Fashion Photography BA (Hons)

UCA Rochester - 2020

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

Start date:


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Entry year(s)


Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course at UCA Rochester gives you the opportunity to produce original, highly creative work which explores the established and expanded conventions within the field of contemporary fashion photography.

Engaging with the boundaries of artifice and exaggeration as well as rawness and realness, you’ll emerge from this course with a grounding in photographic, professional and critical skills.

We offer a dynamic and challenging curriculum through which you’ll encounter photography as a specific medium with its own particular histories.

You’ll also learn about fashion’s representation as a site of transience and contestation as well as a site of luxury, aspiration and elegance.

You’ll be able to work with other students in our School of Fashion on exciting, unique briefs. Led by our team of internationally renowned, research-active academics and professionals, you’ll produce fresh, creative and provocative work for both course and independent projects.

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 establish a sustainable photographic practice in the creative industries, graduating with experience and practical business knowledge alongside advanced technological skills.

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.

Studying on our BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course will give you access to photographic studios, film processing suites, colour and black and white darkrooms, professional digital processing suites and up-to-date camera equipment in order to bring your ideas to life.

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.

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Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. 

    The course will introduce you to some core photographic skills and genres (including landscapes, portraiture, street photography and montage) whilst also engaging in fashion industry specifics such as editorials, fashion film and storytelling skills.

    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.

  • Year 2

    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. 

    This unit encourages you to consider the relationship between photography and objects. This basic premise will be explored through a series of workshops focusing on the composition, lighting and layering of objects, within both studio and external settings. Working alongside these sessions will be a series of related lectures, where you'll develop a deeper understanding of how social and cultural meanings are communicated via photographic representations of objects.

    Fashion Film
    Working as part of a team (or individually if you wish) you'll use story and mood-boards to develop a fashion film concept and style, then establish timelines to help organise production and meet deadlines, from finding actors/models, scouting locations, shooting and editing audio-visual footage, to post-production and promotion of your work. You'll be guided through every stage of this process via step-by-step workshops that will encourage you to experiment with new techniques and learn to create technically proficient and visually exciting audio-visual work. As creative practitioners you'll be expected to locate your work within wider industrial, social and cultural developments, potentially culminating in the showcasing of your film.

    This unit examines the use of narrative within photographic practice and associated creative disciplines. It is essential that you not only develop an understanding of the contextual and conceptual issues associated with photographic storytelling, but also the underlying cultural, political and ideological perspectives. Therefore, the unit incorporates critical studies, which will introduce you to a wide range of theoretical and creative ideas.

    Exposure: Positioning Practice
    This unit serves to consolidate your learning throughout Year 2 and focuses attention on where your practice and career are heading in the short and long term. It is designed to synthesise understanding of your practice with regard to the dissemination of work, possible directions you might take in Year 3, and consideration of where you might want to work within the creative industries.

    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.

  • Year 3

    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. 

    You’ll have the opportunity to fully demonstrate your style and your understanding of fashion and creativity through your final major project, accompanied by your thesis.

    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.

    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).

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
    • International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

What our students say


There are two large photographic studios with digital work stations; film processing and photographic printing facilities including colour and black and white darkrooms and a dedicated digital area with specialist software for photo editing and high quality photographic printers.

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.
  • Careers

    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.
  • Further study

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


Apply now

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline is 15 January. If you are applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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

One of the following:

  • 112 new 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, see more information about IB entry requirements.

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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

International Foundation courses in the UK

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. 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. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

More portfolio advice

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