Photography BA (Hons)

UCA Rochester - 2020, 2021

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Course entry options:

September 2020

September 2021

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


Course overview

Our BA (Hons) Photography course at UCA Rochester provides a dynamic and challenging curriculum, alongside industry-standard facilities and equipment. We provide a diverse environment within which to study and foster an ethos of creativity and experimentation.

You’ll be encouraged to explore a number of different genres and approaches, giving you a breadth of skill and knowledge, which you can apply to a number of different careers within the industry.

Throughout your time on the course, you’ll study a wide range of photographic techniques and concepts, and your technical teaching will include studio photography, digital processing, working with large and medium format cameras and darkroom practice.

Our cutting-edge professional photography facilities include studios, digital workshop suites, colour and black and white film processing and darkrooms, and industry-leading equipment available for loan throughout the academic year.

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Course details

  • Year 1

    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.

  • Year 2

    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.

  • Year 3

    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). 

  • 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.


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.

What our students say

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    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
    • Holly Lansdell
    • Claudia Singer
    • Lewis Bush
    • Tia Treherne
    • 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
    • Rosemary Martin
    • Ophelia Wynne
    • Giacomo Brunelli.
  • Careers

    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.
  • Staff and sessionals

    Your course will be led by Programme Director Matthew Andrew, with support from:

    • Ed Thompson - senior lecturer and Year 1 leader
    • Jason Dee - senior lecturer and Year 2 leader
    • Ellen Nolan - senior lecturer and Year 3 leader
    • Dr Francis Summers - senior lecturer in contextual studies
    • Neesha Champaneria - lectuer
    • Sally Waterman - sessional lecturer
    • Alice Butler - sessional lecturer. 


  • 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 (equivalent to 280 old 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 will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. You’ll need to present a visual portfolio, one or two selected sketch books and/or supporting material, and two samples of written work (ideally essays). We’d prefer to look at visual work in a printed format, and are happy to see this complemented with digital work. 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 a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

More portfolio advice

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