Photography | Four years BA (Hons)

UCA Farnham - 2021

Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time


UCA Farnham

Entry requirements:

64 UCAS tariff points

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Course entry options:

September 2021

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

Our BA (Hons) Photography course at UCA Farnham will encourage you to develop experimental and innovative approaches to photography.

With a distinguished history stretching back more than 70 years, it offers you the chance to join a community of internationally renowned artists and photographers and the ability to fully understand how the images you produce have an impact on our experience of the world.

This four-year version of the course will give you a focused introduction to photography and film, and help you to develop skills in moving and still image, and in audio production and editing. The initial year will also offer seminars, tutorials, specialist technical workshops and group critiques to support you in adapting to student-centred learning at degree level.

You’ll have access to a wide range of digital and analogue facilities, and will be given the freedom to develop your own practice and fine-tune your creativity through a variety of workshops, tutorials, lectures and seminars covering historical and contemporary approaches.

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Course details

  • Year 0

    Year 0 is a preparatory year which provides you with a focused introduction to your chosen area of study. Upon successful completion, it will secure your place on the three year degree without further application or interview. 

    If you choose the four-year option, during the Year 0 you’ll work alongside Film Production students, learning the fundamentals of editing and skills in moving and still image.

    The Poetics of Space
    We'll introduce you to practices and procedures for exploring the relationship of sound to image in time-based productions. Thematic content will be the exploration of ideas about place and space.

    Personal Research Project
    This unit provides you with the opportunity to explore your own personal creativity by looking at development work by a range of artists, photographers and filmmakers. The emphasis will be on your personal exploration of ideas and sources of inspiration, resulting in a one-minute moving image project, or a series of still images (which could include text).

    Practices of Looking
    This unit is designed to provide you with a grounding in the conventions of academic writing and discourse in film and media studies. Through the examination of codes and conventions of reading images in contemporary culture, you will be introduced to a range of theoretical models and debates

    Storytelling and Staging
    Through an exploration of different forms of storytelling, you'll be encouraged to analyse texts and to create your own stories. You'll also be introduced to ideas of narrative and paintings, and work on the staging of a story.

  • Year 1

    You'll be introduced to the theoretical study and creative practice of photography, as well as the basic tools needed in the production and manipulation of photographic imagery and text. You'll learn the fundamental technical skills required to progress and develop your practice.

    We'll introduce you to a range of approaches to photography, utilising digital and darkroom techniques to control studio and location production. These strategies will be underpinned by theoretical and historical frameworks to explore how to create meaning in your work.

    Constructed Image
    You’ll explore picture-making and the notion of what a constructed image is. You’ll gain the skills needed to create your own constructed images, as well as studio production, darkroom and digital modes of picture-making and image manipulation.

    Photography in Context
    This unit explores photography’s potential to create meaning within relevant theoretical and contextual frameworks.

    Documentary Practices
    In this unit you will research, explore and experiment with a variety of practices, conceptual approaches and presentation methods to consider the photographic representation of the external world.

    This unit invites you to experiment with different ways of using photography to ‘tell stories’. Photographs are regularly praised for their ability to ‘reveal’, ‘explain’, or ‘tell’ a story. This unit will explore a range of narrative strategies, while questioning photography’s ability to ‘speak’ and whether or not a photograph’s meaning can ever be fixed.

  • Year 2

    This year is about solving the problems of how to represent ideas in photography by thinking strategically.

    Building on the critical introduction to photography practices and assumptions carried out in Year 1, we'll consider ways of appropriating, modifying, negotiating, challenging or replacing existing conventions of representation.

    You’ll explore critical ideas that challenge the conventions of photographic practice. During this period, you’ll produce an exhibition and, through building links with industry, you’ll begin to locate an external context for your work. 

    Photographic Communities
    This unit explores notions of practice-based community and photographic networks. It will help you to develop professional skills to navigate your career through a variety of complex social, political, economic and environmental systems. Photograph’s meaning is determined by the nature of the image, audience and context. How you position your practice defines its identity.

    Critical Approaches
    Considering the larger cultural and philosophical implications of photographs and their meaning, you’ll learn not only the core themes but also the boundaries of your discipline. You'll examine key aspects of a range photographic practices and theory, in relation to their historical origins.

    Vision and Knowledge
    This unit asks you to think critically about the ‘objectivity’ of photography. Many photographic practices, including documentary, survey, scientific, medical, forensic, anthropological and military all have at their core the idea that ‘seeing is believing.’ The implication here is that visual representation is equivalent to ‘knowledge’. However, the ‘meanings’ of representations are in fact often determined by the contexts in which they are produced and presented.

    Experimental Practice
    You will explore a range of processes, treatments and applications to push the boundaries of photography, and test the relationships between subject matter, treatment and audience.

    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

    You'll have the opportunity to draw on the experience, knowledge and skills acquired so far. A core theme of this year is the major project, where you choose the areas of your practical studies that you'd like to concentrate on.

    You'll be provided with a range of professional and career planning topics which help you to develop your future career.

    The final year enables you to use your skills and knowledge to develop a major project through a practically-based critical inquiry. You’ll develop a specialist area of expertise that you’ll position in a professional context to develop your future career.

    Independent Practice
    This unit will provide you the opportunity to establish foundations for your final major project. You'll research and develop your ideas through further experimentation to produce a body of work that distinguishes your photographic practice.

    The Resolution unit represents the culmination of your studies and should involve the independent and sustained research, development, production and presentation of a significant photographic project. This project can define your degree experience and your lifelong photographic practice; it is very much a launch pad for your future calling.

    This unit consists of 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 discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your Year 2. 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 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - £9,250 
    • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
    • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
    • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 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.



Photographic studios plus access to hire cameras, tripods and lighting equipment from the media stores. Colour and black and white darkrooms for traditional printing from small, medium and large-format negatives. Photography studios and digital area with medium and large format printers and digital scanners. On-campus media store with good supply of 16mm, super 16mm, digital HD video cameras and high-end sound recording equipment to hire.

What our students say

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    As a long-established photography course, our renowned teaching team bring with them high-profile industry connections, both nationally and internationally. We regularly arrange visits to, and lecturers from, a wide range of companies and institutions, such as:

    • Autograph
    • Impressions Gallery
    • National Media Museum
    • Berg, Blackwell, Focalpress, Routledge and other publishers
    • bookRoom
    • Brighton Photo Biennial and Brighton Photo Fringe
    • National Institute of Design, India
    • The Photographers’ Gallery, London
    • Photography & Culture journal
    • Photoworks magazine
    • Source: The Photographic Review.

     As well as a course team including a number of practising professionals, we're connected with the Association of Photographers, a national body that works to give student members a head start as photographic practitioners.

  • Careers

    Skilled and creatively gifted photographers are needed across an enormous range of industries, and many of our graduates have secured professional roles in a variety of fields, including:

    • Fashion
    • Editorial
    • Advertising
    • Fine Art
    • Documentary-making
    • Curatorial posts
    • Gallery/ project management
    • Writing
    • Teaching
    • Lecturing
    • Technical support.

    Alumni of this course include Paul Seawright, Gareth McConnell, Eileen Perrier, Andrew Bruce, Jane Bown, Stephen Bull and Anna Fox.

  • Further study

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


Apply now

UK applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2021:

International & EU 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 2021:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2021:

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:

We are still accepting applications for 2021 entry - get your application in now.
If 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

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, 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.

International and EU 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

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

This course doesn’t require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

Get in touch