VTP Requirements

The Advanced Certificate Program allows students to obtain an Advanced Certificate in Visual Theory and Practice to supplement their MA or Ph.D. degree in one of CEU’s existing degree programs. Students interested in pursuing the VTP advanced certificate, should fill out the VTP registration form for the 2023-24 academic year.

To receive the certificate, the following requirements need to be fulfilled by 1 or 2 year MA Students:

1/ Admission to one of the participating departments.
2/ 1YMA: Based on the required 40 credits to obtain the MA degree (one-year), VTP students must take 4 credits from the core courses and obtain minimum 4 further elective credits from the approved annual list of VTP courses. Core courses taken beyond the 4 credit requirement will be counted as electives.
     2YMA: Based on the required 60 (66) credits to obtain the MA degree (two-years), VTP students must take 4 credits from the core courses in the first year of their studies and obtain minimum 8 further elective credits over the course of both years from the approved list of VTP courses.
3/ VTP students must write their thesis on a topic related to visual theory, the history of visual culture, or produce visual work alongside a written thesis. To help departments evaluate original visual works produced by students the VTP certificate program proposes a set of guidelines for the evaluation of audiovisual work.
4/ The student's first or second supervisor must be a faculty member participating in the VTP advanced certificate program.
5/ Participation in lectures, special seminars, and workshops organized by the VSP at CEU is required. Attendance and participation will be considered part of the student's overall performance.

These requirements may be adjusted in consultation with departments and their program of study.  

Visual Work Guidelines

A graduate student who chooses the visual work option must select ONE project from the  options listed below. At the beginning of the fall semester of the second year, the student should find two faculty members to supervise the project. Projects for this option include:

A. Moving Image Work: A work falling into a moving image tradition such as a documentary film, animated film, experimental film, etc. The work should have an inherent relation to the student’s theoretical course of study and final thesis. The length of the work will be determined by the complexity of the production process, but as a guideline it should range from 10-20 minutes.  Comprehensive pre-production materials will be submitted at various stages of the process, detailing the theoretical and conceptual basis of the work, and demonstrating preparedness.  

B. Photo Essay: Comprised of more than just snapshots, a photo-essay is made up of pictures that explore a particular theme. This might be an investigative story, documentation of tangible cultural heritage or visualization of contested memories in public space. Other themes and types of visual work are also possible upon agreement with supervising faculty members. The photo-essay should be accompanied by written text that offers a critical reading of images.

PhD students

PhD students may also receive a certificate in Visual Theory and Practice alongside their departmental doctorate.

The requirements for PhD students are the following:

1. Meet all department requirements for their degree and complete a PhD colloquium (when offered) or 2 credit core course from the VTP course list.
2. Submit a dissertation proposal for review to the VTP core committee to ensure it has a strong visual component along with a short motivation letter. Be supervised (first or second supervisor) by an affiliated VTP faculty member or closely involve affiliated VTP faculty in supervising the project.
3. Successfully defend a doctoral thesis on a topic related to Visual Studies or produce original visual works that complement the doctoral thesis in a meaningful manner (e.g. mid-length documentary film in addition to the written thesis).
4. Participate in events organized by the VSP.
While students are encouraged to join the Visual Theory and Practice track during their first year of study, it is possible to join in the second year as well, provided the above requirements are still met.

Eligibility of Participation

Students from any department or program are eligible to participate as long as their department supports such participation. They must take Visual Theory and Practice courses within the parameters of the degree program in their home department (as cross-listed or approved outside courses). Or, in exceptional cases with the permission of their department head and the head of the VTP executive committee, students may be authorized to take VTP courses as an overload of their normal credit load for their primary degree.