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BA (Hons) Photography

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Gain work placements in the photography industry
Gain work placements in the photography industry
Ranked 16th in Film Production and Photography
Ranked 16th in Film Production and Photography
Exhibit your work to industry in our Graduate Degree Show
Exhibit your work to industry in our Graduate Degree Show

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

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's the course about?

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.

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.

Student Blogs

Emily A - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

Hi, my name is Emily and I have just finished my first year at the University of Hertfordshire on the Film and Television Production course.

On Sundays before the week starts, I like to go through the lecture slides and make any notes in the margins of my notebook to prepare for the lectures I have that week. I also do any directed reading at the weekend to get ahead. However, now that our lectures are online, I just listen to and make notes on all my lectures at the start of the week.

As my course is quite practical, we have workshops throughout the week, as well as seminars, so I always try to do a bit of extra reading before those sessions to prepare.

My friends and I also work on our own film projects outside of the course, so it is important to be organised and complete classwork early to be available for these projects.

On a non-course related note, I also like to meal prep at the start of the week, by washing and chopping fruit and vegetables and keeping them in the fridge, so that I always have healthy snacks on hand, as the week gets busier.

I also have a part-time job freelance editing, so it is important to me to plan my days so that I can fit in my editing work alongside my uni work.

Student Blogs

Emily A - Guide to the facilities

Guide to the Film and Television Production Facilities at Herts

The Film, Music and Media Building

The building that you will spend most of your time on campus in on the Film and Television production course is the Film, Music and Media Building (the FMM for short). This is where we have our editing and camera workshops. The Walter Murch editing lab on the second floor is a great resource and it becomes extremely busy in the days leading up to a deadline. It is filled with 27” iMacs each equipped with customised Avid Media Composer keyboards.

The Loan Store

The Loan Store is a great resource to have as it allows us to not only rent out equipment for our assignment projects, but also for our own independent projects that we produce throughout the year. It is in the basement of the Art and Design building. There are also three bookable edit suites down the hall from the loan store, equipped with Dell true colour monitors, Avid colouring desks and 2.1 surround sound systems. There is also a dubbing suite that is especially useful for recording Foley and Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) for our projects.

Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

Both the College Lane and de Havilland campuses have their Learning Resources Centres (LRCs), which are great tools when writing our film and television histories and contexts essays. There is a shuttle bus that takes you between the campuses that runs every ten minutes so if there’s a book that you need on the other campus, you don’t need to worry! The University has a wide range of books and academic journals on their online library, which is a great tool for wider reading and including supporting evidence and references in our essays.

Student Blogs

Emily A - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts

Hi, my name is Emily and I have just finished my first year at the University of Hertfordshire on the Film and Television Production course. I have absolutely loved my first year at Herts, and I would recommend this course and University to anyone thinking of studying film and tv production.

Moving away from Guernsey to attend university seemed quite daunting at first, but I settled in a lot quicker and easier than I thought I would. Everyone here seems nice, and I have made some amazing friends in my first year here.

I always knew that I wanted to attend a big university with a lot of students, so the University of Hertfordshire was perfect! I also love that they have such a high focus on sport and extracurricular activities, and the Sports Village on the de Havilland Campus is a great resource.

My advice for students coming to university would be to do your research and really figure out what you want to get out of university and what you want to experience during your time here, to find a university that is right for you. I would also recommend that you try and visit as many prospective universities as you can at their open days because I had already visited five other universities by the time I came to the University of Hertfordshire’s open day, and (excuse the cliché) but from the moment I stepped on campus, I knew this was the university for me.

Thank you for reading and I wish you all the luck in your university journey!

Student Blogs

Eleanor - Unibuddy

Alumni Stories

Tomi Ojo

Meet Tomi Ojo who has been exploring her career opportunities and learning new skills since graduating. Tomi currently works within Elevation Networks as a National Citizen Service (NCS) Programme Intern.

Current job roleSenior Programme Coordinator - Youth Media
Year of graduation2017
Course of studyBA (Hons) Photography

Tomi Ojo

University experience and opportunities

Tomi took advantage of all of the opportunities that were available to her both inside and outside of her course. She says, 'The University gave me lots of opportunities to develop public speaking skills, both on my course and while being a Student Ambassador. This helped when being a team leader to speak to my group of 15 teenagers and lead them on their daily activities.'

Tomi had a great time at the University and says, 'I really enjoyed my course. It was mainly coursework based which worked well for me as exams made me nervous. My course mates were very supportive, and I found it really interesting to hear their opinions. I have some friends for life! The loan store was also very useful too as it provided free equipment for us to use for the duration of the course!'

She encourages future and current students to make the most of what the University has to offer. She says, 'Don't be scared because you're going on your own. Be open to criticism and other people's creative ideas. Not everyone sees your vision and that's okay as there's always room for improvement.'

Future aspirations

Tomi is determined to continue to develop in her role and possibly take her next steps overseas. She says, 'I would like to continue in the job role that I am currently in. Hopefully, I can move into social media and advertising. I would love to move abroad to America or Australia to work in a similar role. I'm really excited about my future!'

My course mates were very supportive, and I found it really interesting to hear their opinions. I have some friends for life!

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.