Registration Deadline:
8 April 2022

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Relying on massive use of photographic images – a key element in today’s visual communication – this two-year course, unique in Switzerland, gives students with a related Bachelor’s degree an opportunity to develop projects in the long term. It especially pushes the boundaries of applied research in contemporary photography with an emphasis on picture dematerialisation through digital manipulation, 3D Computer Generated Imagery and virtual and augmented reality. From a physical viewpoint, it explores new forms of books, shaping images on various media as well as interactive exhibition design, up to and including the moving image.

Presentation recording and registration for the online Portfolio Reviews

You will find below the presentation made in early 2022 as well as the date and link to register for our next online Portfolio Reviews, during which the head of programme and/or an academic assistant will give a preliminary opinion on your portfolio to apply at ECAL.

Information Session
Registration to the online Portfolio Reviews
Wednesday 9 March 2022, 9am–4pm (15 min. per person)

Learning objectives


first year

We give you the keys to:

  • Develop a personal project during one semester which may possibly extend over the whole duration of the studies and up to graduation.
  • Collaborate with a brand, magazine or media in the fields of fashion and design; understand the issues at stake in applied photography for art direction, styling and production.
  • Understand still life studio photography with advanced skills in lighting and HD digital photography.
  • Create and produce a personal photographic book (editing, sequencing, printing, binding, etc.) that could be presented at international fairs (Offprint Paris and London); know the photographic publishing market (financing, production, distribution).
  • Learn about 3D software (computer generated imaging) in relation to its photographic simulations.
  • Acquire skills and develop projects in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (XR).
  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments related to image technologies.
  • Broaden your referential skills, structure your discourse and acquire curatorial skills in contemporary photography.
  • Benefit from portfolio readings with curators from major institutions and international artists.
  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.
Self-Initiated Project – Robin Bervini
Augmented Reality project– Sally Jo Hee Jun
Virtual Reality workshop
Self-initiated project – Sara Bastai
Self-initiated project – Gedvile Tamosiunaite
Applied Photography course – Collaboration with CitizenM – Sara Bastai
Collaboration with SWISS Magazine – Applied Photography course
Applied Photography course – Anja Karolina Furrer
Applied Photography course – Doruk Kumkumoğlu
Applied Photography course – Collaboration with CitizenM –
Natalia Maximova
Applied Photography course – Nikolai Frerichs
Photobook course
Photobook course – Justinas Vilutis
Photobook course – Calum Douglas
“Mirage Club” exhibition with Golgotha, Paris Photo
Workshop Computer Generated Imagery
Lecture by Simone C. Niquille at ECAL
Lecture by Claire Hoffmann at ECAL

Second year

We give you the keys to:

  • Continue the development of a personal project and define your photographic writing in view of the graduation work.
  • Materialise photography in installations and sculptures with construction, moulding and printing techniques (UV Printing, 3D printing, CNC).
  • Learn about the concept of “Augmented Photography” (introduction to code, digital arts and post-human approaches).
  • Participate in group trips for field projects and international exhibitions.
  • Follow studio visits with practitioners from all over the world.
  • Participate in research programmes with practical experiments in relation to image technologies.
  • Immerse yourself in workshops constantly adapted to the latest technological and cultural trends led by professionals from all over the world in order to carry out collective or personal projects by learning a new technology/approach.
  • Benefit from portfolio reviews with curators and artists from all over the world.
  • Participate in a writing workshop and write your Master’s thesis based on the knowledge acquired during the course.
  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly. 
Automated Photography course – Emidio Battipaglia
Automated Photography course – Philipp Klak
Materialise Photography course – Johanna Hullar
Materialise Photography course – Jasmine Deporta
Summer University in New York City
Materialise Photography workshop in New York City
Materialise Photography workshop in New York City – Justinas Vilutis
Summer University in Tokyo
Summer University in Tokyo – Various projects
Biennale dell'immagine Chiasso, Switzerland
Diploma project – Johanna Hullar
Diploma project – Alina Frieske
Diploma project – Alina Frieske
Diploma project – Igor Pjörrt
Diploma project – Justinas Vilutis
Diploma project – Senta Simond
Diploma project – Senta Simond
Diploma project – Robin Bervini


Photographer of architecture, design, fashion or still life, Documentary photographer, Photo artist, Art director, Photo editor, Director of photography, Teacher…

Testimonials from our alumni

Karla Hiraldo Voleau
Justinas Vilutis
Shin Young Park

Other alumni

BA and MA Photography:
Anoush Abrar, Philippe Fragnière, Erwan Frotin, Yann Gross, Maxime Guyon, Nicolas Haeni, Raphael Hefti, Philippe Jarrigeon, Florian Joye, Matthieu Lavanchy, Milo Keller, Namsa Leuba, Catherine Leutenegger, David Luraschi, Romain Mader, Douglas Mandry, Jonas Marguet, Adrien Missika, Charles Nègre, Cyril Porchet, Laurence Rasti, Maya Rochat, Sebastian Stadler, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Joël Tettamanti, Manon Wertenbroek...


