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.
The unit will explore picture-making and the notion of constructed image within an historical context; it will provide the skills you need to engage with and work with these methods. Workshops will cover studio production, darkroom and digital modes of picture making and image manipulation.
Photography in Context
This unit will explore photography's ability to create meaning within relevant theoretical and contextual frameworks.
In this unit you will research and experiment with a variety of documentary practices to explore social, political and environmental ideas.
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. Just as the photograph’s meaning is determined by its audience, how you position your practice defines its identity.
You'll examine key aspects of a range photographic practices and theory, in relation to their historical origins.
Vision and Knowledge
You'll explore issues raised in various 'objective' photographic practices. Documentary, survey, scientific, medical, forensic and military traditions have at their core the idea that 'seeing is believing', implying that vision and visual representation are equivalent to 'knowledge'.
Experimental Practices explores a range of processes, treatments and applications that push the boundaries of the medium. The unit will encourage you to consider medium-specific qualities and how these assumptions define an image’s reception.
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 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 culmination of your studies will involve the independent and sustained research, development, production and presentation of a substantial photographic project, drawing on everything you've learnt over the three years.
This covers a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject 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:
The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
- International students - £14,800 (full early payment fee)
The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.
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 head start as photographic practitioners.