BA single honours Photography with Foundation Year 2018/19

Year of entry

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

You can see the high quality of the work our students produce by browsing their end of year Exhibition Catalogues for 20162017 and 2018.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will explore areas including:

  • traditional and alternative analogue processes
  • studio and digital photography
  • documentary image-making
Great news!

We’re building a new £12m arts facility on our main campus in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. We’re planning to open the creative arts building in the academic year 2018/19.

Find out more about these specialist facilities in our video.

BA Photography is an exciting specialist course that aims to enable you to understand and appreciate photography as a means of visual communication and creative expression. The course offers an opportunity to develop practical photographic skills underpinned by an understanding of critical and theoretical perspectives. This focus for study enables each student to develop his or her individual and collective creative and technical abilities to a high level.

100% of our most recent Photography students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course

DLHE 2015-16

The course will be delievred in our new arts building in Canterbury which will include specialist digital imaging and film processing suites and well-equipped studios. You will also benefit from editing, darkroom and printing facilities, technical support and the latest DSLRs, medium and large format equipment. The course includes regular field trips, exhibition and gallery-based sessions and is supported by visiting professionals, enhancing further the teaching and learning experience.

Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the integration of practice and theory. All the modules are designed to develop your awareness of supporting theoretical concepts, informing your own practice and encouraging you to develop areas of specialism as you progress from year one to an increasingly individualised programme of study in year 3. Each academic year culminates in a group exhibition. Throughout all years emphasis is placed on preparing for a successful creative life after graduation.



  • Rob Ball – Photograph of the Month, The National Portrait Gallery
  • Karen Shepherdson - Digital Exhibition Award – Arts and Humanities Research Council


  • Matthew Lloyd – AOP Student Award
  • Andrew Bruce – Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed The Photographers’ Gallery
  • Natasha Hemsley – Grand prix de la decouverte: International Fine-art photography award, Paris
  • Shaun Vincent – Shortlisted for the Renaissance Photography Prize

“Choosing to study BA Photography was a great decision for me because I was able to develop academic and personal skills, meet new and interesting people as well as have an opportunity to get new experiences. Throughout the 3 years of study I was able to find my own artistic style and with the support of all programme staff I have extended my technical and theoretical knowledge of photography. Graduating with the degree in photography, now I am able to continue my academic lifestyle by progressing into MA by Research programme where I will carry on to evolve as a person and an artist.”

Irina Novoslavska
BA Photography Student Work 2017

(Click to enlarge)

In year one you are introduced to the creative practice of photography and to the critical approaches to studying photography, introducing imaging skills and techniques.

In year two the modules taken vary depending on your choice. You will take a double module in Advanced Creative Photographic Practice with many additional optional modules to select from, placing emphasis on a variety of themes including curating, book design, documentary photography or alternative darkroom methods.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

In year three a greater emphasis is placed on independent learning. For example, you take a compulsory extended double Specialised Study by Practical Project, developing your individually negotiated projects and preparing for your final degree show.

The course is designed to prepare you for work within the creative visual industries. You will gain a full range of creative, theoretical, social, technological and administrative skills and resources appropriate for employment within the creative and cultural industries. Emphasis is placed on preparation for work-readiness throughout the programme including modules in exhibition curation and professional practice.

You may progress to professional employment in photography and the creative industries or more broadly into a very wide variety of settings where innovation, confidence, discipline and flair are important.

Work experience

There is no formal work experience within the course, but students do take part in funded research projects and events led by the academic team. Students are encouraged to build links with industry professionals at various points throughout the course.

"The South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography located at CCCU provides exciting and meaningful opportunities for undergraduates to work alongside academics in writing, curating and making site specific photography for public engagement."

Dr Karen Shepherdson Reader in Photographer and Director of SEAS Photography

Other information

  • Programme visits to key London exhibitions
  • Opportunities to take part in yearly international trips
  • Monthly programme of visiting lecturers
  • SEAS Photography Archive on campus

Students on the Analogue Photography module are able to make their own photographic negatives from scratch using the 150-year-old wet plate collodion technique.

