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
This module aims to teach you how to effectively capture images, process and use them effectively in delivery to the end user, either through articles or posters, using industry standard software. You will become capable in editing their images – making choices on which to use as well as enhance the image, and applying them to graphical layouts with written text. This module introduces some 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
This module aims to show you how images can be used to gain scientific information through analysis, applying this to visual research studies. You will also analyse the use of visual media in websites, social media and other channels by imaging professionals. You will gain an understanding of the use of their images in enhancing scientific study, web promotion and support of online articles. This module introduces the concept of extracting data from images in a number of ways and then using it 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 aims to teach 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 show an understanding of applicable filming techniques, a clear understanding of working 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 is designed to familiarise you with and 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. This can be via Photoshop, ImageJ or via some of the 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. You will demonstrate advanced photographic, editing and design techniques, as well as good management of time and resources to complete this project to deadline. The magazine will be composed of a number of articles around themes. These include small worlds (that can incorporate images from the microscopy module), animals in captivity, urban wildlife, birds and sections from the commercial and business module that can also be used to enhance the magazine. This product 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 their imaging skills. In conjunction with the Professional Techniques project you will create a series of articles exploring the commercial application of imaging, as well as using your skills to create business advertisements to show your understanding. You will also understand the fundamentals of starting a freelance business, marketing to a target audience, and how to start earning a living from their imaging skill set.
Assessment is through practical coursework, business plan and a presentation.
During the summer semester, a ten-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 relevant to the course. It gives you the opportunity to 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 plan, prepare and self-fund a personal project of your choice, liaise with members of the public in attaining support to complete your project as well as an understanding of your own abilities based upon everything you have learned during the course. You will finish with a physical product of your own interest to use for assessment and also 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.