Photography BA (Hons) Rochester

Photography BA (Hons)

Course overview

We'll challenge you to create images that inspire, provoke and spark conversation on our dynamic BA (Hons) Photography course at UCA Rochester.

We believe in creativity and experimentation in photography, and on this course, you’ll be encouraged to explore your craft as you apply your creativity to a number of different genres and approaches. This will give you a breadth of skill and knowledge that you can take into a number of different career paths within the industry.

With industry-standard facilities and equipment, and a diverse study environment, you'll have the creative freedom to really push some boundaries.

Along the way, you’ll be guided by our experienced staff and weekly guest lecturers, who have a wealth of skills, knowledge and industry links. By the time you graduate, you’ll be completely ready to jump into your chosen career.

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Length of study 3 years full-time
Campus Rochester
Entry requirements 112 UCAS tariff points
Course entry options Sept 2021
UCAS institution code C93
UCAS code W642

Please note

This course will be taught at UCA Rochester until Summer 2023, after which your final year of study will be taught at UCA Farnham.

Course details

Course details

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. 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. Identity is never a 'given' in a photograph, it's always a matter of construction and negotiation, and in this unit you’ll learn about how this works.

Image Making
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.

Individual Project
This concludes the first year and encourages you to reflect upon your progress so far, to consolidate your successes and begin to make work not defined by a set brief, but driven by personal research and exploration.

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.

Moving Image
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. You’ll be expected to situate your work within wider industrial, social and cultural developments. Alongside your practical work you’ll be supported with a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and visual practice tutorials.

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 two 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 three, 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.

Major Project
This requires you to make a significant body of work, drawing on the skills and knowledge you've acquired on the course. 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 is intended to help you progress your photographic practice along with your communication and professional skills, and has two distinct elements. The first is to produce a photographic body of work along with associated contextual input with a professional client. Secondly, you will produce a professional dossier including your career plan, personal branding, evidence to accompany your input into the year three exhibitions and a photographic portfolio.

Independent Research
This written unit comprises a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject 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 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)

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 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.

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.


There are two large photographic studios with digital work stations, Broncolor and Profoto lighting; access to a range of digital & analogue cameras including Hasselblad, Canon & Fujifilm GFX, colour and black and white darkrooms & film processing, and a dedicated digital area with specialist software for photo editing and large format photographic printers.


Photography studios, UCA Rochester


Photography studios, UCA Rochester


Digital photography studios, UCA Rochester


Photography studios, UCA Rochester

Course connections

Course connections

Through industry-facing project briefs, strong links with practitioners at multiple levels, portfolio reviews, visiting lectures, and annual exhibitions, students are introduced to a range of voices and experiences within the world of fashion photography, photography and moving image.

We also hold weekly lectures with well-known names within the industry. Past lecturers have included:

  • Rut Blees Luxemburg
  • Sophie Rickett
  • Stephen Gill
  • Eva Stenram
  • John Stezaker
  • Simon Roberts
  • Esther Teichmann
  • Olivia Pomp
  • Roy Mehta
  • Shirley Read
  • David Vintiner
  • Cameron Griffiths
  • Katja Mayer
  • Karl Ohiri
  • Kathleen McGown
  • Rosie Whitney-Fish
  • Claudia Singer
  • Lewis Bush
  • Frederike Helwig
  • Catherine Viellevoije
  • Sasha Hitchcock
  • Peter Dench
  • Cheryl Newman
  • Oliver Gapper
  • Anne Pinxt-Braybon
  • Nigel Grimmer
  • Junko Mikuriya
  • Vivek Vadoliya
  • Christopher Coekin
  • Tiffany Jones
  • Nils Rikard Osterlund
  • Rosy Martin
  • Ophelia Wynne
  • Giacomo Brunelli.

Whilst the course has strong industry-facing elements, it also provides keen philosophical and conceptual teachings that enable our graduates to work equally well as:

  • Fashion/Fine Art/Editorial/Advertising photographers
  • Retouchers
  • Art Directors
  • Graphic Designers
  • Writers
  • Theorists
  • Academics
  • Art Buyers
  • Researchers.

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
Tommy Dobson
Tommy Dobson

"UCA is so close-knit – you get tutor time, staff are always approachable, classes are smaller. It has digital resources and production alongside the analogue side – you can take a 54 camera out or a Hasselblad. It has the best of both worlds."

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. We don’t expect polished portfolios, but we are looking to see that you’ve put some thought and effort into the making of your images and into the organisation and presentation of your portfolio. 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

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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

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