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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Fees and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:
- UK students - £9,250
- International and EU students - £16,950 (standard fee)
- International and EU 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.
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.
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:
- Impressions Gallery
- National Media Museum
- Berg, Blackwell, Focalpress, Routledge and other publishers
- 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.