Milo Keller

Artistic deputy
Florian Amoser

Sara Bastai
Robin Bervini

Laurence Bonvin
Claus Gunti
Milo Keller
Anniina Koivu
Ann-­Christin Bertrand
Bruno Ceschel
Robert Drowilal (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Kim Knoppers
Elise Mazac (Mazaccio & Drowilal)
Elisa Medde
Marco de Mutiis
Visiting lecturers
Nora Al-­Badri
Alain Biber
Harm van den Dorpel
Cécile B. Evans
Christophe Gaillard
Amine Ghorab (Area of Work)
Ethan Greenbaum
Dominic Hawgood
Joe Hamilton
Felicity Hammond
Lauren Huret
It’s Our Playground
Rachel de Joode
Nicolas Krebs & Taiyo Onorato
Jonas Lindstroem
Lesley Martin
Alix Marie
Lauren Moffatt
Simone C Niquille
Lonneke van der Palen
Antje Peters
Scott Renau (Area of Work)
Philip Schuette
Ada Sokol
Lucy Soutter
Thomas Traum
Anne de Vries
Letha Wilson
Qiu Yang
François Zajéga
Francesco Zanot


Yearly fees
CHF 1 925.–

Language: English

Length: 4 semesters

Credits: 120 ECTS

Qualification issued
Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major in Photography

Frequently asked questions


What are the qualifications required to register for the admission exam in Master?


  • Bachelor’s degree in the target field
  • Equivalent foreign certificate*

*ECAL evaluates title's equivalences. This procedure being relatively long, a request of examination must be submitted by email to ECAL Secretariat until 18 March 2022 the latest. Request of evaluation submitted after the above mentionned date will not be processed.

What is the Master’s project?

This is a project that can be developed over the course of an applicant’s studies, perhaps in the context of the diploma. ECAL does not, however, expect applicants to submit finalized project plans on registration. Applicants usually submit ideas or outlines that they then develop over the course of their studies.

Is there a limit to the size of the portfolio?

Yes, in that applicants are asked to submit a portfolio that is representative of their recent work. Applicants thus select the work they want to present.

Is it possible to work at the same time as I complete the Master programme?

The ECAL Master programme is full time. The time spent in courses and workshops, along with the hours spent on course-related personal work, leave little time for a student job.

Does ECAL offer French classes for non-French-speaking students?

No, not at the moment.

Can I register for one of the ECAL Master entrance exams if my Bachelor is not in arts and design?

Yes, but only for the Master in Film Studies, which comprises various options (direction, editing, screenplays, sound and production). For the other Masters (Fine Arts, Product Design, Photography and Type Design). applicants must have a Bachelor in a related field. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat if you have any questions.

Can I register for two Master entrance exams at ECAL at the same time?

Yes, if you have the requisite diplomas. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat if you have any questions.


What are the languages of instruction?

Courses and workshops are in French in the Foundation Year and at Bachelor level (some Bachelor workshops are in English). Master / MAS programmes are for the most part bilingual (English/French). Fluency in French is therefore essential for the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes. The same applies to English at least for Master programmes.

Do I need a language certificate to enrol in an ECAL course?

Yes. For the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes, non-French-speaking applicants who have not attended school in Switzerland must be able to attest that they are proficient in French at the B2 level of the European Language Portfolio. The B2 level is required on registration.

Generally speaking, language proficiency is also checked by the juries during the entrance exam.


Does ECAL have a residence?

ECAL has neither a residence nor a campus, but it can, to a limited extent, help students looking for accommodation. As the housing market in the Lake Geneva area is relatively tight, students are advised to make arrangements well in advance.

Can ECAL act as a guarantor on a lease signed by a foreign student?

No, not at the moment.

Practical informations

Due to a serious lack of availability on the local market, it is very difficult to find an accomodation in Lausanne therefore you should look well in advance to find a suitable accommodation. Please keep in mind that you may be required to provide a
3 month safety deposit.

The following solutions are available:

Furnished studios or flat-sharing for students in Lausanne

Rooms to rent

Scholarships / tuition

I am a foreign student. Can I obtain a scholarship in Switzerland?

Educational assistance (grants or student loans) is awarded by the cantons and is intended for Swiss students (nationals, foreign permanent residents and persons with refugee status). It is not available to foreign citizens residing in Switzerland for the purposes of study only. However, the Swiss Confederation offers excellence scholarships to foreign students, researchers and artists for a period of study or research in Switzerland.

I am resident abroad. Will my tuition at ECAL be higher than for a student resident in Switzerland?

Except for the Foundation Year, where the course fees are determined by the student’s domicile, tuition is the same for all students in the same Bachelor, Master or MAS programme.


Does ECAL offer evening or summer courses? Can I sign up just for certain specific courses or workshops?

No, not at the moment.

Can I have a tour of ECAL?

En dehors des manifestations organisées par l’ECAL (expositions diverses, Open Day, etc.), aucune visite n’est autorisée à titre individuel. Des visites de groupes peuvent être organisées, mais planifiées suffisamment à l’avance. Le cas échéant, merci de contacter directement le Secrétariat de l’ECAL, à l’adresse

My company wishes to hire an ECAL student as an intern or employee. What do I have to do?

Please send the ECAL Secretariat, at, an advert in A4 PDF format containing all the information on the internship or job. The advert will be published on the ECAL intranet. Interested students will contact the advertiser directly.