MSc in Imaging Art and Science

University of Westminster - Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

Program Description

MSc in Imaging Art and Science

University of Westminster - Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

The MSc in Imaging Art and Science is part of a dual pathway MA/MSc programme in Imaging Art and Science

The MA/MSc in Imaging Art and Science is a unique programme in Imaging, designed to equip students with advanced skills in areas relating to image conception, formation, capture, analysis, evaluation and visualisation from the perspectives of art, science and technology.

The University of Westminster was the first institution in the UK to provide academic degrees in Photography, Imaging Science and Technology and has produced world leaders in the fields of Image Science, Imaging Technologies, Photographic Arts and Photographic Theory.

The MA/MSc in Imaging Art and Science is a cross-disciplinary programme built on our experience and proficiency in these fields, run in collaboration by the Westminster School of Media Arts & Design and the Faculty of Science & Technology. It provides cutting-edge education, supported by external links to creative and scientific industries.

MA and MSc Pathways

Students enrol for an MA or an MSc degree, but can potentially change pathway. The MA and MSc pathways share some common syllabus, whilst the majority of the content is distinctive to each degree, to allow for discipline specialisation to be developed within a multidisciplinary environment. Relevant areas include digital image representation and visualisation; digital imaging systems and their performance evaluation; cultural, theoretical, and historical aspects of the production and consumption of images; colour vision, measurement and management; image quality, content and aesthetics; programming for imaging. The course encourages understanding of interdisciplinary issues relating to imaging, by providing space for art/science collaborative projects and hybrid methodologies. Students engage in a Major Project, specific to the MA or MSc pathway, and where appropriate, collaborate with external creative, technological and scientific industries. MA Students obtain their degree from Westminster School of Media, Arts and design and MSc students from the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Course structure and module contents (MSc Pathway)

  • Methods-Process-Context (20 credits)
  • Transactions and Public Engagement (40 credits)
  • Colour Imaging dual pathway (20 credits)
  • Image Quality and Content dual pathway (20 credits)
  • Imaging Science (20 credits)
  • Research Project (60 credits)
  • Option Module from Faculty of Science and Technology (20 credits)


Methods-Process-Context is a shared MA/MSc module providing advanced research skills relevant to art, science and inter-disciplinary projects. It offers data analysis/statistics, technical and creative skills, introduction to creative programming and programming for imaging. A range of skills is offered to allow students to tailor their skill-set to support themselves throughout the course.

Transactions and Public Engagement

Transactions and Public Engagement encourages understanding of interdisciplinary aspects of imaging, and provides a space for art/science collaborative imaging projects, the outputs of which are disseminated in yearly events.

Colour Imaging is a dual pathway MA/MSc module discussing colour theory, colour vision, colour measurement, appearance and management, alongside the cultural, theoretical, and historical dimensions of colour in visual arts and imaging.

Image Quality and Content

is a dual pathway MA/MSc module, exploring cultural and scientific approaches to image quality. Areas of study include visual psychophysics, image quality models, critical theory and aesthetics.

Imaging Science

is MSc pathway specific; it focuses on signal sampling and quantisation, digital image formation, image analysis and measurements of imaging system performance. It includes optics relevant to image formation and system performance.

Students must take at least 2 module options from the course. One option can be taken from other relevant Post Graduate courses within the Faculty of Science and Technology.

The Research Project is a self-directed, pathway-specific body of work undertaken with academic supervision; it often runs in collaboration with relevant industries/organisations.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at Art or Science graduates from disciplines relating to Imaging (e.g. photography, media, fine art, or computer science, electrical engineering, mathematical and physical sciences), wishing to specialize in Imaging Arts or Imaging Sciences, while developing a cross-disciplinary outlook, informed by scientific, art and theoretical perspectives. We also encourage applicants with equivalent experience in related fields such as photography, art, science, media or imaging industries.

Who teaches the course?

The course is delivered by staff from the Faculties of Media, Arts & Design, and Science & Technology. The staff team has extensive expertise in imaging science, visual science, computer science, commercial and fine art photography, critical theory and philosophy. It includes researchers of the Computational Vision and Imaging Technology (CVIT) research group, and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media CREAM). Members of the staff team disseminate and publish their research internationally and are also active in consultancy within the creative and scientific industries. Recent publications include Fashion as Photograph, Emerging Landscapes and the classic textbooks Manual of Photography and Langford's Advanced Photography.

Associated careers

Depending on the tailored module/content selection and Major Project topic, graduates of the MA/MSc will be able to work in a range of fields, including: imaging practice and production (e.g. fine art/ commercial photography, film post production and special effects); image management, picture research, curating (e.g. photographic libraries, museums and archives); scientific imaging and processes (e.g. biomedical imaging labs, image processing and analysis, colour management), imaging science research (e.g. optical system development, image quality, imaging performance). Graduates may also work in a number of other areas, including imaging education, research labs and creative applications.

Studying in a multidisciplinary environment will equip graduates with a lateral approach to problem-solving, and the ability to communicate disciplinary issues to wide audiences, including the public. Collaboration with the industry will provide graduates with real-world research experience, an attribute that is highly prized by prospective employers.

A number of our graduates now work in leading imaging centres in the industry, such as Apple Research Labs, Aptina Imaging, ON Semiconductor, The Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Framestore, or research and teach in academic institutions internationally.

Admission criteria

Normally, applicants will require a First or Upper second Honours degree in a scientific discipline relating to imaging, such as imaging science electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science; or equivalent experience in relevant subject areas in industrial contexts.

IELTS Standard 7 is required for both pathways.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 29, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
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1 year
Full time
8,000 GBP
Home/EU: £8,000 - Overseas: £16,000
United Kingdom - London, England
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United Kingdom - London, England
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