MDS-10011 - The Photographic Message
Coordinator: Mandy Mcateer Tel: +44 1782 7 33499
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

The Photographic Message and Digital Montage
In this module students will look at the impact of photography as a mode of mechanical reproduction through to contemporary hyper real digital image production. Students will be introduced to semiotic analysis and study the work and roll of photographic practioners in both a contemporary and historical context. Each student will produce a photomontage and workbook based on notions of cultural identity and/or stigma and discrimination.
Assessment will be by a visual project photomontage (50%), a workbook (50%), and a compulsory oral presentation.
Reading List
Wells L (ed) 2009 Photography: a critical introduction Routledge
Clarke G 1997 The Photograph Oxford University Press
Sturken M, Cartwright L (2001) Practices of Looking an introduction to visual culture Oxford University Press
Sontag S 2002 On Photography Harmondsworth: Penguin
Berger J 1972 Ways of Seeing Harmondsworth: Penguin

This module aims to give students an introduction to contemporary visual image production and theoretical debates surrounding visual representation.
At a skills level the students will be introduced to Apple Machintosh basics, Photoshop and Powerpoint software.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate familiarity with particular media forms and genres and the way these work to affect meaning will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2 and 3
show an understanding of the roles of communication systems, modes of representations and systems of meaning in the ordering of societies will be achieved by assessments: 1 and 2
show an awareness of the role of technology in media production. will be achieved by assessments: 1 and 2
use technology in the creation of media forms. will be achieved by assessments: 2
show an understanding of and reflection upon his/her own creative processes and practice through engagement in media production will be achieved by assessments: 1
present his/her awareness of the ways in which identities are constructed and contested through engagement with culture. will be achieved by assessments: 1
demonstrate a knowledge of forms of media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change will be achieved by assessments: 1
evaluate and apply theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to the study of the media and culture, and their communication will be achieved by assessments: 1 and 2
consider and evaluate their own work in a reflective manner, with reference to relevant historical or contemporary debates and conventions, and produce work showing competence in operational aspects of media production technologies, systems, techniques and professional practices

will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2 and 3

Study hours

20 hours lecture/tutorial attendance
60 hours assessment preparation
70 hours Lab work/independent study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Workbook weighted 50%
Workbook of at least twenty pages
The workbook asks students to include the following: a description of the creative process and techniques adopted, an analysis of the work of others who have addressed notions of cultural identity, a critical self evaluation, references and bibliography. Students are also asked to provide initial and working ideas and to reflect on the theoretical discussions relating to the chosen topic. They have to include a critical evaluation of the work of other photographic practitioners from both a historical and contemporary point of view, and should assess how new technologies have changed photographic practice and communication in general and the creation of photomontage in particular.

2: Project weighted 50%
Students will produce a photomontage which addresses notions of cultural identity. Students will be assessed on the following: their ability to use Apple Macintosh computers, digital cameras, found imagery and Photoshop CS3. Students will also be assessed on their ability to demonstrate some aesthetic and technical accomplishment, according to criteria outlined in the Course Handbook. Assessment will be based on breadth of the project (in terms of variety of, styles and tools adopted) and depth of the project (in terms of how theory and practice are integrated).