BA (Hons)

2017 entry

As a student on the Photography course at our Rochester campus, you’ll be encouraged to learn, think, create and play in new and exciting ways, and to create fresh, exciting and provocative work.

Our diverse community of academics, students and alumni – along with industry-standard facilities and resources – makes this possible. High-profile guest lecturers, workshops, portfolio reviews and the opportunity to work on live projects position this course and its graduates competitively in the working environment after graduation.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2017


UCA Rochester

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Course overview:

On this course you’ll be encouraged to create work and collaborate on both course-related and personal projects, allowing you to make use of our extensive department, campus, national and international connections, and our team of research-active academics and technical staff.

Our extensive Photography facilities include two studios, digital suites, film processing resources and darkrooms.

We create a supportive and professional environment that promotes independent learning and experimental approaches to your given area of interest. You’re encouraged to approach your practice in new and interesting ways, so you can become a visually literate and conscientious contributor to our increasingly image-led world.

Course content - 2017 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. The critical consideration of the complexities of environment represents an important aspect of contemporary practice. This unit provides the opportunity to explore these ideas through the genres of documentary, architecture, landscape and street photography.

  • Identity

    You'll explore the ways in which identity is expressed in photography through an assemblage or articulation of semiotic elements such as props, pose, gesture or lighting. Identity is never a 'given' in a photograph, it's always a matter of construction and negotiation. When photographing a subject, there are a number of ways in which the identity of the sitter and the photographer are established.

  • 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 and encourages you to reflect upon your progress so far, to 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

  • Beyond Photography

    Photography, as a medium, is in a constant state of flux. This unit allows you to explore this continuous breakdown and manipulation of photography by experimenting with alternative forms of image-making that test and blur the traditional limits of photography. Today, media no longer simply interact, they're converging into hybrid forms that both challenge and inform the worlds they construct.

  • Exposure: The Festival

    This unit runs alongside, and directly interacts with, fashion film and beyond photography units. The project that you produce for either of these units will be exhibited as part of the Medway Photo Festival. This 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)

    Is an optional unit that will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas education institution.

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

    This 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: Brief, Career Plan and Exhibition

    Prepares you to transition seamlessly from graduation to your first major career steps. The course has led you to explore explicitly, and integrated into units, the contexts, places and institutions of photography in commercial and/or art industries, as well as in wider society.

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a substantial period of individually-devised research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or professional aspirations. This will be applied and presented within a structured written dissertation that conforms to academic conventions.

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

Course modules

Course staff

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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 a mixture of 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, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable contacts and experience within the real-world of photographic discourse. A selection of contacts include:

  • theprintspace
  • Metro Imaging
  • Carl Lyttle
  • 3D Specialist
  • DDB
  • Advertising Agency
  • Burnham-Niker (leading photographer’s agency)
  • Getty Images
  • Royal Engineers Museum & Archive
  • 125 Magazine
  • Medway Council
  • Association of Photographers.

Whilst the course has strong industry-facing elements, it also provides keen philosophical and conceptual teachings that enable our graduates to work equally well as:

  • Fashion/Fine Art/Editorial/Advertising photographers
  • Retouchers
  • Art Directors
  • Graphic Designers
  • Writers
  • Theorists
  • Academics
  • Art Buyers
  • Researchers.

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

How to apply - 2017 entry

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Entry requirements - 2017 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.

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.

New UCAS tariff

UCAS has made changes to its tariff system.

Find out how these changes will affect you

Your portfolio

At the interview you’ll need to present a visual portfolio, one or two selected sketch- books 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

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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