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Study programme overview

Video: MEANINGFUL TRANSITIONS assignment for the Interactive Media classes with the 2nd year students (2014-2015)

This text provides a general overview to what each year offers you. Every study year is divided into two semesters of 16 weeks. Each semester is divided into two blocks of 8 weeks. Courses usually last for one block or a full semester. More information on all courses including required materials and literature, teaching methods, learning goals and assessment criteria can be found at:

Every semester ends with a collective assessment, where you organize all work from participating courses over the preceding semester in a personal and insightful presentation. During a collective assessment, you are expected to reflect on the preceding semester and articulate learning goals for next semester.

Propaedeutic year / year 1 (semester 1 and 2): Exploration & Visual development

In the first year, you experience a thorough and intensive introduction to a broad variety of aspects connected to the field of photography. Through theory, field trips, exhibitions and events, you will quickly broaden your knowledge on photography and beyond. You will learn how to manage your studies and how to structure your work process. In this first year, there is a strong emphasis on improving your technical skills, including postproduction in photography. You will be challenged on content by doing projects in the role of a street photographer, a portrait photographer, a studio photographer and more. All these exercises and projects teach you a variety of strategies to create work.

Alongside, you will follow basic courses in graphic design, moving image and interactive media to better understand how contemporary photography is intertwined with other media. By exploring the breadth of the photographic landscape, you will start to discover where your own true interests lie.

At the end of the first year, you will make an application for either the Documentary or Fiction specialisation. The motivation for your preferred direction is clearly reflected in the work you’ll show at your collective assessment and underpinned by your verbal presentation.

Main Phase / year 2 (semester 3 and 4): Proficiency & In-depth research

In the second year, you’ll dive further into specific aspects of your chosen specialisation (Fiction or Documentary). The difference is primarily manifested in long-term photography courses, taught by internationally acclaimed specialists with different backgrounds in photography. An important goal for the second year is to have your personality shine through in your projects. This ambition is helped by courses like Civil Society Lab where you will be encouraged to explore your fascinations outside the world of art and photography.

As the focus on technique subsides after the second year, this is the last year to bring your technical skills to the highest level possible. You’ll deepen your knowledge and experience of moving image and interactive media in courses that are tailored to your chosen direction. You also follow a course that entirely focuses on presentation techniques - in line with the ambitions within your work.

The Individual Study Track (IST) – starting in the second year – provides you an opportunity to follow courses outside the department or to do projects that complement your personal interests. You can also choose to follow an exchange semester at one of our partner institutions abroad.

One of the highlights of the second year is the international fieldtrip where you will produce a body of work on a self-chosen topic within one week. The project is preceded by intensive preparatory research. After the trip, you and your peers will collaborate in editing and producing a publication in a one-week workshop.

Main Phase / year 3 (semester 5 and 6): Professionalization & Presentation

In the third year of your studies, you will be challenged to go further in-depth by immersing yourself into a semester-long project working around a given theme. A driving aspect is to bring nuance and subtlety into both content and presentation of your work. You are expected to become aware of your potential audience, and the consequences this has for your work, as well as working with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Your long-term semester project will end up as your first solo-publication, produced in collaboration with students from KABK’s Graphic Design department. You are also expected to present your project using a different presentation platform; for example, using interactive design or moving image. You finish the project with a public presentation outside the academy where you will gain valuable experience in organising, constructing, publishing, financing and advertising a project, all the responsibility of you and your peers.

In the second half of the third year, you will go on an internship with one of the many acclaimed professionals from our broad international network. Over the course of one semester, you will build up a network and obtain experience in the professional field. This experience enables you to connect different elements of your study and prepare plans for your final year.

The Individual Study Track (IST) provides you the opportunity to follow courses outside our department or create projects that complement your personal interests. You can also choose to follow an exchange semester at one of our partner institutions abroad.

Part-time: In the second half of the third year, you will initiate your own career orientation independently. In addition, you’ll make a head start with projects from the graduation year, meaning you complete a commissioned work and begin writing your thesis. More details can be found in the fourth year description.

Main Phase / year 4 (semester 7 & 8): Profiling & Positioning

In the fourth year, you will be challenged on both theory and practice by focussing on three major projects: a commissioned work, a thesis and your graduation work. All three projects are connected and feed off each other. We call this the ‘fourth year triangle’. An important challenge is to better articulate who you are as maker, and where you stand in the professional field.

Your commissioned work will be realized for a commissioning partner (or client) outside the academy and should fall within your own field of interest. You will be challenged in crucial skills such as pro-activity, responsibility and your ability to collaborate. The result should be published in an existing (on-line) magazine, exhibited in a real exhibition space, or any other form that reaches an audience, desired by both you and the commissioning partner.

In the meantime, you also work on your thesis, where you research and write around a self-chosen topic that contributes to your personal ‘fourth year triangle’. The thesis helps to better understand your position as a maker and can be seen as the backbone of your graduation work.

Your graduation project is defining you as a photographer, and will be your entrance to the professional field of art and photography. You will develop a personal working method that will enable you to continue your development as a critical maker and thinker after your graduation.

In addition to the three major projects, extra attention is stressed to organizational and entrepreneurial skills, such as setting up a business, pitching a project, writing quotes and budgets, branding and networking, grant applications and other aspects that prepare you for a professional practice after your graduation.

Also in the fourth year, Individual Study Track (IST) provides you the opportunity to follow courses outside our department or to create projects that complement your personal interests. During the last semester, you can use IST to work on the publicity campaign and catalogue of your graduation group.

At your final exam, you will show a coherent visual presentation of your commissioned work, thesis and graduation work. Next to this, you’ll deliver a verbal presentation that elucidates your work and intended place in the professional field. After passing your exam, your work will be exhibited in the graduation festival.

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Last updated: 2017-05-24

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