Our BA (Hons) Photography degree at UCA Farnham has a distinguished history stretching back over 70 years. This course will encourage you to develop experimental and innovative approaches towards the photographic medium.
Guided by some of the world’s finest photography academics, our Photography course offers you the opportunity to study within a uniquely creative environment where you can develop a deep understanding of the photographic practice, theory and history.
Our four-year BA (Hons) Photography course includes a preparatory year (Year 0), which will give you a focused introduction to photography and film, and help you to develop skills in moving and still image, and in audio production and editing.
The initial year will also offer seminars, tutorials, specialist technical workshops and group critiques to support you in adapting to student-centred learning at degree level.
As a member of this photographic community of internationally renowned practising artists and photographers, you’ll have access to a wide range of both digital and analogue facilities, including black and white/colour darkrooms and film processing, digital processing and editing suites, photographic studios, various digital and film cameras, lenses and lighting equipment and book production facilities.
Through a variety of workshops, tutorials, lectures and seminars, you’ll be given the freedom to develop your own practice, incorporating historical and contemporary approaches to fine-tune your creativity.
Our renowned teaching team brings with them high-profile industry connections, both nationally and internationally.
As part of the course, we regularly arrange visits to, and lectures from, a wide range of institutions such as the National Media Museum, Brighton Photo Fringe, The Photographers’ Gallery London, Photoworks Magazine, as well as Berg, Blackwell, Focalpress, Routledge and other publishers.
Many of our photography graduates have secured professional roles in a variety of fields including editorial, advertising, fine art, documentary-making, and gallery/project management.
Year 0 is a preparatory year which provides you with a focused introduction to your chosen area of study. Upon successful completion, it will secure your place on the three-year degree without further application or interview.
If you choose the four-year option, during the Year 0 you’ll work alongside Film Production students, learning the fundamentals of editing and skills in moving and still image.
The Poetics of Space
- We'll introduce you to practices and procedures for exploring the relationship of sound to image in time-based productions. Thematic content will be the exploration of ideas about place and space.
Personal Research Project
- This unit provides you with the opportunity to explore your own personal creativity by looking at development work by a range of artists, photographers and filmmakers. The emphasis will be on your personal exploration of ideas and sources of inspiration, resulting in a one-minute moving image project, or a series of still images (which could include text).
Practices of Looking
- This unit is designed to provide you with a grounding in the conventions of academic writing and discourse in film and media studies. Through the examination of codes and conventions of reading images in contemporary culture, you will be introduced to a range of theoretical models and debates
Storytelling and Staging
- Through an exploration of different forms of storytelling, you'll be encouraged to analyse texts and to create your own stories. You'll also be introduced to ideas of narrative and paintings, and work on the staging of a story.
You'll be introduced to the theoretical study and creative practice of photography, as well as the basic tools needed in the production and manipulation of photographic imagery and text. You'll learn the fundamental technical skills required to progress and develop your practice.
We'll introduce you to a range of approaches to photography, utilising digital and darkroom techniques to control studio and location production. These strategies will be underpinned by theoretical and historical frameworks to explore how to create meaning in your work.
- The unit will explore picture-making and the notion of the constructed image within a historical context; it will provide the skills you need to engage with and work with these methods. Workshops will cover studio production, darkroom and digital modes of picture-making and image manipulation.
Photography in Context
- This unit will explore photography's ability to create meaning within relevant theoretical and contextual frameworks.
- In this unit, you will research and experiment with a variety of documentary practices to explore social, political and environmental ideas.
- This unit invites you to experiment with different ways of using photography to ‘tell stories’. Photographs are regularly praised for their ability to ‘reveal’, ‘explain’, or ‘tell’ a story. This unit will explore a range of narrative strategies while questioning photography’s ability to ‘speak’ and whether or not a photograph’s meaning can ever be fixed.
This year is about solving the problems of how to represent ideas in photography by thinking strategically.
Building on the critical introduction to photography practices and assumptions carried out in Year 1, we'll consider ways of appropriating, modifying, negotiating, challenging or replacing existing conventions of representation.
