The taught component of the MSc Biological Photography and Imaging consists of six modules worth 20 credits each. The modules are listed below:
Applied Digital/Conventional Imaging
Through the application of industry standard software, you will become capable in editing images: making choices on which to use, enhancing images and applying the images to graphical layouts with written text.
This module also introduces key concepts in natural history photography, including how to identify different organisms and the use of keys and the natural history collection. Assessment is through practical coursework.
Image Manipulation and Multi-Media
You will analyse the use of visual media in websites, social media and other channels, while also gaining insight in to how imaging professionals can use images to enhance scientific study, web promotion and support online articles.
This module also introduces the concept of extracting data from images in a number of ways and then using this data for investigations. There is a brief introduction to the production of 3D anaglyphs and 3D modelling. Assessment is through practical coursework, research essay and presentation.
Film Production and Digital Film/Video Photography
This module teaches you video capture and production, the techniques and application of filming, sound capture, camera movements and editing – using industry standard software.
On completion, you will understand relevant filming techniques, how to work with editing software and demonstrate an intermediate level of knowledge of film design and storytelling. Assessment is through a group project, an individual filming project and an assessed editing project.
Microscopy and Image Analysis
This module will give you expertise in using a number of different microscopes and lighting effects. You will have a general grounding in the optics and calibration of light microscopes, various preparative techniques and staining protocols and the uses and benefits of fluorescence and electron microscopy.
Separately, this module also includes a section on marine and aquatic biology concentrating on the wildlife of rocky shores, photographing in aquaria and lectures on using under-water housings. You will need to add some measure of image analysis in your project using Photoshop, ImageJ or microscope-specific camera software.
The microscopy project is written up as a scientific paper based on a short project and the marine biology section by producing a dichotomous key.
Professional Techniques in the Field
Using your experience, knowledge and skills to date, you will write, photograph and design your own magazine covering a range of topics set out by the course. These include small worlds (that can incorporate images from the microscopy module), animals in captivity, urban wildlife, birds. Sections from the commercial and business module can also be used to enhance the magazine.
You will demonstrate advanced photographic, editing and design techniques, as well as good management of time and resources to complete this project to deadline. This module has been key in helping many of our students achieve employment.
Commercial and Business Application for the Professional Imager
This module will teach you the commercial application of your imaging skills. In conjunction with the Professional Techniques project, you will create a series of articles exploring the commercial application of imaging.
You will use your skills to create business advertisements and develop an understanding of the fundamentals of starting a freelance business. This includes marketing to a target audience and how to start earning a living from your imaging skill set. Assessment is through practical coursework, a business plan and a presentation.
During the summer semester, a 10-week work study project worth 60 credits is undertaken in a subject area agreed with the course director. This work-study project can be carried out in the UK or abroad. The project allows you to specialise in a specific area of interest, relevant to the course, and put your newly-learned skills into practice in one large, intensive project.
You will plan, photograph and produce a project within media of your choice – a book, film or research study. You will learn how to self-fund a personal project, liaising with members of the public to attain support for your project. Your finished product will be used for assessment, and can also be used as a portfolio piece for the first step in your chosen career.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.