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Master of Fine Arts Programme in Photography, 120 hec

The MFA Programme in Photography at Valand Academy is intended for people who want to develop their photographic work, both practically and theoretically. The programme has a fine arts profile, which means that photography represents a multifaceted means of investigating and visually expressing contemporary aesthetic and political issues. The focus is on the possibilities afforded by the photographic image and emphasises a dual focus on the student’s creative work and a critical, reflective dialogue.

The core of the programme is the students’ individual project work. Work on projects extends over two years, and the aim is to integrate new knowledge and experiences into the creative process. Through group discussions and individual meetings with teachers and professors, you develop your own practice and your technical proficiency, and deepen your understanding of photography’s various social and artistic contexts. This knowledge will help you formulate a personal approach and situate your own work in relation to both historical and contemporary perspectives.
The programme has a vibrant and well-established interaction with the professional art world, and in the course you will meet photographers, artists, curators, critics and researchers who are active both nationally and internationally. Well-informed and relevant analyses of the current situation in the field are an important feature of the programme, as is knowledge about how to create and become a part of various public contexts.
Valand Academy has a well-developed environment with lab, studio, project rooms, digital workshops and equipment lending.


The programme consists of courses of varying durations and specialisations. The courses are interrelated, and the structure integrates practical creation and theoretical reflection. The type of instruction is seminar-oriented, which means that theory courses are based on joint discussions and interpretations of the texts included in the course syllabus, but also on how the theoretical perspectives are applied in different photographers’ work. The course literature provides you with both an in-depth knowledge of key texts on photographic theory and an orientation in topical issues concerning photography, art and visual culture. Because theory and practice are continuously linked, the issues discussed are highly relevant to the student’s own creative work.
A major part of the programme takes place within the framework of the Individual Project Work courses I-III, where the main elements are the individual project work and reflections on this work. The type of instruction is individual supervision and critical group dialogue. In the master’s essay courses I and II, you will write an essay that is investigative and critical in nature, addresses a relevant subject and meets the requirements for a scholarly text with regard to footnotes and a list of references. Here, too, instruction is in the form of individual supervision and critical group dialogue, but also in text seminars.
One of the programme’s objectives is to prepare you to work in the art and photography world in a deliberate and strategic way. This aspect is covered in the Professional Development module, the contents of which are closely linked to preparing for, and completing, the graduation exhibition. The graduation exhibition is one of the course’s most important components and is held during the spring semester of the programme’s second year.
During the first academic year, the department arranges a number of elective courses in various fields. In the elective courses, students from the department’s various master's programmes meet. One of the elective courses is Pedagogy. It provides knowledge and skills in the teaching of art, and thus is linked to opportunities to earn a living in the art field, where teaching is an important component.
The MFA Programme in Photography is an international programme, and all instruction takes place in English. Because several of the teachers also are Swedish-speaking, the individual supervision also takes place in Swedish for those who so desire.

Continuing studies

Since Valand Academy is a complete learning environment – with undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes – you have excellent opportunities to apply for postgraduate positions in artistic research. An important feature of the programme’s research preparedness profile is that the department’s doctoral candidates regularly teach within the MFA Programme.
 Open postgraduate seminars are also held on a continual basis, giving you both insight into doctoral candidates on-going work and an introduction to the questions and methods impelling the research field.

The degree

The programme is two years, based on full-time study at 30 higher education credits per semester, and leads to the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Photography (120 credits).

Professional employment

The programme prepares you for a career as a professional artist working with photography as your main medium of expression. An important aspect of professional artistic practice is exhibiting in art galleries and museums, but there are also other ways artists can gain exposure for their works. Various forms of publication have become an increasingly important forum for photographic artists. Photo books are published both by the artists themselves and in collaboration with publishing companies. There is a culture of festivals and expos associated with photo books, but artists nonetheless face major challenges in reaching an audience of readers and collectors with these books. In addition to printed books, there are, of course, opportunities to work digitally and use the Internet as a production platform and a distribution channel. Issues related to gaining exposure occupy a prominent place in the programme, and there are two student galleries at Valand Academy. In addition, the Academy also regularly collaborates with other exhibiting institutions. The school has a printing press at its disposal, making it possible for you to produce your own books and other printed materials.

In addition to the commercial market, there are support systems that provide project grants and work scholarships for professional artists. The programme also provides examples of and preparation for operating within and creating – on your own or with others – alternative forms and contexts. For most, it is a question of creating alternative sources of income, and many choose to work as a teacher at art schools or within other educational programmes in media and photography. The programme’s orientation provides you with knowledge that can also be applied in contexts external to the art world, such as by working as an assignment photographer for magazines or within different types of institutions, which gives you a broader base of support.

Entrance requirements and application

Entrance Requirements:

Degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography or Fine Arts, or other relevant degree of at least 180 credits (ECTS), or relevant working experience. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School.


An admission jury will assess applicants' artistic abilities on the basis of their submitted portfolios. Some applicants may be expected to be called to an interview. Information on portfolio and admission can be found at www.akademinvaland.gu.se/english/education/programmes/masters-programme-in-photography/admission.

Master of Fine Arts Programme in Photography, 120 hec
Start Full/part time Apply
Autumn 2018 Day, 100 % Closed
CITY: Göteborg
Application fee 900 SEK
Full programme cost 538 000 SEK
First payment 134 500 SEK
Application and tuition fees do not apply for EU/EEA citizens or exchange students.
Further information on how to apply and application and tuition fees: http://www.universityadmissions.se

Subject description: Photography

>> Read more about the subject photography at Valand Academy

Page Manager: Anna Holgén|Last update: 1/24/2018

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Utskriftsdatum: 2018-08-15