MA Photography

Year of Entry 2024/25
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Full-time Art and design

Advance your skills, business acumen and critical understanding as an independent photographer and work towards your creative and professional goals.

Everything you need to know...

  • Pound sign

    What is the fee?

    Home: £10,310 for the course
    International/EU: £17,205 for the course

  • Time

    How long will I study?

    1 Year

  • Location

    Where will I study?

    City Campus

  • Date

    When do I start?

    September 2024

Course summary

  • Advance your skills in modern photography
  • Experiment with industry-standard equipment
  • Take on an individual project that combines creative exploration with critical research 
  • Kick-start your career as a professional photographer with help from a dedicated employability adviser

On this course, you’ll become a highly knowledgeable, independent photographer ready to excel in your field. You’ll gain the skills you need to fulfil your potential as a practitioner, working in  state of the art facilities. The course features a flexible, adaptable curriculum, and has close links to creative networks and organisations in Northern England.

How you learn

All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive.

This course is based around a creative, practice-based and self-directed approach to learning. This is similar to the independent nature of professional practice, and will prepare you for the real world of photography.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be encouraged to undertake research and further your understanding of historical and contemporary approaches. You’ll also look at relevant theoretical issues to help place your work in a critical context.

You learn through

  • specialist workshops
  • technical surgeries
  • lectures and seminars
  • group critiques and review sessions
  • individual tutorials
  • exhibition and curation 
  • field trips and study visits
  • visiting professionals and guest lecturers

Applied learning

Work placements 

During the course students undertake a period of work experience of a minimum of two weeks duration or equivalent. This is identified and arranged by the student, with the support of tutors and wider university staff, as well as the university career and work-experience teams. This provides knowledge and understanding of a real world employment within the professional sphere of communication or media.

The course benefits from established relationships with a number of photographic partners including the Photographers' Gallery, Site Gallery, Millennium Galleries, The Hepworth Wakefield, Village Bookshop and Gallery, Impressions Gallery and Format Festival. 

Field trips and events

You will have the opportunity to attend national and international photography and art events — such as exhibitions, festivals and conferences — to deepen your understanding of the wider photographic industry. In recent years we have been to Paris Photo, Berlin Photography Festival, Amsterdam and put on residential field trips to London and the Peak District. 

Our unique location within a post-industrial and culturally vibrant city and yet only 14 minutes (by rail) to the Peak District — the UK’s first National Park — makes Sheffield a fascinating setting for an enthusiastic photographer. 

Networking opportunities

Our staff are founding members and active in a number of research groups, including Northern Light, Walking Arts, Visual Activism, and The Centre for Contemporary Legend research groups. 

We organise exhibitions, conferences, symposia and events. These include our biennial conference and exhibition on contemporary landscape and environmental photography under the title Northern Light. We also host an annual RPS History Group symposium.

Each year we also host a number of industry days and events — such as Grad Talk and Pathways — where students network with and attend talks and workshops run by creative media industry professionals and organisations. You’ll have access to guidance from our professional careers and employment service, CV preparation and interview practice, an annual programme of employer recruitment fairs, and an online graduate vacancy service. 

We also work closely with REDEYE — an organisation supporting professional photographers in the north of England and with APHE (Association for Photography in Higher Education).

Future careers

This course prepares you for a career as an employee or freelancer in

  • documentary
  • fine art
  • fashion and advertising
  • editorial
  • press and photojournalism
  • general and social portraiture
  • scientific and medical
  • stills for film and video productions
  • post-production (picture editing, processing, printing and finishing)
  • picture research and publishing
  • curatorial and gallery contexts

Where will I study?

You study at City Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

City Campus

City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.

City Campus map | City Campus tour 

City Campus map

Howard Street
S1 1WB

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Equipment and facilities

On this course you work with 

  • two industry-standard photography studios
  • portable lighting equipment
  • a dedicated digital darkroom including scanning, processing and printing facilities
  • colour and black and white analogue darkrooms with enlargers from 35mm to 5x4
  • black and white print darkroom with both wet and machine process facilities
  • an extensive lending store where you can borrow industry standard equipment such as cameras, lenses and tripods

Entry requirements

All students

Normally an honours degree at 2:2 (or above) in Photography or a related creative subject, namely in the fields of Fine Art, Design, Graphics, Media Arts or Visual Communication. If you do not have a traditional undergraduate qualification, you may still be considered, especially if you already have relevant work experience in the creative industries. Together with your personal statement, you will have to submit evidence of significant creative ability in the form of an identifiable body of work by providing an up-to-date online link to personal photographic outputs. Alternative forms of outputs, e.g. prints, books or objects may be presented directly to the course team on request (on site or via Skype).

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.0 with 5.5 in all skills (or equivalent). If your English language skill is currently below the required standard then you can apply for the Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course that will enable you to achieve the required proficiency English.

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.


Important notice: The structure of this course is periodically reviewed and enhanced to provide the best possible learning experience for our students and ensure ongoing compliance with any professional, statutory and regulatory body standards. Module structure, content, delivery and assessment may change, but we expect the focus of the course and the learning outcomes to remain as described above. Following any changes, updated module information will be published on this page.

Final year

Compulsory modules

Enterprise And Entrepreneurship
Credits 15
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Exhibition / Publication / Curation
Credits 15
Assessment Coursework(80%) , Practical(20%)
Independent Practice
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Ma Photography: Advanced Production And Printing Methods
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Media, Arts And Communication Masters Dissertation / Project
Credits 60
Assessment Coursework(100%)
Research Methods And Skills For Media, Arts, Arts Management And Global Communication
Credits 30
Assessment Coursework(100%)

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £10,310 for the course. The tuition fee displayed above is for the full course. If the full course is more than one year in duration, the fee will be divided into annual payments which will then be rounded. This may mean the total fee you pay is slightly higher than the fee stated above. If you take a break in study or have to re-take part of the course, you may also be charged an additional fee and will be notified of this at the time.

If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £17,205 for the course. The tuition fee displayed above is for the full course. If the full course is more than one year in duration, the fee will be divided into annual payments which will then be rounded. This may mean the total fee you pay is slightly higher than the fee stated above. If you take a break in study or have to re-take part of the course, you may also be charged an additional fee and will be notified of this at the time.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Art and design courses (PDF, 400KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.


How do I apply?

You apply for this course via our online application form.

Apply for September 2024

You can also use the application form above to apply for future years of entry.

Not ready to apply just yet?

Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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Why choose us?

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We are Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for the outstanding quality of our teaching and student outcomes

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We guarantee to find you an affordable place to live that’s close to campus and comes with all bills included

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95% of our UK graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating (2020/21 Graduate Outcomes Survey)

Where next?

Find out more about Sheffield Hallam's postgraduate opportunities and community.

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Information for international students including entry requirements by country and funding.

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