Photography Undergraduate Courses

With a long and proud history of photography degrees at Derby, we’ll help you create your own identity as a photographer by taking risks, challenging conventions and breaking moulds.

At Derby you’ll learn from experienced professional photographers, using the latest industry-standard studio, darkroom and digital facilities.

The School of Arts is a place where talent thrives and ambitions are realised. Our impressive facilities range from our producing and learning theatre, photography lab and purpose-built studios. 

You’ll join a creative community that is supportive in helping students shape their individual identities and styles. Our courses focus on graduate employability, helping you to establish yourself as an artist; this may be through work placements, real world projects and the chance to showcase your work at events, including the end of year Degree Show. 

Courses are led by experienced practitioners, many are artists and designers with key industry contacts. Their fresh and dynamic approach to teaching will encourage you to learn through risk-taking and experimentation to develop your portfolio. You’ll learn skills that can be applied to a range of fields from design to writing, performance to education and curating to publishing. These links mean that you’ll have the opportunity to work with external clients on real briefs, so you’ll graduate with a comprehensive portfolio of work to help launch your career.

Top20for Film Production and Photography**The Guardian University Guide 2022
100%overall satisfaction - BA (Hons) Photography**National Student Survey, 2020
100%overall satisfaction - BA (Hons) Photography (Professional and Applied)**National Student Survey, 2020

Photography courses

You’ll develop imaginative approaches to image making which will set you apart within the creative, media and arts industries. You’ll hone your skills in an excellent learning environment featuring extensive photographic studies, black and white and colour darkroom, film processing facilities, dedicated digital suites, and Mac suites offering industry-standard software.

A male and female in t shirts stand back to back holding photographic equipment

The dynamic duo behind Studio No 74

Rachel and Dariusz partnered up to create a photography business and have big plans for the creative house.

Read Rachel and Dariusz's storyRead Rachel and Dariusz's story

"It was the reputation of the photography lecturers that inspired me!"

"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 is a Photography graduate who went on to launch marketing agency Katapult Ltd, which now employs several other University of Derby graduates and works on a variety of projects across the University.

A female operates a large piece of industrial looking photographic equipment

Career opportunities

  • commercial, advertising and editorial photography
  • picture researcher
  • freelance photographer
  • photo-journalism
  • fashion photographer
  • film stills photographer

You could also go on to study our MA Film and Photography postgraduate course. 

Professional accreditations and affiliations

The BA (Hons) Photography programme is accredited by FORMAT Festival. It is also affiliated with The British Institute of Professional Photography and The Association of Photographers

Studying Photography at Derby:

  • We were one of the first UK universities to launch a photography degree and boast over half a century of heritage in photographic education. You’ll draw on this proud tradition while working at the cutting edge of technology
  • Derby is home to FORMAT, the UK’s largest international photography festival. This is an excellent platform for emerging new talent and as a Derby student you’ll have the ideal opportunity to showcase your work
  • Live briefs set by external clients, gallery visits, overseas study trips, exhibitions, festivals and competitions will bring exciting dimensions to your studies
  • You'll have access to professional printing of high-quality, colour-accurate images and a well-stocked equipment centre from which you can loan an array of specialist cameras and lighting

What our Photography graduates do

Career opportunities open to graduates include:

  • commercial, advertising and editorial photography
  • picture researcher
  • freelance photographer
  • photo-journalism
  • fashion photographer
  • film stills photographer

You could also go on to study our MA Arts postgraduate course. 

A modern glass fronted building with a brook and grass in front of it and blue sky background

Explore Markeaton Street

Our students prepare to become professional creative practitioners with access to a wide range of industry-standard equipment and facilities.

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Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the courses with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open Day

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your undergraduate Open DayBook your undergraduate Open Day
Students Chloe and David

Make it Real
at Derby

Our students, graduates and staff are people just like you. And they are making an impact in our region and around the world by using their knowledge and skills to drive innovation and change. You can be part of that story. We can make it real for you.

Hear from our students and graduatesHear from our students and graduates