BA (Hons) Photography

Course summary

Overview

This course combines the acquisition of high-level skills, the implementation of creative and conceptual briefs, and critical and analytical studies, and is designed to help you become a confident and articulate image-maker.

The course will give you skills and knowledge in photographic production, dissemination and critical discourse. You will learn through personal and commercial briefs, designed to increase your levels of independence, and inspire ownership of process, product and skills. 

On graduation, you will be able to interpret both commercial and conceptual briefs and produce professional photographic work to an industry standard. 


Why choose the course?
If you are curious, motivated, committed, ambitious and, above all, have the desire to communicate visually through photographic practice, then this course is for you. We will provide you with a supportive learning environment that will nurture your photographic interests and ambitions. Our graduates are valued by the industry for their skills, knowledge and adaptability.

We offer a dynamic and exciting photography course which will equip you with practical, theoretical and professional skills. Preparing you for employment is one of our priorities; therefore, work experience is embedded at all levels of the course.

Photography darkroom








We have great relationships with industry partners, including being a member of the Nikon Foundation and a corporate member of the Association of Photographers.

A strong team of established professional photographers, artists, curators and guest lecturers bring a wealth of experience to the course. London’s galleries, art centres and museums also provide a wonderful resource to inspire photographic projects and stimulate debate. Our courses have a modular structure with three modules taught and assessed in each semester. Each module normally constitutes three contact hours a week which can take the shape of a lecture, workshop, seminar or tutorial. 


Attendance is essential for success in addition to which a lot of time will be necessary for our students to produce their work. Open access time in our dedicated photography facilities allows our students to access specialist resources and equipment that is necessary to prepare work for assessment. Further to this there are weekly workshops, guest lectures, external visits and group critiques available outside of the formal sessions.We have nurtured a dynamic and supportive creative community that enables our students to flourish outside of their curricular activities and commitments. We put on annual field trips abroad, visits to galleries, seminars, talks and symposia, and help organise exhibitions, community projects and graduate shows.

Career and study progression
Our graduates pursue careers in the photographic and imaging industries including roles such as:

  • photographers
  • assistants
  • retouchers
  • editors
  • researchers

You may also work in:

  • advertising
  • fashion
  • photo journalism
  • documentary
  • web content production
  • picture editing
  • art buying
  • exhibition curation.
On successful completion of your bachelor's degree you can pursue post-graduate studies in your chosen field.

We have a wide range of postgraduate courses offered by the London School of Film, Media and Design. See our postgraduate courses page to view all the courses on offer.

Careers support
Our degrees are designed to help you find the career that’s right for you. 98% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating. With our desirable West London location, we have strong links with many national and multinational organisations such as the InterContinental Hotels Group, The Savoy, Thomas Cook Travel, Cobra Beer, and the Royal Palaces. 

We have a strong track record of providing valuable work placements and we also provide hands-on experience at the University through our Student Ambassadors’ scheme. Many of our staff have successful backgrounds in relevant industries and can advise you on how to kick-start your career. Our careers service will also help you realise your potential by offering specialist advice and guidance on a wide range of careers issues, including:
  • CVs
  • job hunting
  • recruitment and selection procedures
  • further study.

We are The Career University.


How will the course be assessed?

Year one
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

Year two
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

Year three
0% written exam, 0% practical exam, 100% coursework

woman in a fashion shoot in the photography studio   

 

                                

Course detail

Based in West London we offer a dynamic and exciting photography course which will equip you with practical, theoretical and professional skills. Preparing you for employment is one of our priorities; therefore, work experience is embedded at all levels of the course.

The course is broad-based and will focus on contemporary photographic practices but will also offer the opportunity for you to experiment with related subject areas such as moving image and emerging digital technologies. Through cultural and theoretical studies you will learn essential skills which will enable you to critically evaluate and effectively engage in contemporary photographic debates.

If you are curious, motivated, committed, ambitious and, above all, have the desire to communicate visually through photographic practice, then this course is for you. We will provide you with a supportive learning environment that will nurture your photographic interests and ambitions. Our graduates are valued by the industry for their skills, knowledge and adaptability.

Modules

Year one (Level 4)

  • Introduction to Photography: Identity
  • Photographic Histories
  • Experimental Approaches to Image Production
  • Introduction to Photography: Place
  • Exhibiting Photographs
  • What is Documentary?

Year two (Level 5)

  • Technologies of Seeing
  • Photography Theory
  • Narrative Photography
  • The Photographic Object
  • Industry Experience
  • Photography and Society

Year three (Level 6)

  • The Published Photograph
  • Professional Photographic Practice
  • Dissertation
  • The Professional Portfolio
  • Major Project

Entry requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications.

These can include:

  • A Levels at grade B, B and C, or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma with Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Access to HE Diploma

You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 – 4 / A* - C) or Level 2 equivalents.

Mature applicants (aged 21+): If you do not hold the above qualifications but possess relevant work experience, you are invited to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

Portfolio
Please bring to the interview your photographic work (which should be presented in a portfolio case, box or in book form). Your portfolio should consist of 20-30 prints, presented as a series of projects, showing not only technical awareness but the ability to explore themes and ideas in a coherent manner.

How to prepare for the interview:

  • research and find out more about the course
  • show enthusiasm and be prepared to discuss your achievements, experience and what motivates you
  • be prepared to talk about your portfolio, including the ideas behind your images, artistic influences and the development of your work.

Level 5 entry
If you wish to enter directly at level 5 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 120 undergraduate credits at level 4 or a CertHE in a related subject area.

Level 6 entry
If you wish to enter directly at level 6 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you have a 240 undergraduate credits (at level 4 and 5), a DipHE, Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject area.

International entry criteria

International students need to meet our English language requirement at IELTS 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses

Fees

Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
£9,250 (2019 fees may change subject to government policy and regulations)

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
£12,500
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

Information in the video above is accurate at the time it was produced. Bursaries for September for 2019 entry have not been announced. 

Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

We invite successful applicants to an interview. This is not only a chance for you to meet the course team, but also to show your enthusiasm and commitment to photography. You will need to produce evidence of a passionate interest in photography and the visual arts in a portfolio, and any sketchbooks that document your creative process. We are interested in applicants who demonstrate visual curiosity, motivation, commitment, ambition, and a burning desire to communicate.

Download our portfolio and audition guide FAQ (pdf, 56Kb).

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

Apply for this course at www.ucas.com when UCAS applications are open, from the previous September until June (see dates). You will need our institution code W05 and the UCAS code given on the right hand side of this page.

If the UCAS deadline has passed, you can apply through Clearing by calling our hotline on 0800 036 8888 (or +44 8231 2468). Clearing takes place over the summer months (July to September).

If you are making an early application, before UCAS has opened, you can apply directly to the University by clicking the red 'apply now' button above. You should also use this button to receive specialist information if you are applying for Nursing and Midwifery courses.

More about how to apply to the University of West London.

Please also read our student terms and conditions.

International students

Apply at www.ucas.com or you can apply to study this course using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

Please also read our student terms and conditions.

 

During the course

What our students say

Phil Hardman, BA (Hons) Photography graduate 2013

'I chose the University of West London because of the photography department's great reputation within the industry, also the University's location is fantastic for visiting exhibitions in and around London. What I love most about my course is being surrounded by my biggest passion every day, experimenting with new techniques and receiving feedback from not only my lecturers, but also my fellow students.'

Claire Williams, BA (Hons) Photography graduate 2012

'In addition to the course the UWL allowed me to gain extensive work experience photographing for local organisations, which has been invaluable to my progression. I particularly enjoyed studying at the UWL because of the fantastic tutors, who shared their individual knowledge and experience thus providing great motivation and drive to all the students.'

Saoirse Clohessy, BA Photography graduate 2012

'Whilst on the BA Photography, I completed my work experience at a photography studio during my 2nd year. I am really glad that my course offered a work placements module because it really gave me that push to find work experience in the area I wanted to work in. I now hold a permanent position at a photography studio and the knowledge I have gained from it is priceless.’

Elena Agafonovaite, BA (Hons) Photography graduate 2011

'I found my university experience inspiring. I had the opportunity to explore different high-end camera formats including and spending a lot of time being captivated in the darkroom which I really miss now that I’m working as a commercial photographer. Throughout the course I also engaged in high-profile exhibitions, in spaces like Liberty of London and the Truman Brewery. Engaging with these projects was integral to the course and it helped me to learn about the complexities of exhibiting and the presentation of my work.'

John Trickey, BA (Hons) Photography 2014

Studying Photography at UWL as a mature student was such a great experience. The staff team and technical demonstrators not only provided incredible variety in their backgrounds and industry experience, but the tutor support and guidance was the highlight for me. The old adage that 'the more you put in the more you get out' became 'the more you put in, the more you were continually challenged to keep raising the bar'. Whenever you made personal improvements there always seemed to be a subsequent question: 'Yes, but have you considered this…?'.  I've since gone on to enroll on an MA course, something I would never have considered prior to this course.

Jobs and placements

Work experience is undertaken at all levels of the course, so we produce confident graduates that are valued by the industry for their skills, knowledge, flexibility and adaptability.

Employers are always suitably impressed by our students, with work experience frequently leading to job offers upon graduation.

Comments from employers:

Tony Speight, Creative Partner, PS London ltd

'Last year, PS London created the new brand identity for the University. Great brands are always built on a truth from within. The uniqueness of UWL is its connectivity. Connections between staff and students, between the schools and between the university and industry. ‘ConnectEd’ was born.

To help bring this to life in the University’s marketing collateral, PS London and the photography department set the BA Photography students the live brief to demonstrate the connectivity of the university. We asked them to show us an 'insiders view' through their cameras.

From the start of the process it was clear that the students were very professional in their approach. The calibre of the shots they produced was outstanding, and many have been used in live jobs since. In addition, we are still in touch with some of the graduates and are looking to commission them in the future for other clients.  It’s clear that they are being given a fantastic education in what photography is really about.

For young photographers everywhere, I very strongly recommend this course. If you want a career in photography, enroll!'

Richard Bradbury, Photographer, FBIPP

'Over the past few years I have employed several graduates from University of West London's BA Photography course. I would like to say how impressed I am by the quality of the students I have worked with. I have been working as a professional photographer for nearly 25 years and I have interviewed many graduates during that time from many different colleges. I have often found their knowledge to be sadly lacking but this is certainly not the case with UWL. My current assistant is a UWL graduate and I am pleased to say that after interviewing her I did not need to look at anyone else as she ticked all of the right boxes. Well done and please keep up the good work.'

Ione Ascanio Green, Managing Director & Senior Photographer, MindStudio

'We regularly take on work experience students to come and work with us as we have found that they come with an open mind and a keenness to work that is exemplary. The students are hard-working and have a very strong desire to learn from real hands-on experience in an actual working environment. We find this very useful and beneficial as it helps us grow the business in many ways from sales and marketing to research to actual deliverables of our products and services. We also get to learn from the students, not just teach them as they often bring a fresh and new perspective on things that we may not naturally think about ourselves. We would highly recommend other companies and organisations to take on work experience students themselves as once they have they will wonder why they never did so before.'

KIS