BA (Hons) Photography

Photography BA (Hons)

with or without Professional Practice Year (from 2022)

Course overview

If capturing a moment on camera is your passion, but you want to experiment more and try out different approaches, our BA (Hons) Photography course at UCA Farnham will help you push your photographic boundaries and produce fantastic work.

This course has a distinguished history stretching back more than 70 years and will give you the ability to fully understand how the images you produce have an impact on our experience of the world. All while learning within a community of internationally renowned artists and photographers who are keen to share their expertise.

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.

From 2022 entry you have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. Employers widely recognise these qualities, and a significant proportion of placement students are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

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Length of study 3 years full-time or, 4 years full-time with Professional Practice Year
Campus Farnham
Entry requirements 112 UCAS tariff points
Course entry options Sept 2021, Sept 2022
UCAS institution code C93
UCAS code W640
UCAS code for course with Professional Practice W644
Course details

Course details

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
The unit will explore picture-making and the notion of constructed photographs.  It will provide the skills you need to engage with and work with these methods.

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’.  There is an emphasis within this unit of engaging with different kinds of photographic practices to  ‘reveal’, ‘explain’, or ‘tell’ a story. This unit will explore a range of photographic practices with which to ‘story tell’ and in doing so you will be able to experiment with narrative strategies. 

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 production of knowledge through photography. To question established tropes of image-making by exploring for example, more lived and embodied forms of knowledge. By challenging representations and ideologies through research and practice you are invited to imagine new futures for and of photographic 'knowledge'.

Experimental Practices
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.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

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 is an 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 your final major 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.


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:

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)

The course fees for 2022 entry will be available here shortly. 

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be set by the government in their funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you will be charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. The details for 2022 entry will be available here in due course.

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.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.


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.


Photography studios, UCA Farnham


Photography digital suite, UCA Farnham


Darkrooms, UCA Farnham


Photography studios, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

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.

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.

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

Explore our Gradshow

Visit our 2021 grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

Visit the 2021 Gradshow
Alice Andrew
Alice Andrew

"Having the opportunity to be so ambitious and free with photography has to be the best and most enjoyable aspect of the course, because it provides you with the opportunity to truly create a body of work which you are genuinely interested in and motivated to develop."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

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 / BTEC National 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.

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

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

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. 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.

More portfolio advice

Apply now

UK applications

International & EU applications

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 International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 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

UK Applications

International Applications

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline for 2022 entry is 26 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

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