MFA Photography degree is first of its kind in Scotland

Date posted

11 April 2019


Edinburgh Napier University has strengthened its creative offering with a new postgraduate programme in Photography. 

The new programme – which will be taught within the University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries – gives students the chance to study for either a Masters of Art (MA) or Masters of Fine Art (MFA) degree. 

The MFA degree in Photography is the first of its kind in Scotland, with both degrees building on the University’s existing successful undergraduate programme in Photography. 

Led by photo-video and digital artist Lei Cox – who has exhibited at major world galleries including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art, alongside curating research and international student exhibitions – the postgraduate programme will allow students to explore the full range of artistic and commercial photography practices alongside current global critical and theoretical debates. Photogrpahy Programme Leader Lei Cox

The programme also recognises the possibilities of new and converging lens-based media and offers a broad practical base from which to develop skills: from traditional analogue black and white wet processes to advanced digital image and computer assisted post-production. 

Taught modules will include photo-video imaging, creative narratives, contemporary debates in photography theory and practice, production and art direction and research as critical practice. 

Several modules are shared across a suite of new postgraduate courses in design to allow cross-disciplinary dialogue and sharing of ideas, production processes, entrepreneurship and research based thinking, while continuing to develop specific photography skills. 

Year two of the MFA degree will include the opportunity to undertake an industry placement and produce a professional portfolio. 

The programme is offered in full-time (MA is one year, MFA is two years) and part-time (MA is two years, MFA is four years) study modes.

Programme leader Lei Cox said: “The programme has been designed to accommodate the rapidly changing world of photography to give our Masters students a distinct aesthetic and technical advantage as they push the boundaries of creativity.”

Alongside its existing undergraduate programme and its successful Photography Lecture Series, which sees a range of internationally renowned photographers and creatives visit the University to speak to students and staff, Edinburgh Napier’s links with the profession are also strengthened through its Chancellor, Dr David Eustace. 

David Eustace graduated from Edinburgh Napier in 1990 and became a leading figure in the world of photography. His career has successfully spanned the commercial arena and gallery environment and he is a vocal advocate for the medium. He became Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier in October 2015.

He said: “This dedicated MA and MFA in Photography will provide a platform for the next generation of photographers to hone their creative skills before embarking on a career within the industry.Edinburgh Napier Photography students at its Degree Show

“A thorough education is essential in giving photographers the best chance of succeeding in their chosen field and I welcome any addition of courses that provide more opportunity for these learnings to take place.”

The postgraduate programme in Photography will be supported by studio space, workshops and a specialist photography facility which will provide an area for students to learn and practice within. A computing facility, with industry-standard software, is also available. 

For more information on the postgraduate programme, or to apply for September 2019 entry, visit