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.

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.


Creative ability

The student:

can create an innovative concept and develop it into a unique and significant image, product, means of communication or spatial design, and place it in a context in an innovative way;

forms his points of departure from a personal artistic vision and places it in a broader cultural and social perspective;

uses artistic and technical problems to develop comprehensive solutions and demonstrates that he makes use of his knowledge of, and insight in, the way images, shapes, materials, proportions and colours evoke experiences and transfer meanings. He also finds relevant resources to photograph in an effective manner;

employs a method that, on several occasions, questions the concept (and/or process) and uses his findings to come to a better design;

shows in the work that he transfers meanings and can cause experiences.

Capacity for critical reflection

The student:

is able to analyse, interpret and assess his own work and that of others, and can apply the ensuing outcomes to benefit his own work;

evaluates the result on the basis of communicative effectiveness and artistic value, oversees the implications of choices and decisions and can justify these;

demonstrates awareness of different views that exist in the field;

shows the ability to investigate all matters that are important for a design;

extends his knowledge of traditions and theories related to the discipline, of different visions on, and approaches to, the chosen profession, from both historical and contemporary philosophical insights (especially ethics and aesthetics) that may be of importance to a photographer.

Capacity for growth and innovation

The student:

continuously develops his work and method in both depth and intensity, in a way that suits him and relates to his discipline;

shows he wants to further develop his personal artistic vision;

demonstrates the ambition to excel;

shows a critical and inquiring attitude regarding his work. He is able to further develop this into a body of work and an individual position;

is able to acquire new knowledge, insights and skills concerning techniques, legislation, processing and application possibilities, and public and professional approaches;

uses criticism of others to further develop.

Organisational competence

The student:

can create and maintain his own inspiring and functional work environment;

develops his own work process and is able to see how various aspects of the medium in the discipline are interconnected;

makes business arrangements to be able to eventually work as an (independent) photographer;

is able to manage the work process and can find a balance between substantive research, photography, logistics, facilitating and public activities;

knows how to locate possible expertise of colleagues or specialists from other disciplines and collaborate with them;

knows how to document and archive his work.
Communicative competence

The student:

can present and explain his artistic vision and work, and negotiate about it with clients and others involved;

is able to obtain and interpret job assignments;

shows the ambition to publish and exhibit his work and proclaim is own opinions;

has an overview of the market and the mass media;

is able to find a support for his work;

communicates verbally, visually and in writing about his work;

makes and maintains contacts that are relevant to its own network.

Situational awareness

The student:

has a vision on the role and position of his discipline and is able to relate his work and convictions to those of others and to developments in the cultural and social contexts;

focuses in his work on the user and acquires knowledge necessary to adequately adapt to these (user) groups;

is able research all aspects relevant to the work;

studies the work and visions of his peers, also internationally;

places his own work in the perspective of traditions and theories related to the field;

recognises a wide range of views in relation to the profession of photographer, both from a historical and contemporary perspective;

is inspired by a range of cultural and social sources and can recognise and name these in his own work;

reflects on the function of the discipline in society.

Collaborative competence

The student:

is able to guide collaborative efforts and provide content and quality;

is able to achieve his goals while working with others;

is able to utilise his talents and abilities in a collaboration;

can effectively and respectfully employ different roles, responsibilities and interests in the process of photographing.

Artistic technical domain

Now that the professional field has been extensively explored, the student uses the last phase to hone down and make explicit his own visual signature. Specialisation and profiling within the medium are the starting points. The student consciously strives to find the boundaries of the discipline and move beyond them if possible. This applies in particular to the way of presenting the work. The experience of the work plays an important role in the development of the communication concepts.

Theoretical domain

The thesis is the culmination of the research for the practical work. In the thesis, students establish their work and their position as maker in the broader context of the discipline. The student demonstrates he can engage both the historical and current situation of the medium in this, as well as the situation of culture in general. The determination of standpoints is crucial to this. 

Professional social domain
The activities of the exam are placed in the context of the professional practice and further developed. This means that special attention is given to all matters related to the entrepreneurship of the photographer. One part of the exam includes a project in which the student demonstrates he can place the work in the context of the discipline. In addition to the exam work, students are expected to write a business plan and to generate publicity for their exam work. 

The content of the final stage of the part-time programme corresponds to that of the full-time programme. The projects are adapted to fit into three semesters. The objectives associated with the final phase of the programme are the same as the final qualifications and the associated competences.

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