BA (Hons)

Photography

  • UCAS code(s): W640
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

Explore all aspects of what it means to be a professional photographer in the 21st Century on this degree course.

Learn practical skills including exposure and metering, digital workflow, colour and black and white printing, studio lighting, large and medium format, planning and installing exhibitions, professional photographic portfolio development and moving image.

You’ll work across the subject of photography choosing to focus on areas such as art, documentary, editorial, commercial, advertising and critical writing on photography, tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.

With access to traditional and digital photographic facilities with industry-standard equipment, you’ll learn how to use and adopt skills to develop your creativity, working between analogue and digital. Explore a range of self-directed learning experiences combining practice with theory, enabling you to develop the creativity and autonomy to establish your own photographic practice.

Our graduates are leaders within the creative industries and you will be joining an extended alumni club who help us to create opportunities for you in terms of work experience and graduate career prospects.

Key features

  • NTU is leading arts provider and is ranked 8th in the UK for Art and Design (The Complete University Guide 2019).
  • This course produces graduates that are in high demand - 96% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE survey 2016/17).
  • Work with industry-standard facilities, learning skills in traditional photographic methods, digital media and emerging technologies.
  • Work broadly across the subject, including art, documentary, editorial, advertising and fashion photography, and critical writing.
  • Develop your professional skills through work experience placements, industry competitions, and collaborations with organisations.
  • Benefit from our guest lecturer series, with speakers from a range of photographic practices.
  • Opportunity to apply for an international exchange to one of our partner institutions around the world.
  • Take part in the development and organisation of a photography festival in your final year, showcasing your work at venues across Nottingham, with further opportunities to exhibit at other graduating events.
  • Alumni have gone on to roles such as creative director at Jamie Oliver and companies such as Getty Sports Images.

Student work

What you'll study

  • Year One

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Exploration and Practice (80 credit points)
    Work on set and negotiated projects, examining narrative and sequencing, staged and constructed photographs, objectivity, the portrait, and the manipulated image.

    Receive inductions for our photographic resources, and technical workshops on the use of traditional and digital equipment, materials, and techniques.

    You’ll also learn about digital photography including scanning, printing, processing raw files, and Photoshop.

    History and Critical Practice (40 credit points)
    Learn about key facts, concepts and themes in the history and critical theory of photography. Cover the invention of photography, the development of ideas about social, commercial, and artistic practices of photography, and the impact of changing technologies. You’ll be introduced to study skills and guidelines for academic writing.

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

  • Year Two

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Visual and Professional Practice (80 credit points)
    In Terms One and Two you’ll 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’ll learn about subjects like copyright, working to commission, and costing and pricing your work. During Year Two, you’ll also consider opportunities for work experience.

    Critical and Cultural Practice in Photography (40 credit points)
    Build on your practical and theoretical knowledge and experience to further explore representation in and through imagery.

    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

    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 progress, along 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.

Course specification

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

NTU is leading arts provider and is ranked 8th in the UK for Art and Design (The Complete University Guide 2019).

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 receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade.

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

Go on organised study trips to galleries, exhibitions and cultural cities, both 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

A recent Photography student exchange to Australia (image credit: Helen Twine)

If you’re thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, the course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world.

Exchanges take place in Year Two of the course. You’ll receive guidance from the university about where you can go and study, and help in completing your application and arranging your exchange.

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

Degree Show

In your final year you’ll 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.

Our Photography students collaborate to organise a public photography festival across Nottingham. You’ll work on branding and marketing, produce a website and catalogue, and find a space to showcase your work.

You may also have the chance to be selected to exhibit your work at graduate exhibitions in London, such as New Designers and Free Range.

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%).

Careers and employability

Photography at NTU has an excellent employment rate, with 96% of students in employment or further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2016/17).

The 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'll 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.

You’ll enhance your employability through things like live projects, guest lectures, industry visits, trade fairs, and work experience.

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 graduates from this course have gone into include:

  • Jamie Oliver, senior creative
  • GQ magazine, assistant picture editor
  • Vogue magazine, picture researcher
  • Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, exhibitions coordinator
  • EC Language Centres, photographer and film maker
  • Vision Express, digital photographer
  • Storm Model Management, assistant image coordinator
  • Media Museum Bradford, artist in residence
  • Getty Images, various roles.

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

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Studying a creative degree in a large university has many benefits, none more so than having access to a large 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.

Connecting with industry

Take advantage of our excellent industry links, including companies such as Mamiya Leaf, Phase One, Genesis Imaging, Wex Photographic, Red Photographic, Calumet, Canon, RIBA Royal Institute of Architects, and international brand ambassadors for Manfroto.

You’ll benefit from industry professionals visiting the course to guest lecture 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.
    Genesis Imaging is a leading supplier of photographic printing, professional mounting and bespoke framing service. The company is a long-standing supporter of the course and help with production, advice and mentoring to our students through a series of bursaries (2 x £500 and 1 x £1000). This year, Jade Fantom was awarded with the £1000 bursary and a solo exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Art Centre.
  • 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 and our NTU Employability team will be on hand to support you with advice on how to approach companies and get the most from your experience.

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

  • ASOS
  • Brides magazine
  • Getty Imaging
  • 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.

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

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a  portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

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

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a  portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

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 can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. 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 the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +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. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your  portfolio.

Download our portfolio checklist.

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

Keeping up to date

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.

Apply through UCAS. If successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your portfolio.

If you aren't a resident in the UK, we'll ask you to submit a digital portfolio in lieu of an interview.

Get some digital portfolio advice.

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.

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 the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +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. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for 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
  • receive £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Boningtons Art shop and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable).

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 / materials credit for each year of your course (maximum three years) for use
    within Bonington art shop, College workshops and College print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops / laboratories
  • Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) as required
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable).

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