Part Time).

Taken across the Full Time year, to achieve the award of Master of Arts, you need to achieve 180 credits that represent 1800 hours of study time.

This figure divided by the number of 45 (FT) weeks of the course reveals a figure of 40 hours of Full Time study per week. This converts to 20 study hours per week for Part Time students based on its 90 weeks duration.

How does Part Time work?

It is important to remember that Full Time and Part Time students are studying on the same course.

The Part Time mode is carried out over a period of 90 weeks as opposed to that of Full Time of 45 weeks.

Part Time students attend the course every Tuesday for the first 15 weeks and then every other week for the remaining time of the course. You have access to the campus facilities three days a week.

Tutorials can be carried out by Skype or email and long periods of study off campus can be agreed with your course leader.

Due to the way the taught element is planned, the second year of Part Time requires less formal attendance time, but results in completing the course alongside a Full Time cohort. In some instances, this may be in the form of an exhibition.

Students who need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK cannot study a part-time MA programme.

Is there a dissertation?

No, there is no dissertation or thesis, but you complete a Professional Development Record.

This comprises of three core themes, Practice, Theory and Professionalism.

This document helps you contextualise your research and practice, and aids the identification and development of individual entrepreneurial and graduate opportunities.

The theory and research is linked to your own practice and is designed to encourage your own creative and academic development.

What is the Professional Development Record (PDR)?

The Professional Development Record (PDR) logs your individual progress on the course and prepares you for the future, enabling you to assess and improve your skills, including writing, oral presentation, and critical skills.

It is a personal document that is maintained by you, updated continuously and made available for assessment at the completion of each Unit. The PDR enables you to focus your learning, personal development and planning.

It helps identify strengths and weaknesses at an early stage so that you can take remedial action to improve and/or develop new relevant skills.

What is the deadline for applications?

We will accept applications until the 1st August 2015, or while there remain vacancies on the courses.

Please check with for availability.

However, if you need to arrange accommodation and a visa, you should apply by the end of April 2015, International applicants (non EU) should contact the International office, in the first instance.

Is there accommodation for MA students?

Masters students are able to apply for a place in university accommodation.

The majority of MA students are placed in George Close, which consists of six recently built four-bedroom houses on a small development approximately one mile from the university.

MA students may also wish to find their own privately rented accommodation in the local community, particularly if they have a family. Local landlords advertise available property through the AUB Studentpad website.

Is there any financial support available for MA students?

The Government now provides a loan for postgraduate MA study. The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) will be paid to the student as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

You can read more about the MA loan scheme here.

What are the term dates for the MA?

You can find the term dates here.

Currently, both Full Time and Part Time students enrol at the start of the last week in September.

Full Time students complete their studies at the end of the first week in the following September –(45 weeks).

Part Time students complete at the same point in the following year –(90 weeks). There is a one-week interval between each of the first and second phases, and second and third phases of the course.


What support will I receive during my studies?

On enrolment you are ‘attached’ to a particular specialist tutor who will supervise your individual practice and research throughout your MA studies with individual tutorials.

It is important to understand that study at this level demands a strong level of autonomy from students. You develop and reflect upon the materials, methods and contexts of your practice through your Professional Development Portfolio, and other staff or student-led opportunities to discuss your work.

Once agreed, it is up to you to carry this through with guided support from your supervisor.

How will I be assessed?

Your performance in terms of production and presentation will be judged in the context of the criteria of the Learning Outcomes for each Unit. The course uses a range of different assessment methods, the forms of which include written submissions, verbal presentations, practice based work and critical analysis and evaluation.

Who can apply to the course?

  • Photography graduates
  • Graduates from other disciplines who have photography experience
  • People without a BA but who have considerable photographic experience
  • Photographers who would like to teach

Can I apply to the MA if my BA is in a different discipline?

Yes – if you can demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills, commitment and interest in your new postgraduate subject area.

It’s important to bear in mind that while your skills base may be advanced, an MA course should not be understood as a substitute for a technical training course and is not the place to singularly develop technical skills or competency, say in the use of a particular software programme.

An MA is a Level 7 academic award and is necessarily rigorous in terms of your understanding of research, analysis and critical evaluation. Study may benefit from prior experience in another subject area.

What do I need to do if I am an overseas student?

If you require a visa to study in the UK you will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa, using a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) issued by AUB.

After applying you will receive detailed instructions regarding how to apply for your Tier 4 visa and what documentary evidence you require for your application. For more information, read our step-by-step guide.

Guidance on sponsoring a spouse or dependents

If you require a visa, your dependents are able to apply for a dependent visa and accompany you to the UK if your Masters course is 12 months or longer. The MA Film Production course is the only MA course at AUB which meets this criteria.

Your dependents can also apply for a visa if you are a Government Sponsored student and your course is six months or longer.


Before we issue a CAS, which you will require for your visa application, you will need to hold an unconditional offer and have paid a deposit of £1500 towards your fees.

To secure your place on a Masters course you are required to pay the deposit within 2 months of your offer being made.

Is there a Pre-Sessional English course?

If you have an English Language condition attached to your offer, there are two pre-sessional English courses to help you achieve the required English standard. The pre-sessional courses take place at our partner institute, Anglo-Continental School of English. The courses are 5 or 13 weeks long and take place prior to commencing your main course of study.

Entry requirements are as follows;

  • 5-week pre-sessional course: Overall IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in each component
  • 13-week pre-sessional course: Overall IELTS 5.0 with a minimum of 4.5 in each component.

Is there a Pre-Masters course?

Students who need to develop their creative understanding of their chosen subject before being accepted onto a Masters course can join the Preparation programme designed to help students secure entry onto a Masters course. More information can be found on the Pre-Masters Course page. Please note, completion of the Pre-Masters course does not automatically guarantee entry onto a Masters course.