Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

W650

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

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. You will be encouraged to challenge conventions, break moulds and create your own distinctive identity as a well-informed and highly creative thinker and image maker.

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 high-spec analogue and digital equipment.

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.  

We specialise in two very different courses, BA (Hons) Photography and BA (Hons) Photography (Professional and Applied):

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Photography will take you on a creative journey exploring what photography has been, what it is now and what it can be in the very widest sense.

The programme will support, encourage and challenge you to expand upon the conventions of photography and develop the confidence, ambitions, skills and abilities to produce work and forge your own identity as a maker and thinker of images for the future.

The programme blends creative and experimental approaches to photographic image making across the widest range of media with high level skills in research, critical thinking, communication, methods of presentation, exhibition and dissemination, and skills in digital technologies that will prove essential in life beyond your degree. There are no boundaries to what photography can be. You will be encouraged to explore and exceed the limits of photography throughout the creative journey of your degree.

We will foster your passion, support your aims and guide your ambitions to equip you with the skills, knowledge, awareness and experiences required to become a sought-after professional, enabling you to forge a bright future in the creative sector and beyond. 

Throughout your studies you will engage with and explore a wide range of traditional analogue and contemporary digital media. You will be introduced to time based and moving image media and be able to explore installation, sculptural and performance approaches, and the hybridisation of photography by combining media to blend and create new forms and uses of image making.

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.

Students will have the opportunity to apply to exhibit their work for Format International Photography Festival, the UK's leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media.



Degree Show work

Take a look at BA (Hons) Photography brochure for the Degree Show 2019, BA (Hons) Photography In the Making catalogue 2019, and take a look at BA (Hons) Photography graduate Danielle Shambley's 2018 final project, 'Eructate: The 90th Year'.

BA (Hons) Photography (Professional and Applied)

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.

Female student looks through a camera with a specialist light in the background

BA Photography In the Making catalogue 2019

Take a look at BA (Hons) Photography catalogue for the degree show 2019, BA (Hons) Photography In the Making catalogue 2019

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4PG508

Exploring Analogue Photography

This module provides a thorough introduction to analogue photography. You will be taught a range of fundamental skills, methods and techniques required for the production of high quality black and white, and colour analogue images. This will enable you to competently and confidently explore and expand your own personal curiosity and voice in the development and refinement of a personal photographic approach to describing the world.

The module will help you orientate yourself in your new department and allow you to become familiar with the staff and facilities available to you throughout your studies on the programme.

Throughout the module you will be required to think independently, imaginatively and take creative risks with your work. You will discuss your images, ideas, research and progress with peers and module tutors to negotiate your approach to image making for the module. As a final submission you will produce a set of images in response to an assignment brief supported by visual research.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PG509

Exploring Digital Photography

In the first semester this module provides a thorough introduction to digital photography. You will be taught a range of fundamental skills, methods and techniques required to the production of high quality digital images.

In the second semester you will be introduced to high-end digital equipment and practices to make large-scale images of superb quality. You will be taught lighting methods and techniques for studio and location image-making, the effective use of image-capture and post-production software, colour management and preparation to produce professional-quality, large-scale prints.

The module will also help you orientate yourself in your new department and allow you to become familiar with the staff and facilities available to you throughout your studies on the programme.

Throughout the module you will be required to think independently, imaginatively and take creative risks with your work. You will discuss your images, ideas, research and progress with peers and module tutors to negotiate your approach to image making for the module. As a final submission you will produce a set of images in response to an assignment brief supported by visual research.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PG510

Histories of Photography

There is barely an event in our world that goes by without a photograph (or many photographs) being made as a record of evidence. It might be an important event that impacts on the whole world. It might be an image of your evening dinner. Since its inception in the first half of the nineteenth century, especially with the advent of digital communication, photography is intertwined with everything we do. It has become synonymous with the activities and behaviours of human life. As such, the histories of photography are not simply about images.

This module explores a wide range of historical perspectives on photography and will help to inform and stimulate your curiosity about the myriad ways in which photography and photographs have been used to represent events, things, places and people in our world.

Your awareness and understanding of photography and its histories will be developed through a carefully structured series of presentations, discussions, workshops and study tasks. You will be guided and encouraged to read, research and explore a number of themes allowing you to form your own innovative approaches to photography and challenge established ideas and beliefs about how and what had been represented and its impact.

Further, you will begin to develop fundamental research skills to help you find confidence to seek out, enquire, select, and interpret information to inform your emerging ideas and contribute to a written study.

This module provides an essential foundation to contextual awareness, critical thinking and research skills that are a key characteristic of this programme.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PG500

Practice as Research I (Research and Development)

The module provides an opportunity for you to consolidate previous learning and further develop skills in research, critical thinking, writing and/or broadcasting as well as practice as research over a substantial time period. You will negotiate a topic for a podcast that is closely linked to your projects for Vision. You will be assigned an individual supervisor who will provide guidance during the production.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PG501

Vision (Research and Development)

This module will allow you consolidate previous learning at levels 4 and 5 and enhance your skills by developing the basis for a major piece of visual photographic work. The development of work in Vision is closely coordinated with the concurrent module Practice as Research I. You will contextualise your practice within a theoretical framework and further refine analytical skills, conceptual thinking, technical skills and the ability to express your ideas visually. You will research and develop plans for a degree exhibition with the student cohort, as well as an individual career plan.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PG502

Realisation (Development and Conclusion) [PDP]

You will realise a major piece of visual work ready for exhibition, publication and/or dissemination. This work constitutes the culmination of your degree and therefore takes a central role within the programme. The methodologies for the development have been refined at levels 4 and 5 and the previous semester, in this module you will work more independently, guided by the expertise of the supervising tutors. The development of Realisation is closely coordinated with the concurrent module Practice as Research II. You will start to implement your career plan. The planning of the degree shows will be brought to conclusion. You will achieve further refinement of analytical skills, conceptual thinking, technical skills and the ability to use visual language to articulate ideas.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PG503

Practice as Research II (Development and Conclusion)

The module provides opportunity for you to build on projects undertaken in the modules Vision and Practice as Research I and develop advanced skills in researching, critical thinking, writing, publishing or broadcasting and practice as research over a substantial time period. You will develop the outcomes from the previous semester into a more comprehensive resolution that is closely linked with your project(s) for Conclusion. Your supervisor will guide you during the production but you are expected to work independent to an increasing extent.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

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 will also have the opportunity to work on the FORMAT International Conference, organised by the academic staff on the programme.

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 FORMAT, Association of Photographers, GRAIN Photography Hub, Derby Museum and Art Galleries, Magnum Photos, MAC Birmingham, ESMAD Porto, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, to name but a few.

The course culminates in a professional final exhibition at our annual Degree Show, where you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your final work to a public audience.  

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. 

A student developing photographs in the photography lab.

Photography lab

The Photography lab at Markeaton Street has outstanding facilities that are the envy of many experienced professional photographers and artists.

Take a look at the labTake a look at the lab

Facilities 

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.  

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year*

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

Careers

The course places an emphasis on critical thinking, research, writing and oral communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. As such, you will be well equipped for diverse roles across the photo-imaging sector and beyond, making excellent use of transferable skills.

Our graduates have gone on to become artists, academics, teachers, curators, critics, professional photographers, editorial photographers, picture editors. Here are what some of our graduates are doing now:

We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre. 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.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Discover Uni

You might also like