BA (Hons)

Photography

  • UCAS code(s): W640
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

This course has an international reputation for creating graduates who go on to become highly regarded professionals in the creative industries. With access to traditional and digital photographic facilities and industry-standard equipment, you'll learn how to use and adopt skills to develop your creativity, working between analogue and digital.

You'll work across the subject of photography, choosing to focus and develop in areas such as art, documentary, editorial, advertising, fashion, and critical writing.

Key features

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of photographic techniques, practice, and history.
  • Focus on a format of your choice – digital or analogue, still or moving image.
  • Work broadly across the subject area or choose to focus on an area that suits you.
  • Develop your professional skills through work experience placements, competitions, and collaborations with organisations.
  • Go on field trips and optional study visits to cities like New York, Paris, Berlin, Bilbao, and London.
  • Apply for an overseas exchange to a partner university in Europe through the Erasmus programme.
  • Benefit from our visiting lecturer series, with speakers from a range of photographic practices.
  • Take part in the development and organisation of a photography festival in your final year, exhibiting your work at venues across Nottingham.
  • Be selected to showcase your work at the Free Range graduate exhibition in London.
  • 98% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

Student work

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What you'll study

  • Year One

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Representation and Construction in Photography (80 credit points)

    You will work on set and negotiated projects, examining narrative and sequencing, staged and constructed photographs, objectivity, the portrait, and the manipulated image.

    You’ll have inductions for our photographic resources, and technical workshops on the use of traditional and digital equipment, materials and techniques. You will also learn about digital photography including scanning, printing, processing raw files, and Photoshop.

    Photographic History and Critical Practice (40 credit points)

    You will learn about key facts, concepts and themes in the history and critical theory of photography. You will cover the invention of photography; the development of ideas about social, commercial, and artistic practices of photography; and the impact of changing technologies. You will be introduced to study skills and guidelines for academic writing.

    You’ll also receive information about opportunities for a European exchange, and be given support and guidance on how to apply for one.

  • Year Two

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Photography: Visual and Professional Practice (80 credit points)

    In Terms One and Two you will research, experiment, and produce a body of work that you’ll exhibit as part of a public group exhibition.

    In Terms Two and Three you’ll have the opportunity to develop your photography and present your final work as an artist’s book, which you’ll showcase at an end-of-year book fair.

    Through professional practice seminars and lectures, you will learn about subjects like copyright, working to commission, and costing and pricing your work. During Year Two, you will also consider opportunities for work experience, and decide if you’d like to choose a specialist pathway for your final year.

    Critical and Cultural Practice in Photography (40 credit points)

    You will build on your practical and theoretical knowledge and experience to further explore representation in and through imagery. You will develop an understanding of critical strategy in the interpretation, analysis, and practice of photography. You’ll prepare for your final year dissertation by developing your critical research and writing

  • Final year

    Photography Degree Show and Dissertation (120 credit points – Degree Show 50%, research package 15%, dissertation 35%)

    This module is split into Visual Practice and Critical Practice.

    In Visual Practice you’ll produce a body of work for exhibition in the NTU Degree Show Photography Festival, and a research package to show your work in progress with a reflective and analytical written commentary.

    In Critical Practice, you’ll research and write an 8,000 to 10,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice. If you have opted for one of the specialist pathways, your work will reflect this subject area.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Work broadly across the subject area or choose a specialist pathway in your final year.

How you’re taught

Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • lectures and seminars
  • studio workshops
  • practical demonstrations
  • portfolio reviews
  • tutorials
  • live projects
  • study trips
  • peer and self-evaluation.

A series of technical workshops will help you to develop practical skills, and will include:

  • exposure and metering
  • black-and-white film processing
  • colour printing
  • black-and-white printing
  • digital workflow (scanning, processing, printing, and managing your digital images)
  • studio lighting
  • large and medium format
  • exhibition and installation
  • moving image.

Assessment

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will be assessed at the end of each module and awarded a grade. You will receive feedback throughout.

Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:

  • a portfolio of practical work
  • essays
  • professional practice documents
  • a dissertation
  • a research package.

Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Trips and study visits

You’ll go on study trips to galleries, exhibitions, and cultural cities in the UK and abroad. Recent destinations have included: New York; Hepworth Gallery, Yorkshire; Paris Photo; European Month of Photography, Bratislava; and Berlin.

Exchange opportunities

The University is part of the Erasmus programme and has agreements with a number of partner institutions throughout Europe.

If you're thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, Erasmus is a great way of experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, learning a new language, and gaining a study experience which will enhance your CV. Exchanges usually take place during Year Two of your studies.

Recent destinations include FAMU International, Czech Republic; Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; École Supérieure d’Art et Design, France; and RMIT University, Australia.

Degree Show

You will exhibit your work as part of our Degree Show. This event includes all final-year students across NTU's Art and Design courses, and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

As part of this, our photography students collaborate to develop and organise their own public photography festival across the city of Nottingham. This includes branding and marketing, producing a website and catalogue, and finding spaces to exhibit their work.

