In the first year, you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.
You’ll address core genres and approaches to photography whilst being introduced to the facilities and workshops available to you.
You'll examine the relation of photography to environment, with a particular emphasis on space. Internal and external, urban and rural environments are an important feature of our cultural, social and political experience. The critical consideration of the complexities of environment represents an important aspect of contemporary practice. This unit provides the opportunity to explore these ideas through the genres of documentary, architecture, landscape and street photography.
You'll explore the ways in which identity is expressed in photography through an assemblage or articulation of semiotic elements such as props, pose, gesture or lighting. Identity is never a 'given' in a photograph, it's always a matter of construction and negotiation. When photographing a subject, there are a number of ways in which the identity of the sitter and the photographer are established.
After a basic introduction to a range of different methodologies, exploring the notions of the singular image, tableau, series and/or montage, you'll decide on the mode of production of your work. Your project can be realised in the studio, with the option to undertake set-builds; or on location, as appropriate to your concept. This will be a visual project with outputs such as a book, exhibition, installation, moving image, magazine, zine or online publication.
This concludes the first year and encourages you to reflect upon your progress so far, to consolidate your successes and begin to make work that's not defined by a set brief, but driven by personal research and exploration.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently.
You’ll be encouraged to experiment with the medium and the hybrid nature of photography today; part of this includes public exhibition and reflection on your professional future.
During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
The Photo-Object Unit encourages you to consider the relationship between photography and objects. This basic premise will be explored through a series of workshops focusing on the composition, lighting and layering of objects, within both studio and external settings. Working alongside these sessions will be a series of related lectures, where you will develop a deeper understanding of how social and cultural meanings are communicated via photographic representations of objects.
Working individually or as a team you will develop a film concept and style, while also establishing a timeline to organise the production of your video throughout the unit. As a photographer you have clearly defined skill-sets, but setting images into motion requires you to develop a whole new way of working and thinking. To support you through this transition workshops and visual practice tutorials will encourage experimentation and the creation of technically proficient and exciting audio-visual work. You will also be expected to locate your work within wider industrial, social and cultural developments; a series of lectures and seminars will offer you an understanding of the historical and contemporary convergence of moving imagery and photography, allowing you to draw on a diverse range of sources for inspiration. These sessions, in conjunction with your own research will enable you to develop and deepen the conceptual considerations of your project.
This unit aims to examine the use of narrative within photographic practice and associated creative disciplines. Stories emerge from media in a number of different ways; including models of mood creation, scene setting and resolution but also through fragmentation, association and juxtaposition. You'll produce a substantial body of work reflecting upon your learning, creativity and individuality. You'll be encouraged to experiment, challenge your image making skills and produce a series of work that forms a coherent narrative. The story, and how you tell it, is up to you but should be considered and reflect upon your research into historical and contemporary practice in visual culture.
Exposure: Positioning Practice
This unit serves to consolidate your learning throughout Year 2 and focuses attention on where your practice and career are heading in the short and long term. It is designed to synthesise understanding of your practice with regard to the dissemination of work, possible directions you might take in Year 3, and consideration of where you might want to work within the creative industries.
Study Abroad (optional)
Is an optional unit that will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas education institution.
The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.
Your final year will see you create a specialised and challenging body of work for your degree show.
This requires you to make a significant body of work. You'll draw upon the skills and knowledge you've acquired on the course. You're encouraged to employ an experimental and creative approach to the generation of ideas and the making of work, supported by an advanced creative methodology. Essentially, your independently led project requires sustained critical development, strong conceptual ideas, risk taking, aesthetic judgement, and sophisticated communication with a detailed understanding of context.
The Exposure unit has several outcomes and is intended to help you progress your photographic practice within an external context along with your communication and professional skills. The unit is run throughout Year 3 and has two distinct elements. The first element is to produce a photographic body of work along with associated contextual input with a professional client. Secondly, you will produce a professional dossier that will include your career plan, personal branding, evidence to accompany your input into the Year 3 exhibitions and a photographic portfolio.
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 chosen area of study (which may include specific disciplinary concern and/or wider cultural practice). This unit supports you towards the provision of structured engagement around your area of study. You have the opportunity to articulate this as a written response in a mode that conforms to academic conventions utilising detailed analysis and evaluation.
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 2019 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
- International students - £14,880 (full early payment fee)
The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 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.
Through a mixture of industry- facing project briefs, strong links with practitioners at multiple levels, portfolio reviews, visiting lectures, studio visits and a notable series of course publications and annual exhibitions, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable contacts and experience within the real-world of photographic discourse. A selection of contacts include:
- Metro Imaging
- Carl Lyttle
- 3D Specialist
- Advertising Agency
- Burnham-Niker (leading photographer’s agency)
- Getty Images
- Royal Engineers Museum & Archive
- 125 Magazine
- Medway Council
- Association of Photographers.