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BA (Hons) Photography

University of Derby
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
University of Derby

Program description

BA (Hons) Photography

Challenge conventions, take risks and be imaginative on this well-established and renowned photography degree. You’ll become a highly creative and technically experienced photographer.

We have over 50 years’ experience of teaching photography and have built up a reputation for excellence. You’ll have access to facilities that many experienced professional photographers dream of, including the latest high-spec cameras, extensive photographic studios, black and white and colour darkrooms, film processing facilities and dedicated digital suites.

If you think you have it in you to be a brave and inventive photographer, who’s not afraid to learn from your failures, then you belong on this photography degree.

You'll learn through a combination of technical workshops, lectures, seminars, group discussions, group critiques and individual tutorials. You will also hear from high-profile visiting professors and go on regular gallery visits.

You and your work will be highly visible. You’ll have opportunities to complete genuine work for clients and go on placements or study visits to organisations like the Association of Photographers, The Observer newspaper, Derby Museum and Art Gallery and MAC Birmingham and Print Space. Some students win the right to exhibit at FORMAT, the international festival of photography and related media, staged in Derby.

Our photography graduates are visually literate, independent, confident and adaptable. The course also develops analytical, writing, oral communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills, so you’ll be equipped for many roles in the photo-imaging sector. Past students have become artists, academics, teachers, curators, critics, commercial photographers, picture editors, and news and sports photographers.

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Admission requirements

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther informationUCAS TariffA levelPearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)Access to HE DiplomaGCSE/National 4/National 5112 pointsYour offer will be based on your predicted grades from your core A2s (full A levels), BTEC Diploma etc. We will accept up to 16 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project, or Music 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.BBCDMMD: 15 credits
M: 24 credits
P: 6 creditsPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits with 45 at Level 3GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification

Additional entry requirements

Submission of a portfolio 

English language requirements

IELTS overall score at a minimum of 6.0; with at least IELTS 5.5 in each band (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing) or another Secure English Language Test(SELT)at CEFR level B2 or above

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Program content

What you will study

You'll study modules such as:

Stage one

  • Histories of Photography 
  • Exploring Analogue Photography
  • Exploring Digital Photography
  • Theories of Photography

Stage two

  • Expanded Media
  • Image Musing Text
  • Raising Your Voice
  • Making Your Future

Diploma in Professional Practice (optional)

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Stage three

  • Writing the Image
  • Realisation

Program delivery

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. 

Tuition fees

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands£9,250Year 1EU£14,045Year 1International£14,045Year 1England£9,250Year 1Northern Ireland£9,250Year 1Scotland£9,250Year 1Wales£9,250Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Career opportunities


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.

About this institute

University of Derby

Here at the University of Derby we believe anything is possible. With a broad range of courses at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level, we can help you get your career off to a great start. We know how important it...

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