Foundation Year Zero

Students on all of the  Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:

  • Academic Writing and Study Skills
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Understanding Arts and Humanities
  • Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities

In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:

  • Dangerous Ideas
  • Foundation English Language and Communication
  • Foundation English Literature
  • Foundation Media and Communications
  • Analysing British Cinema
  • Historical Foundations
  • America and the World (subject to validation)
  • Music and Performing Arts in Context
  • The Languages and Theory of Music

Core Modules

All Modules are compulsory with the exception of Photography in Context

Year 1

Introduction to Creative Photographic Practice (1 and 2)

During this pair of related modules you will be introduced to a range of conceptual, technical and creative photographic skills. To make evident the interconnections between traditional analogue and digital photography, one block of learning will focus on film photography, silver based materials and darkroom practice. You will be introduced to the creative possibilities of working with film and through demonstrations and workshops you will begin to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles of photography. For example, camera handling, exposure, focus, composition, depth of field, shutter speed, basic lighting and, in this block, black and white film selection, film development and printing will all be explored and applied through exercises in creative practice. In Digital Photography, Processing and Printing, you will develop an understanding of digital technologies and materials and how these can be used to articulate the student’s own creative aims.

Introduction to Photographic Studies

The module will focus on photographic histories, aesthetics and technologies, examining the emergence of an established medium and its cultural significance, and will introduce you to a range of key practitioners, images, genres and movements. The module is designed to focus learning across a number of critical approaches and whilst an historical overview will be provided, this module is also designed to develop understanding in related contemporary debates for example; imaging and ethics, photography and identity, and image, ideology and meaning. Visits to exhibitions and similar events will provide you with the opportunity to apply your developing knowledge and critical skills to an examination of specific work and practices not necessarily covered in module lectures. The visits and the following seminar discussions provide an opportunity for you to develop your own critical approaches to individual works.

Visual Research

As the course focuses upon the creative use of photography and its relation to other media, it is essential that you develop ability and confidence in articulating and developing your ideas visually. You will be introduced to appropriate mechanisms for idea generation, development and presentation that underpin the production of practical and creative work throughout the course. This module addresses the need for visual literacy through the production of visual research projects, the exploration of idea generation methodologies and the contextualisation of artistic styles, methods and histories. In this sense idea generation and creativity is understood as a process of play, exploration, discovery, problem solving and deep critical and creative engagement. You will be encouraged to develop and identify generic strategies for the development of visual research, and to identify and reflect upon context based strategies and your individual interests, strengths and idiosyncrasies in relation to visual research.

Introduction to Digital Imaging: Photography

This module will demonstrate a range of imaging hardware and software technology and explore the creative potential of the ‘digital darkroom’. The production of original material is vital in digital photography and this module introduces you to salient concepts of image production and manipulation. Starting with the capture of original photography, you study a variety of techniques which facilitate the production of different material for a variety of different purposes. The module examines workflow and various elements such as file formats, importing, storing and retrieving camera files, the necessity of colour management, and how software can be used for digital imaging (for example, colour correcting with levels and curves adjustment layers, basic retouching and printing profiles). In addition you develop digital workflows that include RAW processing and conversion of files ready for print. Through a series of practical exercises and varied set briefs, the module develops competence and confidence in digital imaging practice.

Photography in Context

The module will place photography into a broad context of cultures/politics and art/art histories, and operates on a three week cycle of: illustrated lecture, workshop and critique / seminar. This will offer an opportunity for a theoretical context to be established, followed by you applying new knowledge and understanding through practice, before thirdly reflecting upon your own experience of practice. An example of this might be ‘Instant Imaging’. To begin, a lecture would be provided, contextualising the instant image within an artistic (Warhol/ Tarkovsky) and cultural (Jamie Livingston’s Picture A Day Project) framework. Examination of how instant images - from the Polaroid to the Digital - have been used by both public and professional image-makers would be established. This lecture would be followed by a workshop on Polaroid Lifts and Transfers where you could experience and explore a method of image construction and be encouraged to bend it to your purpose. The third week of this cycle would offer time for critiquing work produced and discussing possible limitations and ways forward.

Year 2

The compulsory module in year 2 is Advanced Creative Photographic Practice (1 and 2)
Advanced Creative Photographic Practice (1 and 2)

On this pair of related modules delivered over two semesters you will be taught to use a range of specialist equipment and relevant skills, within a workshop, studio or location-based context. An example of this is the advanced lighting workshops which move beyond the basics, to provide you with an understanding of complex multiple and mixed light set-ups and techniques. Beyond the technical, this module will also seek to develop your own personal aesthetic and ongoing practice. Contextual lectures, guest speakers and visits to exhibitions will provide you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and critical skills to an examination of specific work and practices not necessarily covered in module lectures. The module will also work towards the non-assessed end of year exhibition, where you will be encouraged to assist in its organisation and through the process of editing and selection, contribute images from your submitted portfolios.

Analogue Photography and Darkroom Practice

The module will examine analogue photography across a multitude of formats and darkroom techniques. It will refine further your technical and creative skills in analogue photography and darkroom practice, and will place emphasis on the inter-relationship between exposure, film development and final print quality. The module will facilitate a range of skills including experimentation with alternative processes and image manipulation through cameras, filters, toners and photographic papers. As well as film and print processing, this module will also give you an opportunity to work with a range of cameras and undertake both studio and field photography.

Documenting the Real: Photography

The module will examine the interconnections between documentary photography, its historical contexts and its practice, it will therefore examine the history/ies of documentary photography and will place emphasis on how representations are mediated and constructed. To enable this exposition, you will be introduced to a survey of the key figures, movements and debates that have shaped the history of documentary photography. Key issues of representation, history, identity, ideology and politics will all be explored in relation to the developing history of documentary theory and practice. At the same time, a significant focus will also be placed on questioning such definitions. As well as defining the potential functions of documentary in engaging with cultural, social, and political themes, the module will also concentrate on contemporary challenges to documentary orthodoxy. Accordingly, the module will consider the various ways in which the traditional status of documentary photography has evolved in recent decades to incorporate elements of entertainment and will seek to challenge documentary’s general status as being a realist form.

Sequential Design

You will examine creative expression through the editing and sequencing of photography. The module will initially provide an examination of different techniques used to create editorial work both in print and online. This investigation will be underpinned with a series of workshops that will demonstrate design layout for print and then for the web. These workshops will also show the importance in successful colour management. A further set of technical demonstrations will explain alternative and traditional methods of design, such as bookbinding. The module’s lectures and demonstrations will draw upon case studies, used to illustrate the techniques expressed.

Photographer on Film

The first part of this module will see you viewing and analysing a range of filmic representations of the photographer on film. A range of films where the photographer and photography plays a key part in the content will be explored and the links between film style, structure and meaning will be examined. The module at this early stage consists of a three week rolling structure of: lecture / screening / seminar. The second phase of the module is where you receive tuition through practical workshops on short film preproduction, production and post production. Here you will be given the opportunity to develop contemporary digital filmmaking methods and within this supportive creative environment you can apply these skills and examine your own photographic practice through short film production.

Curatorial Studies

The module’s first term will be organised around salient lectures and workshops including delivery at Turner Contemporary and the Sidney Cooper galleries. During this time, the module examines how creative work can be exhibited through a variety of outlets from the traditional ‘hang’ to contemporary on-line displays and will provide a context for you to analyse the processes and ideologies underpinning exhibition design. The remainder of the module sees you, under supervision, begin to apply the knowledge and understanding in the planning of the Interim Exhibition. The module content is designed to facilitate your knowledge, understanding and skills in project management, leading to the delivery of the end of year Interim Exhibition. The module, in this regard, aims to equip you with the necessary project management skills to deliver an exhibition successfully, on time and on budget and to lead you to an increased creative, visual and contemporary awareness.