You will also have the chance to be selected to exhibit your work at Free Range in London, another opportunity to have your work viewed by industry.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).

Benefit from our visiting lecturer series, with speakers from a range of photographic practices.

Careers and employability

This course has an excellent employability rate, with 98% of graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

This course prepares you for a career in photography or photo-related activities. Depending on your particular interest, you will identify your practice, and research picture agencies, image libraries, arts organisations, and photographers' agents. You will learn about proposals and CVs; how to cost your work; how to prepare estimates and invoices; and your rights, responsibilities and obligations as a photographer.

The following factors also continue to develop, to support the employability of our students:

  • live projects
  • guest speaker series
  • industry visits
  • trade fairs
  • work experience
  • increasing contacts with creative businesses
  • success of our alumni
  • research profile of our academic staff.

Many of our students go on to become photographers in different areas of the industry, from art to fashion, and from sport to documentary. Recent graduates include:

Other roles the graduates from this course have gone into include:

  • Senior Creative, Jamie Oliver
  • Assistant Picture Editor, GQ Magazine
  • Picture Researcher, Vogue magazine
  • Stylist Assistant Intern, Wallpaper* magazine
  • Exhibitions Coordinator, Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar
  • Gallery Assistant, L A Noble
  • Photography Assistant, Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • Photographer / Film maker at EC Language Centres
  • White Dwarf Photographer, Games Workshop
  • Community Coordinator, Google
  • Digital Photographer, Vision Express
  • Assistant Image Coordinator, Storm Model Management
  • production manager
  • compositor
  • post-production and retouching
  • researcher
  • working as educators, teaching within schools, colleges and universities;
  • writers for Frieze Magazine, Art Review, The BBC
  • Artist in Residence, National Media Museum Bradford.

Graduates also become stylists, studio managers, writers, web designers, photographers' agents, curators, arts administrators, and teachers.

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Links with industry

You’ll benefit from industry professionals visiting the course to deliver guest lectures and share their experience. Recent visitors include:

  • Martin Parr, Magnum photographer
  • Federica Chiocchetti, photography consultant, editor and curator
  • Chris Floyd, fashion and celebrity portrait photographer
  • Adam Hinton, documentary photographer (NTU alumnus)
  • Tim Clark, editor-in-chief and publisher of 1000 Words magazine
  • Marco Bohr, photographer and cultural blogger
  • Alec Dudson, editor-in-chief of Intern Magazine
  • Giles Duley, photographer
  • David Birkett, managing director of DMB Media
  • Mark Sealy MBE, director of Autograph ABP (Association of Black Photographers)
  • Emma Bowkett, photography director of FT Weekend magazine
  • Emma Blau, photographer and curator.

Recent events run by industry organisations for our students include:

  • Genesis Imaging, London – bursary scheme.
  • Alamy – the launch of the 100% Student project, designed to promote, showcase, and sell student images through an international picture library
  • Press Association – working to a set brief in New York given by Martin Stephens, managing director, Press Association Images
  • Sam Robinson photographer – mentoring scheme.
  • the Martine Hamilton Knight architectural photography placement scheme
  • FORMAT Festival, Derby – placement.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You’ll be encouraged to undertake work experience alongside your studies. Course staff will support you by directing you towards work placement and professional practice opportunities.

Our Photography students have recently gained work experience with companies and organisations such as:

  • ASOS
  • Brides magazine
  • GQ magazine
  • Notts County Football Club
  • The Observer
  • the Press Association
  • The Times
  • Vogue magazine
  • Mark George photography agent
  • DMB Media, London
  • Scene Photography, Nottingham.

98% of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. (DLHE Survey 2015/16)

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created this calculator to help you work it out.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

The UCAS Tariff

In 2016 the UCAS Tariff changed. In the new tariff, the numbers awarded to qualifications are very different. So, whereas previously a B at A-level was worth 100 points, in the new tariff it is now 40 points. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. We’ve created this calculator to help you work it out.

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can prepare for this course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You'll find our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests here. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students which are full of advice and information about to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. You can also speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

You will need a creative portfolio to apply for this course.

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where invited, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Photography interview and portfolio information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline – 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You've got 4,000 characters to impress us, so make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the international entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form and, where applicable, online work submission, interview and portfolio.

If you are resident in the UK and invited to attend an interview at the University, you will need to bring your portfolio with you for assessment. For more information about what we look for during an interview, and some useful tips for your portfolio, download our BA (Hons) Photography interview and portfolio information.

If you aren't resident in the UK, we'll ask you to make an online work submission. Download our BA (Hons) Photography work submission information.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline – 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements. You must, however, have a portfolio to present at interview.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for.

For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application.

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about to the University.

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. You can also speak to one of our official NTU representatives in your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first-class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with library photocopiers.

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first-class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable)
  • £20 prepaid printing allowance for use in NTU print shops and with library photocopiers.

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418