Photography

Study options

Award

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
W640
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
3 Years
Duration:
6 Years
Start date:
25 September 2023

Top 10

Guardian University League Tables 2023 (Film and Photography)

Average of 96% student satisfaction

National Student Survey 2020, 21 & 22

Additional Qualifications

Learn from Apple and Adobe accredited instructors.

Focusing on photographs as intentional 'visual communication', this course will help to develop your conceptual, creative and technical skills.

On this course we nurture new talent, encouraging students to develop imaginative approaches to image-making, as well as the technical knowledge required to become leading industry professionals.

This is one of the most established photography courses in the country, and the current team brings a wealth of experience from across the photographic and art sector – from editorial, advertising, public relations, fashion, documentary and art practices. We also have a team of Apple and Adobe certified technical instructors.

On this course we nurture new talent, encouraging students to develop imaginative approaches to image-making, as well as the technical knowledge required to become leading industry professionals.

This is one of the most established photography courses in the country, and the current team brings a wealth of experience from across the photographic and art sector – from editorial, advertising, public relations, fashion, documentary and art practices. We also have a team of Apple and Adobe certified technical instructors.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Photography

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Photography

Course content

This course is delivered through workshops, lectures, tutorials and visits from professionals from across the sector – including photographers, editors, stylists and artists.

The first year of the Photography degree introduces key concepts relevant to contemporary photographic practice, through challenging practical projects, designed to improve technical abilities such as lighting techniques and processing and printing skills. You’ll be introduced to the history of photography and spend some time developing practical camera and communication skills.

As you move through the programme, you will reinforce your emerging photographic practice through a sound knowledge of photography industry, taking part in research projects and public exhibitions. Contextual features of the course will encourage you to think critically about photography and its impact on culture and society.

You’ll be taught in specialist studios with access to state-of-the-art digital and film cameras, Mac computers and industry standard lighting rigs. We also have black and white darkrooms, allowing students to print chemically.

Optional study trip opportunities are offered to key cities such as New York, London and Paris, allowing you to visit exciting exhibitions and gain industry experience.

This course is delivered through workshops, lectures, tutorials and visits from professionals from across the sector – including photographers, editors, stylists and artists.

The first year of the Photography degree introduces key concepts relevant to contemporary photographic practice, through challenging practical projects, designed to improve technical abilities such as lighting techniques and processing and printing skills. You’ll be introduced to the history of photography and spend some time developing practical camera and communication skills.

As you move through the programme, you will reinforce your emerging photographic practice through a sound knowledge of photography industry, taking part in research projects and public exhibitions. Contextual features of the course will encourage you to think critically about photography and its impact on culture and society.

You’ll be taught in specialist studios with access to state-of-the-art digital and film cameras, Mac computers and industry standard lighting rigs. We also have black and white darkrooms, allowing students to print chemically.

Optional study trip opportunities are offered to key cities such as New York, London and Paris, allowing you to visit exciting exhibitions and gain industry experience.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 40 academic credits with a smaller number of 20 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 40 academic credits with a smaller number of 20 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

'Those left behind' - Stephen Lawton (Photography) Art and Design Show 22

'Those left behind' - Stephen Lawton (Photography) Art and Design Show 22

Video

Stephen Lawton introduces his moving project exploring families who are coping with a missing child.

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Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Image Technologies 1 20 credits
Image Technologies 2 20 credits
The Photographers Eye 40 credits
Visual Communication 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Photographic Practices 40 credits
Research Practices 1 20 credits
Research Practices 2 20 credits
Working With Photographs 40 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Individual Practice 1: Explorations 40 credits
Individual Practice 2: Consolidations 40 credits
Professional Directions 1 20 credits
Professional Directions 2 20 credits

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Image Technologies 1 20 credits
Image Technologies 2 20 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
The Photographers Eye 40 credits
Visual Communication 40 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Research Practices 1 20 credits
Research Practices 2 20 credits
Year 4 compulsory modules
Year 4 compulsory modules
Photographic Practices 40 credits
Working With Photographs 40 credits
Year 5 compulsory modules
Year 5 compulsory modules
Individual Practice 1: Explorations 40 credits
Professional Directions 1 20 credits
Year 6 compulsory modules
Year 6 compulsory modules
Individual Practice 2: Consolidations 40 credits
Professional Directions 2 20 credits

Entry requirements

112-120 UCAS Tariff points

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer

All applicants are individually assessed via portfolio review.

112-120 UCAS Tariff points

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer

All applicants are individually assessed via portfolio review.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Photography Showcase 2021 - Vicki

Photography Showcase 2021 - Vicki

Video

Photography student, Vicki takes us through her final-year project which forms part of the 2021 Art and Design Showcase.

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For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Careers

Graduate destinations include: freelance photography, medical/forensic photography, fashion photography, picture editors, account executives, photography historians, photography agents, studio managers, digital re-touchers, teachers, technicians, food stylists, gallery curators, and exhibitions and publicity officers. Our photography prize-winners include:

  • The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards
  • Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Tate Modern Street/Studio Winner
  • Royal Photographic Society (Peter Hansell) Bursary

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Photography at Staffordshire University

Photography at Staffordshire University

Video

Our Photography students are industry-ready with the very latest kit, professional staff and facilities and exposure to national competitions.

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Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Practical: Involves the acquisition, development and refinement of technical, conceptual, communication and problem-solving skills and their application to the production and function of photographs within particular contexts.

Theoretical/Contextual: Includes the knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary issues and debates within and around photography and visual communication and the development of an ability to integrate a critical and analytical approach within an informed photographic practice.

Professional: Includes the knowledge and understanding of the historical, cultural and professional contexts within which photographers and visual communicators operate. This constitutes a body of specialist knowledge that includes vocabulary, professional awareness and a realistic sense of career options.

These three strands are central to our ethos and the delivery methods reflect our belief that practice, that is, photographing, is best when carried out in the context of learning, theoretical understanding and a critical questioning approach. At the same time, the problem-solving rigours of practice contribute to the development of an informed, self-critical and ‘playful’ photographer.

We base our strategies upon the recognition that our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and bring with them a range of needs and expectations. We intensively target our resources in terms of staffing and facilities, at the earlier stages of the degree, so that students form an understanding and take on more responsibility for their learning as they progress through their studies.

Practical: Involves the acquisition, development and refinement of technical, conceptual, communication and problem-solving skills and their application to the production and function of photographs within particular contexts.

Theoretical/Contextual: Includes the knowledge and understanding of the historical and contemporary issues and debates within and around photography and visual communication and the development of an ability to integrate a critical and analytical approach within an informed photographic practice.

Professional: Includes the knowledge and understanding of the historical, cultural and professional contexts within which photographers and visual communicators operate. This constitutes a body of specialist knowledge that includes vocabulary, professional awareness and a realistic sense of career options.

These three strands are central to our ethos and the delivery methods reflect our belief that practice, that is, photographing, is best when carried out in the context of learning, theoretical understanding and a critical questioning approach. At the same time, the problem-solving rigours of practice contribute to the development of an informed, self-critical and ‘playful’ photographer.

We base our strategies upon the recognition that our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and bring with them a range of needs and expectations. We intensively target our resources in terms of staffing and facilities, at the earlier stages of the degree, so that students form an understanding and take on more responsibility for their learning as they progress through their studies.

Assessment

You are assessed in this course by a range of different types of coursework and practical activities. The assessment task for each module will vary dependent upon its content but may include:

  • A body of completed artwork/photography, professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief.
  • Workbooks, blogs etc., documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts/ideas, and demonstrating the influence of research on practical work.
  • Research books, folders, dossiers, etc. documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material.
  • Technical Exercises demonstrating your skills and competencies using particular equipment and/or techniques.
  • Written essays or reports, in which you are exploring the contextual or professional background to a specific project.
  • An individual or group seminar demonstration of you creative design process and solution.

You are assessed in this course by a range of different types of coursework and practical activities. The assessment task for each module will vary dependent upon its content but may include:

  • A body of completed artwork/photography, professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief.
  • Workbooks, blogs etc., documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts/ideas, and demonstrating the influence of research on practical work.
  • Research books, folders, dossiers, etc. documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material.
  • Technical Exercises demonstrating your skills and competencies using particular equipment and/or techniques.
  • Written essays or reports, in which you are exploring the contextual or professional background to a specific project.
  • An individual or group seminar demonstration of you creative design process and solution.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Feedback

Throughout the modules you take on your course you are provided with formative, developmental assessment opportunities, which are carried out in tutorial and production meetings. Feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by the tutor or by you. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer or self-assessment exercises.

All modules also included formal or “summative” assessment tasks and the grades from the formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission.

Throughout the modules you take on your course you are provided with formative, developmental assessment opportunities, which are carried out in tutorial and production meetings. Feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by the tutor or by you. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer or self-assessment exercises.

All modules also included formal or “summative” assessment tasks and the grades from the formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission.

Photography Studios tour

Photography Studios tour

Video

Course Leader, Paul O'Leary introduced you to the vibrant studio spaces used by our students including the latest hi-spec lighting as well as digital and dark room facilities.

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Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. 

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. 

Year 1

16% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
84% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 2

16% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
84% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 3

16% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
84% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshop or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of workshops and performance and studio spaces.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshop or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of workshops and performance and studio spaces.

Year 1

0% practical assessments
0% coursework
100% written exams

Year 2

10% practical assessments
90% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

0% practical assessments
100% coursework
0% written exams

Staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Paul O'Leary

Senior Lecturer

As a socially-engaged photographer Paul O’Leary records the time in which we live and the lives of others. His current practice explores post-industrial towns/cities, looking at old/new forms of civic identity.

Paul's profile

Rebecca Nunes

Associate Professor Of Lens-Based Media

Becky contributes to all levels of the BA Photography course, covering a wide range of topics such as technical workshops, seminars, group tutorials, as well as delivering aspects of the contemporary contextual studies elements of the course.

Rebecca's profile

Rick Barks

Senior Lecturer

Rick has extensive professional and teaching experience, and currently plays a major role in the delivery of contextual studies across the BA Photography course.

Rick's profile

Kate Newton

Senior Lecturer

Kate has over twenty years of professional and teaching experience, and currently plays a role in the delivery of contextual studies across the BA Photography course.

Karina Lyburn

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Photography

Karina's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 25 September 2023 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £16,750 per year of study

For the course starting on 25 September 2023 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons) Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £4,620 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

 

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

 

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting: www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

I chose Photography because from the moment I started, I felt as though I belonged there. It’s a nice welcoming, relaxed atmosphere with a serious approach to your work. The best kind of atmosphere, as you enjoy working hard; constantly striving to better your work.

Ewan Thacker

Freelance Photographer and Filmmaker

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time 25 September 2023 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

Information from discover uni

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021