You’ll explore critical ideas that challenge the conventions of photographic practice. During this period, you’ll produce an exhibition and, through building links with industry, you’ll begin to locate an external context for your work.
- This unit explores notions of practice-based community and photographic networks. It will help you to develop professional skills to navigate your career through a variety of complex social, political, economic and environmental systems. Just as the photograph’s meaning is determined by its audience how you position your practice defines its identity.
- This unit builds on the ideas and concepts explored last year to consider the larger cultural and philosophical implications of photographs and their meanings. Emphasis shifts to understanding not only the core themes that underpin the discipline but also its boundaries. You'll examine key aspects of a range of photographic practices and theory, in relation to their historical origins.
Vision and Knowledge
- You'll explore issues raised in various 'objective' photographic practices. Documentary, survey, scientific, medical, forensic and military traditions have at their core the idea that 'seeing is believing', implying that vision and visual representation are equivalent to 'knowledge'. You will reflect on and respond to photographic practices that claim to function ‘objectively’. Your work will challenge the assumptions and conventions surrounding these practices.
- Experimental Practices explores a range of processes, treatments and applications that push the boundaries of the medium. The unit will encourage you to consider medium-specific qualities and how these assumptions define an image’s reception. This unit will enable you to explore a variety of methods and techniques to further question and develop the relationship between subject matter, treatment and audience.
Study Abroad (optional)
- This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.
You'll have the opportunity to draw on the experience, knowledge and skills acquired so far. A core theme of this year is the major project, where you choose the areas of your practical studies that you'd like to concentrate on.
You'll be provided with a range of professional and career planning topics which help you to develop your future career.
The final year enables you to use your skills and knowledge to develop a major project through a practically-based critical inquiry. You’ll develop a specialist area of expertise that you’ll position in a professional context to develop your future career.
- This unit will provide you with the opportunity to establish foundations for your final major project. You'll research and develop your ideas through further experimentation to produce a body of work that distinguishes your photographic practice.
- The Resolution unit represents the culmination of your studies and should involve the independent and sustained research, development, production and presentation of a significant photographic project. This project can define your degree experience and your lifelong photographic practice; it is very much a launchpad for your future calling.
- This unit consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your Year 2.
Fees and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
- International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
Photographic studios plus access to hiring cameras, tripods and lighting equipment from the media stores. Colour and black and white darkrooms for traditional printing from small, medium and large-format negatives. Photography studios and digital area with medium and large format printers and digital scanners. On-campus media store with a good supply of 16mm, super 16mm, digital HD video cameras and high-end sound recording equipment to hire.
On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities
As a long-established photography course, our renowned teaching team bring with them high-profile industry connections, both nationally and internationally. We regularly arrange visits to, and lecturers from, a wide range of companies and institutions, such as:
- Impressions Gallery
- National Media Museum
- Berg, Blackwell, Focalpress, Routledge and other publishers
- Brighton Photo Biennial and Brighton Photo Fringe
- National Institute of Design, India
- The Photographers’ Gallery, London
- Photography & Culture journal
- Photoworks magazine
- Source: The Photographic Review.
As well as a course team including a number of practising professionals, we're connected with the Association of Photographers, a national body that works to give student members a head start as photographic practitioners.
Skilled and creatively gifted photographers are needed across an enormous range of industries, and many of our graduates have secured professional roles in a variety of fields, including:
- Fine Art
- Curatorial posts
- Gallery/ project management
- Technical support.
Alumni of this course include Paul Seawright, Gareth McConnell, Eileen Perrier, Andrew Bruce, Jane Bown, Stephen Bull and Anna Fox.
You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.
UK entry requirements
The standard entry requirements* for this course are:
One of the following:
- 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points)
- Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
- Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
- Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
- 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in an appropriate subject
- 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.
- And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).
Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.
*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.
International entry requirements
To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please check our website.
No formal portfolio is required for this course. But, if you want to bring work for discussion at your interview, you're welcome to do so. We'll require you to attend an Applicant Day which will include an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see the facilities.
About the School
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