BA (Hons) Photography - (Birmingham City University)

General

Program Description

Overview

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On our BA (Hons) Photography course will develop a creative, professional identity and signature style by combining technique, theory and ethical practice with experimentation.

You will explore contemporary photographic practice, including documentary, moving image, landscape, portrait and fine art photography, gaining a rounded knowledge of these varied and exciting disciplines.

Collaboration with other disciplines is encouraged, developing new ideas and connections with subjects such as graphic communication and film and animation. The course will show you how creative, documentary and arts-based photographers can become commercially successful in diverse careers from galleries and publishing to advertising campaigns.

What's covered in the course?

You will learn through practice, by developing confidence as a contemporary photographer. Your learning will be informed by developing a deeper understanding of the current photographic practice, from commercial briefs to publishing, exhibiting, editorial and photojournalism.

You will learn from award-winning staff with international reputations and a wealth of industry experience, having worked for clients such as the BBC, the Brit Awards, Studio Wayne McGregor, British Telecom, Adidas, Channel 4, Condé Nast, The Guardian, Hyundai, Liverpool FC, Marie Claire, Microsoft, The Sunday Times Magazine, Tesco, The Daily Telegraph, the Royal Society of Arts, Tate Britain and the Royal Opera House.

There is also a dedicated technical support team and exceptional facilities situated within the City Centre Campus. These include industry-standard photographic studios, darkrooms, television studios, editing suites, a giant green screen studio and an extensive Hires and Loans department.

We will help you to collaborate both within the University (for example, with the Fashion, Conservatoire, Acting or Product Design courses) as well as externally, with live briefs for real clients. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad for part of the course, or to go on trips to destinations such as New York, Berlin and Paris.

All of this, combined with our innovative course structure, has led to us being recognised by Creative Skillset. This award recognises that we are a centre of excellence, teaching industry standards, and equipping students with the skills and knowledge that employers look for. We also have exceptional levels of external engagement, with visiting lectures given by nationally and internationally-recognised photographers, as well as having numerous links with industry, workshops, seminars, masterclasses, careers advice, portfolio reviews, mentorships and placements.

In an environment of imagination and experimentation, we will nurture your talent and help you to develop into an employable and creative photographer.

Why Choose Us?

  • The School of Visual Communication prides itself on a long-established national and international reputation for inter-disciplinary practice. All our courses celebrate innovation and allow you to realise your creative ambitions.
  • Your portfolio will be showcased to potential employers through our home-grown and independent talent pool We Grow Cherries, as well as during your graduate show and the London shows that we participate in.
  • You will be taught by tutors who are still practising within the industry and can help you to gain a foothold in the profession.
  • You will have access to some of the best media facilities of any university in Britain.
  • Our course has produced numerous award-winning students, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • We allow students to explore a range of related careers, such as retouchers, filmmakers, creative directors, picture editors or continuing education (such as an MA or PhD).
  • We have won the AOP student photographer of the year for 2015 and 2016.

122616_lens-1209823_960_720.jpgFree-Photos | Pixabay

Course in Depth

First Year

In the first year of the course, we will provide you with the foundations of photographic and moving image practice. This will include essential technical skills using our state-of-the-art facilities, an understanding of how to harness and develop your creativity, means of communicating a message through your work, and an appreciation of the ethical and social issues that all modern photographers should be aware of.

  • Introduction to Visual Communication - 20 credits
  • Principles and Practice of Photography - 40 credits
  • Enterprise of Photography - 20 credits
  • Discourse - 20 credits

In order to complete this course, a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of Optional modules.

  • Optional Modules

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

In the second year, you will further develop your signature style, moving rapidly towards your chosen career goal. This will be achieved by developing your portfolio, your photographic intelligence and your conceptual knowledge. Furthermore, you will start to define the type of photographer that you want to become, becoming increasingly specialised in that area.

Creative briefs will help you to understand personal photographic direction and may include a collaborative module may allow you to work with Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Sound artists, Filmmakers, animators and galleries.

You will also be encouraged to collaborate with those outside of the school, building industry links that enhance your work and skills.

You will also gain essential business skills to prepare you for undertaking commissions and projects. Live briefs are a key part of the second year, so you that you experience what it is really like to work as a professional creative photographer.

Second Year

  • Context of Photography - 40 credits
  • Live Project - 20 credits
  • Identifying Direction - 40 credits

In order to complete this course, a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of optional modules.

  • Optional Modules

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Third Year

In the final year, you will, under expert tutor guidance, define your own projects, ensuring that your university work is tailored perfectly to you. You will work towards a final outcome, again chosen by you, such as a book, magazine, film, installation, exhibition and/or portfolio. As before, we will help you to develop your business profile and to become a practising photographer before you have graduated, which only goes to strengthen your portfolio and your employability.

We will be there to support you both professionally and pastorally. As well as our own expert tuition, we have a wide range of world-class photographers and portfolio reviewers who will inspire you to take your work to the next level. You will have access to the huge network of contacts that the University has, both nationally and internationally, as well as our close links with other courses within the University.

You will also undertake a piece of critical writing that examines the business practices of your chosen career. This will equip you with the necessary knowledge to approach the commercial photographic market, preparing you for your future aspirations and increasing your level of employability, allowing you to flourish not just while studying, but for many years after.

  • Critical Practice 60 credits
  • Major Project 60 credits

Course structure

During the Photography course, you will develop yourself as a creative practitioner, developing hands-on experience, producing high quality, dynamic work. Creative thinking is encouraged throughout and you will experience a high level of industry engagement through creative practice-based learning.

Studio contact sessions usually consist of lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and group activities in numerous combinations. Additional to these scheduled hours you will be expected to undertake guided independent learning. You will use the facilities within the Faculty and beyond to further develop your individual projects.

The school offers a suite of optional technical workshops including printmaking, studio lighting and a wide range of software packages.122618_jakob-owens-T7TLYFHgKt0-unsplash.jpgJakob Owens | Unsplash

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good physical or digital portfolio.

112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent, see typical offers below.

Typical Offers (UK students)

  • GCE A Level/ AS Level: BBC at A Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
  • BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years): D*D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years): DMM - 112 UCAS points
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years): D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
  • BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design: Distinction
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three higher level subjects and alongside another acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
  • Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher: Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken to achieve a minimum of grades CCD. Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers). Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of (BBCCC) are required.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options): Grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) in combination with other qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points

Additional information for EU/International students

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands. If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses): Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Ulearn has partnered with over 100 Universities in UK, USA and Canada. The Ulearn Universe includes prestigious Universities across the UK, offering hundreds of courses, including the most sought afte ... Read More

Ulearn has partnered with over 100 Universities in UK, USA and Canada. The Ulearn Universe includes prestigious Universities across the UK, offering hundreds of courses, including the most sought after, career-focused courses, panning through the most popular domains. Read less
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