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Course Description

BA (Hons) Photography is a multi-genre course which celebrates all areas of photography through an expansive curriculum which includes creative and technical skills, contextual studies (photographic history, philosophy, and relationship to art history) and professional development.

The course is delivered by a team of professional photographers, artists, curators, and writers, supplemented by visiting tutors and speakers from the photography, arts and media industries. You will be taught through theme-based units linking professional, theoretical and practical elements of the course.

The practice units enable you to develop independent photographic practice and encourage an approach to photography which encompasses fine art, documentary, and commercial practice.

For each practice unit, you’ll write your own brief and work within a small group to support and develop creatively through experimentation, research, and technical skills to realise your project.

The contextual studies programme is a key element of the course. Designed especially for photography students, it will introduce you to a wide range of cutting-edge and historical photographic practices, giving you an expanded understanding of photographic cultures as provocations for your own practice.

You will have an opportunity to visit London-based production photographic studios, magazine and newspaper publishing houses and processing facilities. In addition, visits to art centres, galleries and museums in London will provide stimuli for project work.

You will also work with the excellent technical staff and facilities at London College of Communication – including black and white and colour darkrooms, specialist studios and digital suites, available to photography students during term time.

This course is suitable for you if you are fascinated by photography, taking photographs and questioning their purpose, working creatively with photography, curious about photography from a wide perspective, find yourself reading about photography or are interested in photographic theory.

BA (Hons) Photography is a multi-genre course which celebrates all areas of photography through an expansive curriculum which includes creative and technical skills, contextual studies (photographic history, philosophy, and relationship to art history) and professional development. The course is delivered by a team of professional photographers, artists, curators, and writers,...

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Course Content

In common with all courses at University of the Arts, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Photography (20 credits)
  • Image and Reality (20 credits)
  • A Photographic Manifesto (40 credits)
  • Histories in Context (20 credits)
  • Ideas in Context (20 credits)

During the first year, through a series of specially designed theory/practice workshops you will learn about historical and contemporary photography practices, and the key theoretical frameworks used to situate them and be introduced to specialist photographic skills and creative methodologies in a supportive environment, to develop your curiosity and creativity.

As part of this programme you will attend an Adobe accredited Photoshop course.  

From this you will be supported through tutorials to develop and research your own photographic ideas in relation to project briefs and experiment with the technical skills to develop your personal position as a photographer.

In the Introduction to Photography unit, you’ll be introduced to the exciting world of photography and its professional possibilities through lectures, seminars, exercises, and interviews.

Each week there will be a lecture from a visiting professional photographer where you will learn about the many career opportunities open to those with a photographic education and meet fellow photography students from BA to MA levels of study.

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Visualising Ideologies (20 credits)
  • The Symposium (40 credits)
  • Elective Unit (20 credits)
  • Image, Society, Resistance (20 credits)
  • Cultural Machines: Meaning, Identity, Value (20 Credits)

As you move into Year 2 you will expand on these skills and start to develop your own voice within your practice. Year 2 builds on the foundations established in Year 1, introducing themes of practice, contextual studies, and professional development.

Students work through considerations of the medium, usage, and institutional setting, to focus on two the key themes of contemporary photography: society and culture.

It is in Year 2 through the Elective unit that you’ll have the opportunity to work collaboratively on a live brief. These briefs mirror the professional world whilst remaining in the safe environment of LCC.

You will be fully supported by the staff team during this process. Depending on which Elective you choose you will either be working on creating advertising material for a charity of your choice, or designing photographic based workshops for specific groups based in London.

The skill-set gained in these sessions are invaluable when looking for career opportunities.

Towards the end of the year, the emphasis in contextual studies is shifted towards preparation for your selection of a dissertation topic and approach and the initiation of research.

Year 3

Units summary:

  • Exit Dossier (20 credits)
  • Major Project (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

Year 3, the final stage, consolidates and develops your ability to direct and plan your own work by producing three substantial self-selected pieces of work – your Major Photographic Practice Project, Exit Dossier and Dissertation.

The dissertation is a researched extended essay on a topic of your choice which is relevant to photography.

The topic is generally chosen to complement your Major Project and gives you with the opportunity to develop a larger set of questions and ideas using skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired over the contextual studies units of the course.

Through the dissertation, you develop the ability to produce a thoroughly researched and appropriately presented piece of extended written work.

The Exit Dossier is your preparation for life after London College of Communication and includes an interview with a professional in your field of interest.

All three units are designed to enable you to sustain your practice and find exciting career opportunities.

All units are developed in consultation with a personal tutor and the support of the technical team and wider opportunities within University of the Arts London and according to a negotiated programme.

In common with all courses at University of the Arts, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits. Year 1 Units summary: Introduction to Photography...

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Entry Requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in the industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points, which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing, Media).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 5 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference;
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in the industry. The standard entry requirements for this course are as...

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Assessment Methods

  • Blog
  • Essays
  • Dissertation
  • Case studies
  • Interviews
  • Exhibitions
  • Presentations
  • Book launch
  • Symposiums
  • Student-led crits

  • Blog
  • Essays
  • Dissertation
  • Case studies
  • Interviews
  • Exhibitions
  • Presentations
  • Book launch
  • Symposiums
  • Student-led crits

Additional Information

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021