BA (Hons) Photography

  • Excellent industry connections and talks programme
  • Up-to-date facilities and photographic kit with dedicated technical support
  • A critical, challenging and supportive course that encourages individual responses to the contemporary photographic industry.

About the course

If you want a career in photography, this is the course for you. Through a range of projects, you’ll explore and evolve your vision and practice in photography. Through practical workshops, you will learn technical expertise and through feedback and group sessions you will critique and expand your visual language. You’ll also study the theoretical side of photography, including its fascinating history and contemporary practices. Experimentation, creativity and collaboration are encouraged and facilitated throughout the course. The course has a clear industry focus that aims to develop your professional awareness. A key part of your Final Year is learning how to operate as a freelancer, interact with clients and approach potential employers. This culminates in the presentation of your final portfolio to employers and public-facing graduate shows.

Why choose this course?

The friendly and supportive course encourages you to explore and evolve your photographic vision and practice through a programme of workshops, seminars, lectures and work experience opportunities. Through a sequence of practical projects, you gain a range of technical skills and professional knowledge. Experimentation and risk-taking are encouraged together with the critical study of photographic histories, theories and contemporary practices.

The photography programme emphasises professionalism and industry relevance. The tutors and visiting lecturers are practising photographers or potential employers from the media industries such as working photographers, agents, artists, art directors, marketing professionals and curators.

  • This Photography degree is designed for those that want to work towards a career as a professional photographer or in related media professions.
  • The degree prepares you for employment in a range of photography-related professions.
  • You'll explore and evolve your individual photographic vision and practice, specialising in your chosen genre.
  • Our tutors and visiting lecturers are practising photographers or potential employers.
  • Our student work is increasingly getting recognised within the photographic world. Our industry partners are high profile and recent student work placements include the prestigious photography agency Magnum. In addition, we have a number of interns working for the BBC.
  • Our lively talks programme also allows students to show and discuss current work-in-progress and receive direct feedback from key figures. Our recent visitors include Tereza Cervenova, Matthew Finn, Alexandra Lethbridge, Carl Bigmore, Sebastian Edge from The North London Darkroom and contemporary photographic agency Together Associates.

What will I study?

First Year

Delivered through hands-on workshops you will be introduced to a wide range of professional techniques and approaches to photographic image-making. Guided my lecturers you will look at studio and portable lighting, shooting in the studio and on location, digital workflow and how to retouch and manipulate images, technical theory and use of the darkroom in colour and black and white. Developing films and enlarging photographic images through traditional and alternative methods.

In group sessions you will use informal discussion to support your photographic work, gaining feedback, critical awareness and confidence. The study of the histories and theories of photography gives you a foundation for your practice both in class sessions and through written work.

You will complete the first year with a public facing-exhibition and a solid grounding in the fundamentals of photography through final photographic work, practice, research, writing and theory. You will have gained confidence in academic research and writing and be ready to jump up to the second year.

Second Year

During year two, you begin to define who you are as a photographic practitioner and to identify your professional goals. You respond to assignments and negotiated projects by considering professional concerns such as markets, audiences, clients and users of the photography industry.

Advanced photography and digital imaging skills are taught through lecture/demonstrations, workshop sessions and studio practice. This stage also introduces and develops your professional awareness and provides an opportunity to experience a 'live' working environment through industry-style briefs set by professional photographers and designers. There is scope for work experience and study abroad in Europe or further afield. There is a second-year final exhibition where, in groups, you will begin to put into practice skills around presenting and curating photography in a group show.

Final Year

In the final year, you will embark on a self-defined, extended project that allows the time to evolve to a more sophisticated outcome. You will choose a specialism area to work in for example documentary, fashion, still-life and you will spend the year making the kind of work you want to represent you as an emerging photographer.

You will develop a professional portfolio of photography with which to launch your career. The portfolio will demonstrate your professional versatility by including client-led work alongside a self-directed project full of personal vision, media expertise and professional standards. You will also write a dissertation or a report which identifies an area of contemporary professional practice relevant to your work and feeds into and supports the practical making.

A key part of your final year study is learning how to operate as a freelancer, interact with clients and approach potential employers. This culminates in the presentation of your exhibition work and portfolio in two separate degree exhibitions which are open to invited media industry employers and the public.

Professional Accreditations

We are accredited by the Association of Photographers, this is awarded to courses that meet strict criteria where content responds to the current demands in advertising, fashion and editorial photography.

Careers

Graduates are equipped to pursue a wide variety of careers including self employment as photographers in editorial, advertising, fashion, journalism, publishing; also in allied professions in multimedia, curatorial work, picture research and arts administration. Students might also go on to specialist postgraduate study.

What job can I get?

On the Photography degree you are prepared for employment in a range of photographic professions which include commercial, client led practices such as advertising and editorial photography through to documentary photography and personally defined fine art photography, as well as related fields of employment such as production, picture editing, curating and gallery management

Many of our graduates work in freelance positions after their degree. Others go into areas of employment such as photo editing and retouching, or become CGI artists, photo librarians / archivists, producers, agents, art buyers, art directors, photographers’ assistants, lighting technicians, digital operators, studio managers, photography curators / writers / historians and more.

Periodic review

This course is due to be renewed at a Periodic Review event which will be held in March 2020.

We anticipate that there will be further enhancements made to the course as a result of the Review.

Our website and printed literature will be updated following completion of the Periodic Review in order to provide applicants with further confirmed details on the following:

  • module titles
  • whether the modules are core or optional
  • the expected contact hours
  • how the course will be assessed
  • staff teaching on the course