Overview

Are you a keen photographer looking to turn your passion into a career?

If you want to get expert skills in a particular field of photography such as documentary, editorial and fine art photography or want to learn about the business side of the photographic industry, this BA (Hons) Photography degree course is ideal.

It gives you the knowledge and skill necessary to fine-tune your photography skills and successfully promote your work and abilities in a competitive marketplace.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Learn about many approaches of photography and use traditional and modern techniques to hone your skills and find inspiration
  • Be taught by practising professionals with experience in exhibiting, publishing, curating and writing about photography
  • Use extensive photography facilities and equipment, including our photographic studios with flash and tungsten lighting setups, range of digital and traditional cameras, and our digital darkroom
  • Be able to attend engaging guest lectures from respected industry figures, past guest lecturers have included Peter Kennard, Laura Pannack, Oliver Chanarin, Clare Strand, Tom Hunter, Eva Stenram and Brian Griffin
  • Organise group exhibitions across venues in Portsmouth, promoting your work in pubs, shop windows, restaurants and pop-up galleries
  • Go on annual study visits to galleries and photography festivals in locations like London, Paris, Berlin and Brighton
  • Undertake commissions and enter photography competitions
  • Organise and be part of a London show where you'll network with gallery directors, curators, magazine editors and advertising agency directors

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience in the photography industry during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules in this year include:

  • Creative and Industry Skills
  • Introduction to Photographic Practices and Research
  • Introduction to Visual Culture
  • Professional Practice and work experience

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Advanced Skill and Innovation
  • Photographic Critical Practices and Research
  • Photographic Practice and Project Development
  • Professional Experience and Freelance Experience

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Visual Culture: Cult, Taste and Collecting    
  • Visual Culture: Performing Identity     
  • Visual Culture: Technology and the Image
  • Visual Culture: Visions of the Body
  • Research in the Public Sphere
  • Student Enterprise 
  • Professional Experience
  • Engaged Citizenship through Interdisciplinary Practice

Placement year (optional)

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll have access to Creative Careers; a dedicated team within the faculty helping students to find placement opportunities within the creative industries. They’ll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search, including help with applications and interviews, and support throughout your placement, should you need it.

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Advanced Practice Research
  • Major Projects in Photography
  • Professional Practice and Graduate Employability

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Blogs, Grants and Catalogues: Writing Visual Culture for the Public
  • Advanced Digital Process
  • Visual Culture: Extended Research Project
  • Visual Culture: Dissertation
  • Visual Culture: Practice Research     

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • lectures
  • project
  • seminars
  • individual tutorials

Teaching on this course has a practical focus.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • practical photography projects
  • exhibition prints
  • artists books
  • magazine layouts
  • screen based work and moving image
  • real-life exhibition projects
  • portfolios

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 13% practical exams and 87% coursework
  • Year 2 students: 23% practical exams and 77% coursework
  • Year 3 students: 7% practical exams and 93% coursework

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

What jobs can you do with a Photography degree?

Previous students have gone on to work as:

  • studio photographers
  • video directors
  • picture editors
  • retouchers
  • photojournalists
  • curators
  • artists
  • fashion photographers
  • teachers/lecturers

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BA (Hons), BA (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Applicants will be required to attend an interview. Applicants without art and design qualifications or experience may be asked to submit a digital portfolio in advance of an invitation to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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