Photography BA (Hons)

UCA Farnham - 2020, 2021

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Farnham

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

Course entry options:

September 2020

September 2021

View term dates

UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

On our BA (Hons) Photography course in Farnham, you’ll become skilled in the act of photography and in the art of photography. The images you can produce and the impact those images have on our experience of the world is key to this course.

This course has a long history, stretching back more than 70 years, and as such has produced a long line of graduates forging successful careers in everything from editorial and advertising to fine art to gallery and project management, and documentary making.

As a member of our community of internationally renowned practicing artists and photographers, you’ll have access to a wide range of both digital and analogue facilities, including black and white/colour darkrooms and film processing, digital processing and editing suites, photographic studios, various digital and film cameras, lenses and lighting equipment and book production facilities. You will also be encouraged radically consider image making while developing a critical awareness and voice which will define your approach to the subject in to the future.

We’ll challenge you to rethink your preconceived views on photography, experiment with new methods and ways of thinking, and produce images for different industries and audiences.

You’ll be taught and guided throughout by some of the world’s finest photography academics, and with our support you’ll gain increasing autonomy over your work as the course progresses, enabling you to lean on teachers for critical support and collaboration as you establish and develop your own photographic style.

We have a wealth national and international industry connections, and we also regularly arrange visits to, and lectures from, a wide range of institutions including the National Media Museum, Brighton Photo Fringe, The Photographers’ Gallery London, Photoworks Magazine, as well as Berg, Blackwell, Focalpress, Routledge and other publishers. 

Online Graduation Show 2020

Explore extraordinary student work now.

Next event:

We know you can’t come and visit us right now, so instead we’ve created a ‘campus to couch’ online experience just for you to browse through.

Access our Virtual Open Day

Course details

  • 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 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.


  • 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.


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 headstart 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/EU 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 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 February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

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 2020 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

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

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, we’ll ask you to attend an Applicant Day and bring a portfolio of images and sketches that demonstrate your research. No written portfolio is required for this course, although we do encourage you to bring some academic writing or image analysis. 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’ve applied.

More portfolio advice

Get in touch