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Course Details

Master of Arts in Creative Digital Media (Lens Based Media)

Course Code: BN542 Entry Route into programme:
  • 2nd Class Honours Grade 2 (GPA 2.50 or equivalent) in a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Digital Media, Fine Art Photography, Film or related discipline.
Duration: 1 year (3 Semesters)
Fee: TBC
NFQ level: 9
Method of application: Direct
Award title: Master of Arts
Credits for Full Award: 90 @ NFQ Level 9
Awarding Body:                  Technological University Dublin  

NOTE: The first intake for this course will be in September 2020


Minimum Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement for standard entrants to the Master of Arts in Creative Digital Media (Lens Based Media) is a 2nd Class Honours Grade 2 (GPA 2.50 or equivalent) in a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Digital Media, Fine Art Photography, Film or related discipline. Applicants who have an honours primary degree in a non-related discipline will be considered if their prior experience is considered an adequate background to prepare them for the programme. These applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis to assess their suitability and motivation for the programme. In the event of a student not attaining this standard level, students must achieve an acceptable standard for progression by other means approved by the QQI.



The Master of Arts in Lens Based Media is a unique one-year masters programme in which students explore contemporary approaches to the production of moving and still imagery. Students will be immersed in an environment in which they discover and engage with lens-based practices and ideas from a range of disciplines including film, photography, digital media, fine art, critical theory, cultural studies and philosophy. A key emphasis is on the use of practice-based research which guides the development of a distinctive voice and also facilitates the production of a significant portfolio of work over the course of the year. The MA is designed to accommodate various forms of lens-based practices and examples of the sorts of work that students may produce to satisfy assessment requirements includes, but is not limited to: short films, photography projects, moving image installations, documentaries and experimental video pieces.

As well as providing an opportunity to hone their individual image-making practice the course facilitates the development of advanced technical production skills in areas such as filming, editing, postproduction and the use of emerging image production technologies. Students will delve into the thematic underpinnings of image-making practices, through key concepts of time, light and composition, as well as engaging in conceptual interpretation and experimentation. Workshops, seminars and project-based learning enables students to understand the technical principles of the still and moving image in order to build strong production skills, as well as develop critical understanding and a set-of creative concerns. As students develop their independent practice they can go on to undertake further modules that explore a range of key image-making concepts such as social documentary, cultural critique; fiction, performance, and virtual and augmented realities. Throughout the course, students will engage with practice-based research techniques, building a critical framework to understand and situate the body of work they are developing.

Why Take this Course?

Imagery has become a critical means by which messages are communicated within our contemporary networked society. Understanding how to produce effective and compelling image-based work has therefore become a core skill for professionals working in the artistic, creative, social and commercial spheres. The Master of Arts in Lens Based Media is designed to produce graduates with strong competencies in these areas who are equipped to work successfully in fields such as fine art, media production, creative advertising and academia.

The course is suited to students who wish to learn in a vibrant environment, engage in exploratory practice and critical investigation, whilst also gaining or advancing strong technical skills. It aims to offer an engaging and flexible environment for creative practice and accommodate practitioners from a range of disciplines and experiences.

The TU Dublin Blanchardstown campus has a range of specialised facilities that students on this course can avail of. These include a media store with Industry standard audio-visual equipment, a photographic studio, an audio studio, dedicated teaching and open access Mac labs with Adobe Creative Suite, and a Creative Digital Media studio.


Career Opportunities

Graduates will be equipped to go on to work successfully across fine art, media, advertising, film industries and academia.


Course Content

The programme begins with three modules that take the fundamentals of audio-visual practice - time, light and composition - as the starting point for both technical learning and experimental practice. Taking these concepts as a creative impetus and engaging with them as critical ideas that underpin the technology and language of image-making practice, students will build core skills through workshops, seminars and project work. These fundamentals lead into self-directed practice and towards a set of research concerns while also equipping students with the practical skills necessary to produce technically proficient work.

In the second semester students may take a taught pathway that involves modules that focus on documentary practice, creative fictions and future technologies as key concerns of the historical development and current debates of audio-visual media. These students will also undertake a self-directed 30-credit research project.

Alternatively students may choose a research pathway undertaking a 60-credit research project through which they will produce a substantial body of image-based work as well as learn key academic research skills and develop their concerns through methods of enquiry, knowledge frameworks appropriate to their practice.


Semester 1
  • Capturing Time

  • Concepts Of Light

  • Composing The Image

Semester 2
  • Documentary Practices
  • Creative Fictions
  • Future Image Technologies
Semester 3
  • Research Project


Lecturing Team

The MA in Lens Based Media is delivered by lecturers and researchers at the TU Dublin Blanchardstown campus whose expertise ranges across fine art, creative practice, film-making, photography and imaging technology. Drawing from this experience from across lens-based disciplines students can access a range of expertise in order to build technical, creative and critical skills, and professional practice. The team includes a number of award-winning artists and film-makers and currently comprises Ian Cudmore, Sinead Curran, Siobhan Enright, Hugh McCabe, Dr. Katherine Nolan and Hugh Rodgers.

For further details on this programme please contact:

Hugh McCabe

Katherine Nolan




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