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Curriculum: International Master's Programme in Photojournalism, 120 credits, 120 credits


General data

Code: SBJAA
Cycle: Second cycle
Ref no: MIUN 2011/1091
Credits: 120
Answerable department: Department of Media and Communication Science
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Science, Technology and Media
Latest review: 7/4/2013
Version valid from: 7/1/2013

Aim

The purpose of the programme is to provide an advanced photojournalistic education. Students participating in the programme will develop in-depth knowledge and advanced skills essential for the practice of the photojournalistic profession and for leadership roles in the media industry. In addition, the programme aims to instill and promote ethics and professional skills in visual communication, and to promote creative work and research.

The programme maintains a close relationship with the media industry and with advanced education and research in the field at Mid Sweden University and other institutions of higher education, nationally as well as internationally.

Programme objective

QUALIFICATIONS ACCORDING TO THE HIGHER EDUCATION ORDINANCE

Knowledge and understanding
For a Master of Arts/Science (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and
- demonstrate specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.

Competence and skills
For a Master of Arts/Science (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
- demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work
- demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to report clearly and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and
- demonstrate the skills required for participation in research and development work or autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity.

Judgement and approach
For a Master of Arts/Science (120 credits) the student shall
- demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
- demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
- demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.

OUTCOMES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MASTER'S PROGRAMME IN PHOTOJOURNALISM

Knowledge and Understanding
The student shall:
- be well-versed in discourses and theories of visual communications as applied to photojournalism
- be well-versed in the sources and history of photojournalism and visual documentary
- be well-versed in different approaches and methods of visual storytelling
- demonstrate understanding of the role of photojournalism in society through insight in critical dialog and debate within the profession.

Competence and Skills
The student shall:
- have the ability to critically analyze visual work
- have the necessary technical skills in photography, written journalism and design in order to be able to execute visual and written projects at an advanced level
- develop a professional, independent working method to execute and evaluate visual work
- have skills in photographic research methods to perform projects
- show great aesthetic and creative independence in the pursuit of professional projects

Evaluation Skills and Professional Attitude
The student shall:
- within the area related to the programme, show ability to seek out and evaluate knowledge on a scientific level, follow the production of knowledge and research, and exchange and share knowledge with the public lacking specialized knowledge in the field
- be able to give independent critical evaluations of results produced in individual activities in the photojournalistic and visual communication processes
- be well versed in and familiar with and personally assume a responsible and professional position regarding important legal, moral and ethical issues within the profession.

Content

Photojournalism MA:
Photographic methods and techniques, 7.5 Credits
Feature writing for photojournalists, 7.5 Credits
History of documentary photography, 7.5 Credits
Master’s seminar/workshop I, 7.5 Credits

Visual communication theory and method, 7.5 Credits
Visual style and aesthetics, 7.5 Credits
Topics in media ethics for photojournalism, 7.5 Credits
Master’s seminar/workshop II, 7.5 Credits

Documentary project, 7.5 Credits
Editorial picture editing and research, 7.5 Credits
Topics in photojournalism: Theory and practice, 7.5 Credits
Thesis/Project proposal, 7.5 Credits

Thesis project, 30 Credits

Entry requirements

Bachelor of Arts degree in photojournalism or in other subject area relevant to photojournalism, a portfolio consisting of creative work demonstrating the applicant’s abilities and skills in photography or film, and a minimum of two years relevant professional experience. Examples of relevant degree areas include, but are not limited to, journalism, photography, media production, art and other creative subjects, film, communication studies, ethnography and sociology.

Proven language proficiency in English (English course B), for example shown from one of the following international English tests:
- TOEFL with a minimum score of 575 on a paper based test and not below 4.5 on the TWE
- TOEFL with a minimum score of 90 on internet based test and not below 20 on the TWE
- IELTS Academic Training with a minimum overall score of 6.5 and a minimum score on the specific parts of at least 5.5.

Descripion of programme

The changing and rapidly growing media environment –with the ever-growing number of sources, media and platforms for the delivery of news as information, in addition to print– calls for an expanded and deeper knowledge as well as a specialization and understanding of new approaches to visual storytelling and reportage. Furthermore, the increasing importance of visual communications and the image in society and in this changing media environment, makes it urgent to create an environment for research and critical analysis of the creation, usage and perception of the image where students are prepared for the future of the profession of photojournalism.

The Master's Programme builds on and develops the already unique Bachelor's programme in Photojournalism at Mid Sweden University that offers Sweden’s first and only university programme in the subject of Photojournalism. The Master's programme is a two-year, full-time education and includes advanced-level courses providing students necessary knowledge and skills, as well as time to reflect on creative, professional and theoretical aspects of the profession of photojournalism.

Semester 1 “Foundation”
Semester one provides the student with the practical and theoretical foundations of photojournalism. The purpose is to give the student image-making and technical tools as well as conceptual skills and writing tools, along with knowledge of photographic history, in order to inform the student’s own photojournalistic work that will continuously develop and receive critique in the Master's seminar/workshop.

Semester 2 ”Critical and Creative Work”
In the second semester, the student is exposed to theories in visual communication and methods in visual communication research, concepts in design and aesthetics, as well as current debates and legal and ethical issues in the profession. The purpose is for the student to develop as image-maker, to foment a professional identity as a photojournalist, and to deepen the understanding of critical discourses to be applied to the student’s own creative work in the Master’s seminar/workshop.

Semester 3 ”Research and Practice”
The student will now apply skills acquired during the first year, both on a practical and theoretical level, in order to produce practical and theoretical work on a more advanced level. During this semester, the student is expected to complete a research paper, a picture editing project, and a visual documentary project. The purpose is to prepare the student for undertaking the research work for the Master's Project/Thesis proposal, which, in turn, prepares the student for the Master’s Project/Thesis work.

Semester 4 ”Master’s Thesis/Project Work 30hp”
During the final semester, the student is required to complete a creative Master's thesis/project that will demonstrate the student’s professional skills in images and writing. The thesis/project is to be supported by a scholarly analysis with an annotated bibliography explaining, justifying and giving a context for the student’s’ work. The student works independently on the exam project completing the work outlined in the proposal presented and approved the previous semester. The student will receive advising from faculty and from an external professional mentor during the process and also will be required during the semester to make two on-campus presentations of the thesis-in-progress to the first-year Master’s seminar.

Selection rules and procedures

Alternative selection, see heading "Other information".

Programme with restricted admissions

Specific prerequisites for courses in the programme are indicated in the respective course syllabi.

Teaching and examination

Courses are taught on campus in Sundsvall. Teaching and examination forms are explained in the respective course syllabi.

Information about the examination can be found in the course syllabi.

Title of qualification

Degree of Master of Arts/Science (120 credits)
Masterexamen med huvudområdet bildjournalistik, translated into Degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with a major i Photojournalism.

Other information

During the course of the programme, the names, content, level, allocation of course credit points, and course sequencing may be subject to change.

Alternative selection
Applicants are rated according an overall evaluation of four parts:
a. a portfolio consisting of creative/professional work demonstrating the applicant’s abilities and skills in photography or film
b. relevant professional experience in areas such as photojournalism, journalism, photography or other area constituting the focus of the applicant's Bachelor's degree
c. two letters of recommendation
d. a personal statement of purpose

Camera equipment is to be provided by the student. Certain complementary camera equipment is available.