Advanced Programme in Photography Overview


Duration: The Advanced Programme in Photography is a year programme.

The 2020 course runs from:

28 January 2020 – 04 December 2020 (with orientation starting on a Tuesday)

Time: Mon – Fri 09h00 – 17h00

Cost: R21 000 for applicants from South Africa, the continent or from the Global South (emerging economies in Africa, Latin America and Asia). International students pay R60 325. Please note that a non-refundable application fee of R100 is required on application.

Equipment deposits are currently set as follows:
• Digital camera: R 300
• Tripod: R100
• Voice recorder: R 150
• External Hard drive: R 150
• Long lens: R 400


The Advanced Programme in Photography is a year course that aims to provide students with the structure and support necessary to develop an independent and self-motivated body of photographic work. In addition the programme provides students with training in professional, technical and conceptual skills as an entry to the field of photographic practice, this includes

  • undertaking and realising assignments in different professional contexts
  • understanding operational demands and professional opportunities (public relations, networking, efficient research and communication)
  • applying for awards and bursaries, funds and tenders (proposal writing and budgeting)
  • assisting a photographer
  • pursuing in an informed and confident way personal interests, career and area of specilisationThe emphasis in the course is on self-directed learning, active participation in course subjects and projects, engagement with trainers, projects and pursuit of an independent body of work. Students are required to begin defining their own areas of interest and specialisation. They should be able to critically reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses and articulate their needs and aspirations in this regard.


  • The outcomes for the course define precisely what you should be able to do by the end of the course. While there is a lot of thinking, reading, discussing and debating involved in the course, we believe strongly that the knowledge you acquire must be evident in the work that you actually produce as a photographer. Therefore we seek to measure your learning on the course through tasks that are practical and applied.These subjects are taught in dedicated weekly sessions and students will be required to show competence in all subjects. Every subject will include both a practical and written component on which students will be assessed, in form of tests, written assignments, crits and presentations. The subjects are set up to supply the necessary support and skills for students to develop and realise their own, Independent Body of Work.

Visual Culture/Literacy

  • Unlock the complexities and impact of photographic image production/dissemination and media within historical and comtemporary contexts.
  • Trains students to critically look, read and evalute visual representations of issues, people and objects in shifting social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Assists students with applying creativity and insight to the making, processing, printing and editing of photographs relative to a specific idea, brief or intention.
  • Imparts a more informed, critical understanding of images and current media, of the use of technologies and design principles.

Critical and Applied Writing Focuses on basic and advanced writing skills specific to the field of photography and professional practice. This includes reviewing and evaluating images and exhibitions, interpreting critical texts, understanding and applying different research methods, online literacy, referencing standards, drawing up CVs and proposals, briefs and reports.

The History and Use of Photography will focus on aspects of the historic development, function and reception of photography from its beginnings until today, which will critically contribute to students’ understanding and knowledge of the field. Special attention will be given to photography in South Africa and Africa. Philosophical and ethical issues of representation within a changing world of new media, demand and distribution will be looked at. Exhibitions in Johannesburg will be visited and discussed. It will assist students with locating their own practice and thinking as a emerging photographers.

The Practical/Technical Photography module will equip students with specific production, post- production, printing and presentation skills. The aim is for students to enhance their technical know-how, test formal and technical possibilities and better realise their photographic projects. Digital post- production and work flow, will form part of this module.

Professional Practice will introduce students to basic business, project management and administrative skills, as well as other aspects of working as a professional photographer, whether as a freelancer or as an in-house photographer: Negotiating a brief with a client, understanding legal and administrative implications, drawing up a financial plan based on a realistic assessment of circumstances, applying for funding for the development and realization of a body of work. Students will gain further insight into professional practice by doing an internship with an enterprise or professional in the field. Students will be required to write a report on the internship. Students will visit different establishments and attend presentations by professionals, as well as gain first-hand knowledge by assisting with setting up exhibitions at the Market Photo Workshop.

