BA (Hons) - UCA Rochester - 2019, 2020

Our BA (Hons) Photography course at UCA Rochester provides a dynamic and challenging curriculum, which foregrounds creativity and is supported by industry-level technology within an inclusive environment.

Our syllabus ensures that our graduates can become informed critical thinkers who understand the breadth and relevance of their subject and are able to establish themselves in the working environment after graduation. 

We ignite your passion to create work and collaborate on both course-related and personal projects, allowing you to make use of our extensive department, campus, national and international connections, and our experienced, widely exhibited and published team of research-active academics and technical staff.

Our BA (Hons) Photography staff are research-active and professionally experienced in a diverse range of areas from documentary photography to installation art.

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, colour and black and white darkrooms, and industry-leading equipment available for loan throughout the academic year to develop your projects ready for exhibition. 

We’ll help you produce a portfolio of work and the opportunity to acquire skills which will equip you for life after graduation.

Some of our industry contacts include the AOP (Association of Photographers), Graduate Fashion Week, 125 Magazine, The Guardian, Men’s File Magazine, The Print Space, Genesis Imaging, Free Range, The Photographers’ Gallery, Creative Advice Network and many others. 

Whilst the photography 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 or advertising photographers, as well as re-touchers, art directors, graphic designers, theorists and art buyers.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

Start month:


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Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 15 June, 2019

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Course details

  • Year 1

    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.

    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 that's not defined by a set brief, but driven by personal research and exploration.

  • Year 2

    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. 

    Connecting Photography - Expanding Frames
    Photography, as a medium, is in a constant state of flux. This unit allows you to explore this continuous breakdown and manipulation of photography by experimenting with alternative forms of image-making that test and blur the traditional limits of photography. Today, media no longer simply interact, they're converging into hybrid forms that both challenge and inform the worlds they construct.

    Exposure: The Festival
    This unit runs alongside, and directly interacts with, Fashion Film and Connecting Photography units. The project that you produce for either of these units will be exhibited as part of the Medway Photo Festival. This unit develops your understanding of producing, developing and presenting work for an external audience.

    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.

    Photographic Futures
    This unit serves to consolidate your learning throughout the second year of this degree course. It's designed to synthesise your understanding of your own work with audiences, expectations, publication and dissemination of photographic work.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    Is an optional unit that will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas education institution.

  • Year 3

    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.

    Major Project
    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.

    Independent Research
    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.

  • 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

    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.



There are two large photographic studios with digital work stations; film processing and photographic printing facilities including colour and black and white darkrooms and a dedicated digital area with specialist software for photo editing and high quality photographic printers.

What our students say

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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:

    • theprintspace
    • Metro Imaging
    • Carl Lyttle
    • 3D Specialist
    • DDB
    • Advertising Agency
    • Burnham-Niker (leading photographer’s agency)
    • Getty Images
    • Royal Engineers Museum & Archive
    • 125 Magazine
    • Medway Council
    • Association of Photographers.
  • 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.
  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

How to apply - 2020 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2019 entry via UCAS - 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.

More information:

Go to 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

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.

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