In 2016 BA (Hons) Commercial Photography achieved 92% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS). The School of Arts has a long-standing reputation for excellence in the field of photography. Our state of the art facilities are the envy of many experienced professional photographers. We offer a free equipment loan centre for students, full of the latest high-spec cameras so don’t worry about not owning the latest model – we do!
Our graduates pursue career paths in fashion, advertising, documentary, editorial, landscape or picture re-touching & manipulation. BA (Hons) Photography - This course is centered upon your development as a well-informed & 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.
Course Leader: Cameron Jinks
T: 01332 593130 (course leader)
01332 591167 (admissions)
01332 591698 (international)
01332 590500 (general)
UCAS code: W640
Start date: September
Course length: 3 Years Full Time or 6 Years Part Time
Campus: Markeaton Street site, 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.
The School of Arts has a long-standing reputation for excellence in the field of photography. Our state of the art facilities are the envy of many experienced professional photographers. We offer a free equipment loan centre for students, full of the latest high-spec cameras so don’t worry about not owning the latest model – we do!
We specialise in two very different courses:
This course is centered 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.
BA (Hons) Commercial Photography
This course gives you a head start if you’re looking for a job in the image industry or planning to work on a freelance basis. Our graduates pursue career paths in fashion, advertising, documentary, editorial, and landscape photography, or picture re-touching and manipulation.
Focus on the creative, technical and business expertise you need to succeed as a commercial photographer – on one of the only specialist degrees of its kind in the country. This distinctive course gives you the chance to work commercially from the outset while developing a unique creative vision.
Contemporary commercial photographers are setting the pace for change not only in the way images are captured but also in the way they are used. This course will help you to deliver images of outstanding quality while gaining the skills, vision and confidence to meet the changing demands of the client-based economy. You’ll learn how to deliver creative solutions for an exciting and fluid industry.
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.
You'll study a total of 120 credits per year. This will be made up of single or double modules.
In the introductory stage of the course, you’ll gain fundamental practical skills in traditional processes, digital imaging and composition, while exploring the potential of the image and the notion of what commercial photography is. You’ll also gain an introduction to Personal Development Planning (PDP) to support your direction as a creative practitioner.
You'll study modules such as:
There is a greater emphasis on experimenting with media and ideas as you take on more challenging briefs. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with live projects for clients, take part in competitions and undertake interdisciplinary work by combining technologies. We will also look at the current business environment for commercial photographers in the UK and Europe.
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 placement, you'll study an additional qualification, the Diploma in Professional Practice, which features modules such as:
This stage involves a substantial amount of independent study as you develop an individual approach to your work while deepening your awareness of current trends in commercial photography. This culminates in an independent development project which showcases your originality and professional standards.
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|
At least a C in an Art and Design subject at A-level (or equivalent qualification)
|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
Individuals with few formal qualifications can still apply providing they have the required communication and learning skills as well as the knowledge, experience and motivation to succeed. In this instance they will be asked to provide evidence of experience in photography work and evidence of written development work.
Practical experience in photography is required in all cases and applicants will be invited for an interview and asked to submit a portfolio of recent work to support their application.
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
£1,155 per module
£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.
This course involves an inspirational mix of studio workshops, group and individual tutorials, seminars and lectures, screenings and peer group critiques. Your learning will be supported by a programme of visiting photographers and trade suppliers who will share their insights into the profession.
We focus on creative problem-solving through project work and encourage an exchange of ideas between you and professionals working in the industry. The option of a work placement between stages two and three offers invaluable experience and our students have been placed with organisations as varied as the Derby Telegraph, Rolls-Royce, local media agencies and Derby Hospital’s Medical Illustration Department.
You’ll also produce a variety of live project work for various clients. Recent examples have seen students recording new exhibitions for Derby Museum and Art Gallery or promoting a network of Peak District food producers.
There is also the chance to visit exhibitions, go on study visits to local and national companies, and 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.
Practical work makes up 75% of the course, with critical studies making up the other 25%. For all practical modules, you’ll be assessed on your practical work, formal presentation of course work, and your contribution to individual tutorials, group tutorials and seminars. For your context and dissertation modules, you’ll be required to submit essay work and course work.
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.
This course gives you a head start if you’re looking for a job in the image industry or planning to work on a freelance basis. The skills you'll develop, both academic and practical, are invaluable in areas ranging from commercial and editorial photography to location finding and management, photo retail and image manipulation. Our graduates pursue career paths in fashion, advertising, documentary and landscape photography. You could also consider becoming a photographer's agent or picture researcher.
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.
Emma was head hunted by a top gun maker in Birmingham Westley Richards to run their professional photographic studio shooting everything from still lives, portraits to product brochures and websites. See http://www.westleyrichards.com/ Emma was also a finalist in the prestigious Hassleblad Masters Competition.
After winning the National LPA Futures competition while he was a student Edd went on to set up his own successful advertising studio in Bristol and has begun shooting national advertising campaigns for clients such as Pentel. Edd Graduated last year. https://edwardfury.wordpress.com/…/forthglade-organic-pet-…/.
Find out if studying at Derby is right for you at one of our Open Days: