Fashion Photography

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

On our BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course, you will be encouraged to learn, to think, to see, to create and to play. We aim to ignite your passion for fashion photography to develop your inspiration, experience and dedication to a rich and varied discipline in order to establish a sustainable photographic practice in the creative industries. You are given both the knowledge and facilities to explore your own areas of interest and inspiration.

Working in the globally-renowned Rochester Photography Department, you’ll be able to forge connections across alternate disciplines, both within the department and with the prestigious School of Fashion at UCA.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Rochester

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Course overview:

With outward-facing commissions, strong industry and alumni connections, and a shared visiting lecturer programme with the BA (Hons) Photography course, you’ll gain a strong, competitive knowledge of both technical and conceptual theories essential to the working environment in fashion photography.

You’ll be encouraged by our team of internationally renowned, research-active academics and professionals to produce fresh, highly creative and provocative work for both course and independent projects.

Within the course, you’ll be given access to the extensive network of connections on offer from tutors, alumni, visiting lecturers and postgraduate photography students, all to accommodate a strong foundation in the photographic industry.

You’ll have access to photographic studios, film processing suites, colour and black and white darkrooms, professional digital processing suites and up-to-date equipment in order to bring your ideas to life.

Through industry-facing project briefs, strong links with practitioners at multiple levels, portfolio reviews, visiting lecturers, studio visits, and a notable series of course publications and annual exhibitions, you’ll have multiple opportunities to gain valuable contacts and experience within the world of photography.

Some of our industry contacts include the AOP (Association of Photographers), Graduate Fashion Week, 125 Magazine, The Guardian, Men’s File Magazine, The Print Space, Genesis Imaging, Free Range, The Photographers’ Gallery, Creative Advice Network and many others.

Our graduates have landed roles in a dazzling range of fields, including fashion, editorial, advertising, fine art, production and post-production, digital imaging, video editing, art buying and direction, picture editing and research, image management and marketing.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Environment

    You'll examine the relation of photography to environment, with a particular emphasis on space. Internal and external, urban and rural environments are an important feature of our cultural, social and political experience. And the critical consideration of the complexities of environment represents an important aspect of contemporary practice. This unit provides you with the opportunity to explore these ideas through the genres of documentary, architecture, landscape and street photography.

  • Styling Identity

    You'll extend your knowledge of creative fashion styling, identity and image creation practice from a theoretical and practical perspective. This unit aims to use and explore various approaches to research, and empower you in the complex process of analysing a more diverse range of sources and interpreting your findings in a wider range of outcomes.

  • Image Making

    After a basic introduction to a range of different methodologies, exploring the notions of the singular image, tableau, series and/or montage, you'll decide on the mode of production of your work. Your project can be realised in the studio, with the option to undertake set-builds; or on location, as appropriate to your concept. This will be a visual project with outputs such as a book, exhibition, installation, moving image, magazine, zine or online publication.

  • Individual Project

    This concludes the first year. It encourages you to reflect upon your progress so far, consolidate your successes and begin to make work that's not defined by a set brief but driven by personal research and exploration.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Fashion Film

    Moving image plays an increasingly central role in fashion and photography. In this unit you'll examine how the use of moving image affects both the promotion and consumption of fashion, through critical thinking and creative practice. This unit challenges you both creatively and intellectually; it enables you to build concepts for fashion films, learn the technical and professional skills necessary to realise those concepts and successfully promote fashion through moving image.

  • Exposure: The Festival

    This unit runs alongside, and directly interacts with, Fashion film and 'beyond photography' unit/s. The project that you produce for either of these units will be exhibited as part of the Medway Photo Festival. The unit develops your understanding of producing, developing and presenting work for an external audience.

  • Storytelling

    This unit aims to examine the use of narrative within photographic practice and associated creative disciplines. Stories emerge from media in a number of different ways; including models of mood creation, scene setting and resolution; but also through fragmentation, association and juxtaposition.

  • Photographic Futures

    This unit serves to consolidate your learning throughout the second year of this degree course. It's designed to synthesise your understanding of your own work with audiences, expectations, publication and dissemination of photographic work.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Major Project

    Requires you to make a significant body of work. You'll draw upon the skills and knowledge you've acquired on the course. You're encouraged to employ an experimental and creative approach to the generation of ideas and the making of work, supported by an advanced creative methodology. Essentially, your independently led project requires sustained critical development, strong conceptual ideas, risk taking, aesthetic judgement, and sophisticated communication with a detailed understanding of context.

  • Exposure

    The exposure unit has several outcomes and is intended to help you progress your photographic practice within an external context along with your communication and professional skills. The unit is run throughout year 3 and has two distinct elements. The first element is to produce a photographic body of work along with associated contextual input with a professional client. Secondly, you will produce a professional dossier that will include your career plan, personal branding, evidence to accompany your input into the year 3 exhibitions and a photographic portfolio.

  • Independent Research

    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your chosen area of study (which may include specific disciplinary concern and/or wider cultural practice).

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

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International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Through industry-facing project briefs, strong links with practitioners at multiple levels, portfolio reviews, visiting lectures, studio visits and a notable series of course publications and annual exhibitions, students are afforded many opportunities to gain valuable contacts and experience within the world of photography. Our industry contacts include:

  • theprintspace
  • Metro Imaging
  • Carl Lyttle (3D specialist)
  • DDB (advertising agency)
  • Burnham Niker (leading photographers’ agency)
  • Getty Images
  • Royal Engineers Museum & Archive
  • 125 Magazine
  • Medway Council
  • Association of Photographers.  


Past and present guest lecturers have included:

  • Victor Burgin
  • Simon Norfolk
  • Tom Hunter
  • Edmund Clarke
  • Dan Holdsworth
  • Dinu Li
  • Rut Blees Luxemburg
  • Sophie Rickett
  • Stephen Gill
  • Eva Stenram
  • John Stezaker
  • Simon Roberts
  • Chrystel Lebas
  • Anne Hardy
  • Esther Teichmann
  • Tim Flach
  • Melissa Moore.

Our graduates have landed roles in a dazzling range of fields, including:


  • Fashion
  • Editorial
  • Advertising
  • Fine Art
  • Freelance photography
  • Post-production
  • Digital imaging
  • Video editing
  • Production
  • Art buying and direction
  • Picture editing
  • Research
  • Image management
  • Marketing.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

At the interview you’ll need to present a visual portfolio, one or two selected sketchbooks and/ or supporting material, and two samples of written work (ideally essays) – we’d prefer to look at visual work in a printed format, and are happy to see this complemented with digital work. We don’t expect polished portfolios, but we are looking to see that you’ve put some thought and effort into the making of your images and into the organisation and presentation of your portfolio.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

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