Project Portfolio consists of 3 different projects that have been set as briefs for students to complete. They include a more commercially driven brief for an editorial (a series of portraits); an independent formal or informal assignment that students have to source and complete by themselves within a given amount of time; a series of images for a mock up brochure that respond to the theme of ‘periphery’. In each project students will be challenged to answer to a brief, demonstrate their formal, technical and conceptual skills, research and problem solve, produce, edit and deliver according to deadlines. Regular crits and feedback sessions will form part of the course projects.

The Independent Body of Work will be presented by students at the end of the course (May 2010). Students are asked to conceptualise and actualise a photographic project in a field of their choice. The body of work should demonstrate originality, conceptual, creative, formal, editing and presentation skills and comprehension of the subject matter. Students will present a series of images in digital and print form, supported by an essay/text that articulates content, intention, aims and process (research /approach/relevance). In addition students are asked to ‘package’ the work in form of a submission to potential national funders and international awards. Students will also work on a group exhibition featuring a selection of their final productions.


The Market Photo Workshop utilizes a comprehensive approach to assessment that is focused on ensuring that you, the learner, are able to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be a photographer. Each session that we have planned (outlined below) involves learning something new, and through observation and demonstration, the Photo Workshop trainers and co-ordinators are able to support you in ensuring that you achieve these results for each session.

Students are required to deliver the following at the end of the programme:
• 1 independent body of work (printed and digital images/essay/presentation )
• 3 completed course projects + one internship (images/essays and report/presentation)
• DVD of complete portfolio, including CV, statement, independent and course projects.
• Completed Submission to an international and national award/grants/competition
• Portfolio of evidence for final assessment submission (DVD containing a formative and summative
assessment and internship images must accompany your final submission)

Students are required to complete all assignments/projects for their assessments. While there is a lot of thinking, reading, discussing and debating involved in the course, we believe strongly that the knowledge students acquire must be evident in the work that is actually produced as a photographer. Therefore we seek to measure the student’s learning on the course through tasks that are practical and applied.

For the final assessment, students are required to deliver a comprehensive body work, including projects portfolio, internship images/report, in order to demonstrate that they have grasped and integrated the skills outlined above. The portfolio and presentation will be accompanied by written essays aimed at demonstrating the grasp of the professional practice, history and visual literacy aspects of the programme. Students are required to do a well prepared verbal presentation of their work to a group of assessors.

The final evaluation will be based on formative and summative assessment over the year:
– Formative assessment includes ongoing assessment, class exercises, regular attendance and active engagement in the classes and presentations. Students have to attend min 85% of each of the training sessions (Due Performance). Trainers will mark the work after each assignment.

Summative assessments will be conducted on the interim assessments, the internship period and the final assessment.


The curriculum content will be realised through different methods of teaching and through a variety of projects. Students will be trained in formal lectures, presentations, workshops, fieldtrips, project work, tutorials, and internships and through developing a personal body of work. Trainers are experts and professionals in the field and will offer students a range view points, experiences, feedback and support.

Course subjects and projects are structured around specific themes and assignments which bring together a range of creative, conceptual, technical and professional skills. Sessions in each week include both intensive contact time with trainers and course coordinators, as well as providing students with opportunities to work independently, shooting and processing photographs, working in the computer lab, and spending time doing research and exchanging ideas. Notes and reference material supplied in the sessions will provide additional information and inspiration. Students are required to compile a journal in which to collect their reflections, images, subjects of interest, course and research notes.

Equipment and Resources

Cameras can only be rented between these times:
Monday to Friday: 8:45 to 9:00am, 12:45 to 1:15pm and 4:00 to 4:15 pm.

  • You will have to pay R300 deposit fees to rent a camera. If you damage or lose the camera the
    Market Photo Workshop will keep your deposit and you will have to pay another deposit of R500
    (please see Camera Rental Policy for more information).
  • Please make sure that you know the other policies and procedures of the Market Photo Workshop
    (for example, payment policy, assessment policy, locker policy and procedures for working in the Digital Station and Darkroom).