With its outstanding reputation for nurturing new talent, our BA Photography will help you become a highly creative, technically experienced professional. You’ll develop imaginative approaches to image making which will set you apart within the creative, media and arts industries. Employable Graduates, We’re ranked 15th highest among all UK universities and 12th for English institutions, with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.
This Photography course is centred upon your development as a well-informed and highly creative photographer. You will be encouraged to challenge conventions, break moulds and create your own photographic identity. Our graduates have gone on to be artists, academics, teachers and curators. Graduate Jules Hunter, founder of Philter Photography, in Derby, was been named Photographer of the Year by the East Midlands Masters of Photography Association in 2015.
Course Leader: Phil Harris
T: 01332 593174 (course leader)
01332 591167 (admissions)
01332 591698 (international)
01332 593302 (general)
UCAS code: W650
Start date: September
Course length: 3 Years Full Time
Campus: Markeaton Street, Derby Campus
College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education
If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.
We were one of the first UK institutions to launch a photography degree and boast over half a century of heritage in photographic education. You’ll draw on that proud tradition while working at the cutting edge of technology. You’ll learn from experienced professionals and tutors of the highest calibre, using extensive industry-standard studio, darkroom and digital facilities. Live briefs set by external clients, gallery visits, overseas study trips, exhibitions, festivals and competitions will bring an exciting dimension to your studies.
The BA (Hons) Photography course values and encourages imaginative and inventive approaches to photography and supports all types of work, including black and white, colour and digital. You'll learn through a combination of lectures, technical workshops, seminars, group critiques and individual tutorials. You'll also go on regular gallery visits and be able to hear high profile guest lectures regularly.
The BA (Hons) Photography degree finishes with a professional final exhibition at our degree show, where you'll have the opportunity to make vital industry contacts at the Private View evening. You could also continue your studies by taking our MA Film and Photography course. Please note, minimum entry criteria includes everything in an application, including a strong personal statement, a good reference and where asked for, a portfolio.
The course has been written and designed in order to provide you with a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the ideas, creative applications and potentials for photography today. A pivotal aspect of the course is the development of your ability to communicate with others, whether this through verbal or visual means. As such it provides an excellent foundation for your future career across a wide range of professions throughout the arts sector and beyond.
The course values and encourages imaginative and inventive approaches to photography and supports work across a wide range of lens media, including analogue, digital and time-based practices.
You'll study a total of 120 credits per year, which will be made up of single or double modules.
You will gain a thorough grounding in both technical skills as well as the historical, theoretical, cultural and political debates surrounding lens-based media. The Stage One modules will also help you orientate yourself in our department and allow you to become familiar with the staff and facilities available to you throughout your studies on the programme.
You'll study modules such as:
You will continue to develop your skills to a higher level, exploring interdisciplinary methods of working. Fieldtrips, visits to exhibitions, guest speakers and an introduction to photography networks will provide specific contact points with the industry. A key aspect of Stage two is the development of you identity as a well informed and highly creative image maker.
You’ll study modules such as:
If you want to gain work experience, you can take an optional work placement between stages two and three to apply your academic knowledge in a work environment. During the Photography placement, you'll study an additional qualification, the Diploma in Professional Practice, which features modules such as:
The focus is on establishing your own direction as you prepare for your final BA (Hons) Photography degree show in Derby. In addition, students’ work has been exhibited in London and Hamburg Triennial of Photography. By the end of this year, you will be an independent and confident practitioner who can hit the ground running in your career.
You'll study modules such as:
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
|September 2017 typical entry requirements|
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE||Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English|
|Interview / Audition|
Yes - please see below
Yes - please see below
Selection is based on a portfolio interview, after which you may be required to complete a Foundation Diploma or Year Zero before progressing to the degree course
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
£9,250 per year
£11,750 per year
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
The fees for students starting this course in September 2017 will be available soon.
Learning and assessment
This course involves an inspirational combination of learning and teaching methods. Technical workshops will develop the full range of photographic skills, including black and white, colour, digital, CGI and 3D. There are also lectures to introduce new concepts and knowledge; seminars to enable group discussions; critiques for constructive feedback; small group tutorials to encourage the development of ideas; individual tutorials to monitor your progress and clarify your artistic direction; group research activities to encourage team working; and individual presentations to help you develop communication skills.
Your learning will be supported by a programme of guest lectures, contact with our high-profile visiting professors, regular gallery visits, and the chance to take part in prestigious competitions and festivals. These include the acclaimed FORMAT International Photography Festival which is hosted and organised jointly by the University and QUAD.
You’ll also benefit from our partnerships with various leading professional organisations and employers. These pave the way for you to go on study visits, gain work experience, and contribute to live briefs. We have links with the Association of Photographers, the Artist Information Company, Artquest, Troika Editions, The Photographers Gallery, The Observer Newspaper, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Magnum, MAC Birmingham and Print Space, to name but a few.
The course culminates in a professional final exhibition at our annual Big Show, where you’ll also have the opportunity to make vital industry contacts during the private view. Maybe we could mention the London show angle here?
Assessment is by 100% coursework: your submissions of photographic work will be supported by an artist’s statement and opportunities to discuss the progression of your projects.
Recent years have seen significant developments in the imaging sector, thanks to the growth and speed of digital technologies. At Derby, you’ll be equipped to harness both new and existing technologies in our high-specification facilities.
You’ll hone your skills in an excellent learning environment featuring extensive photographic studios, black and white and colour darkrooms, film processing facilities, dedicated digital suites, and Mac suites offering industry-standard software.
We also have a bureau for professional printing of high-quality colour-accurate images and a well-stocked equipment centre from which you can loan an array of specialist resources.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
By the time you graduate, you’ll be a visually literate, independent, confident, articulate and adaptable photographer. Because the course also places emphasis on analytical, writing, oral communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills, you’ll be well equipped for diverse roles across the photo-imaging sector.
Our graduates have gone on to become artists, academics, teachers, curators, critics, commercial photographers, picture editors, and news and sports photographers.
Some receive major accolades for continuing the creative practice they started on their course. Josh Cole, BA (Hons) Photography graduate, who began photographing DJs, recording artists and dancers during his studies, went on to win a top prize at the UK Music Video Awards for his work on Rudimental’s single Not Giving In.
We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries, through our incubation unit – Banks Mill. It offers studio workspace and business development activities within a vibrant and thriving community of artists, designers and makers. In addition, there is the option to take your skills to the next level on our MA Film and Photography.
Following a passion: “I was always advised by my parents to follow my passion and to find my purpose. So when I visited the University of Derby for an open day, it was the reputation of the photography lecturers and the feel of the city that inspired me to uproot from Lincolnshire and begin my life in Derby.”
Dawn Foote, former BA (Hons) Photography student who went on to launch marketing agency Katapult Ltd which now employs several other University of Derby alumni.
Derby graduates are ‘best for the job’, “I have not set out specifically to hire graduates from the University of Derby, it’s simply been that they have proved to be the best candidates for the job. They come to us with the work ethic and creative mindset that provides them with a great platform to progress in this industry.”
James Corbett, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Photography in 2005 and went on to establish portrait studio Firefly Photography which has taken on several other Derby graduates.
Find out if studying at Derby is right for you at one of our Open Days: