Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code SOCI540
Coordinator Dr TAY Heng
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 5


This module aims to

•    Provide an introduction to using photography and creative photographic practice as part of one’s research repertoire
•    Allow students to critically engage with theories of photography, particularly in its role as a research method
•    Instill an appreciation of visual material and the potential opportunities for using visual material in research
•    Provide students with basic professional skills in the discipline of photography

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Identify and explain major theories surrounding the photograph and the act of photography

(LO2) Recognise the value and significance of photography’s contribution to our understanding of society and social issues

(LO3) Describe and identify potential ethical issues with photography and creative photographic practice

(LO4) Synthesise theories from their core discipline and apply these to photographic practice

(LO5) Apply basic photography techniques in the development of a portfolio

(S1) Digital scholarship participating in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems

(S2) Information technology (application of) adopting, adapting and using digital devices, applications and services

(S3) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S4) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S5) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.



This module seeks to enable students to integrate photography into their existing research repertoire. It is designed for individuals who have little to no experience in using a camera to conduct social research, but are interested in visual methods with a focus on creative practice. We will be drawing from principles and the literature in visual sociology and visual methods in particular. Students must have either a camera that allows for manual override settings (Digital SLR, Mirrorless, Advanced Compact) or be prepared to purchase the Camera+ app for their iOS smartphones (GBP4.99) or Camera FV-5 (GBP2.49) for their android smartphones (or any app that allows for manual settings of aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation). They should also have Snapseed (Free) installed on their phones.
Workshop 1 Topics
•    Introduction to Photography as a Research Method
•    Photography Technologies and Basic Camera Prin ciples
•    Photographing Social Spaces and Cultural Landscapes
•    Photographing People and Environmental Portraits
•    Photographing Action and Interaction
•    Ethics in Photography
•    Photo Walkabout 1 Workshop 2 Topics
•    Photo Walkabout Formative Crit
•    Developing a Visual Essay as Research Output
•    Photo Walkabout 2
•    Photo-Editing and Workflow Processes
•    Integrating Creative Practice into Photographic Practice

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Hybrid - asynchronous pre-recorded material.
Face to face synchronous workshop, safety permitting.
Teaching Method 1 - Seminar
Description: 2 days of 4 hour seminars involving problem based learning and talks
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   4


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 42


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Visual Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester Two    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.