Year 3

The compulsory module in Year 3 is Independent Study by Major Practical Project Note that if you choose to do Individual Study by Dissertation at year three you can only do 20 or 40 Credits – not both.

Independent Study by Major Practical Project

The module will facilitate your development of a practical project proposal and provide conceptual, technological and creative guidance through seminars and tutorials. In Term 1 you will identify an area of practice based research and will produce an ongoing research journal of research and pre-production materials in preparation for the major project. Term 2 includes a series of visiting lecturers and a short block of sessions on professional practice. These are designed to offer you the opportunity to gain work readiness and hone your portfolios prior to the final submission. Although emphasis is placed upon practice, you will discuss your projects in both seminars and tutorials, thus refining your approach and completing your work in a critically informed way. Group sessions will feature specialist workshops, discussions and critiques. By reviewing the work of others and participating in critiques, you will expand your understanding of photography and in the process, your own practice. The module will conclude with the non-assessed Graduate Exhibition, where you will be encouraged to assist in its organisation and through the process of editing and selection, contribute from your submitted portfolios.

Individual Study by Dissertation

You will be supported in the completion of a proforma indicating the proposed topic for study and the resources considered to be essential. In the first term, you will attend seminars where you will introduce your area of study and invite comments. You will also be given tuition on research methods and accessing academic sources. Thereafter, you will attend individual tutorials and have regular contact with your supervising tutor. You will be expected to produce a written individual study of approximately 5,000 words (20 credits) or 10,000 (40 credits). A 200 word abstract at the beginning of the piece will summarise the topic, the approach adopted and the main conclusions. The individual study can embrace any topic related to photography, either a further development of work undertaken earlier in the Programme or a new topic.

Mixed Media Project

The module aims to encourage and develop practice based research relevant to visual culture. The purpose of the Mixed Media Project is to allow you to define, negotiate and develop focused and specific research activity through engagement with theory and practice. Providing opportunities for the exploration, consideration and development of theoretical, critical and conceptual aspects of contemporary practice. Additionally and importantly this module aims to provide you with a substantial opportunity to develop your interests and specialisms within photography and visual culture. Whilst the outcome of the module may well be significant creative products across a range of media, the main aim of the module will be to promote your creative and practice based research in relation to identified theoretical issues, contexts and practice.

Professional Practice

A key focus throughout this module will be on introducing you to aspects of contemporary photographic professional practice, enterprise and future employability. The module will outline the established framework for the photography and art industry and encourage you to consider where you place yourself within it. An introduction to, and tuition in, aspects of professional practice coupled with a competition submission will equip you with the necessary experience to begin their preparation for entering the workplace on graduation.

The course is designed to prepare you for work within the creative visual industries. As a successful student, you will have gained a full range of creative, theoretical, social, technological and administrative skills and resources appropriate for employment within the creative and cultural industries. Emphasis is placed on preparation for work-readiness throughout the programme including modules in exhibition curation and professional practice.

Students may progress to professional employment in photography and the creative industries, further study or more broadly into a variety of settings where innovation, confidence, discipline and flair are important.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching and experience on the photography course and it helped me develop my own thinking, practice and professionalism. I now work at Turner Contemporary Gallery and as an artist.”

Jason Pay


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,165 N/A
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,500

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

The modules in BA Photography are taught in a variety of ways, depending on their level and the required outcomes. All 20 credit modules will typically have 60 contact hours over the year, and for each module you will be expected to spend a further 140 hours in self-directed study. As you move into Year 3 contact time reduces as you undertake independent, supervised study.

Our teaching on each module will usually include a combination of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, individual tutorials, demonstrations, and exercises, though the balance between these elements will vary depending on the module content. This variety of approaches is designed to cater to your needs, as you might learn best from listening to a lecture, while other students learn well from independent reading or from in-class discussion. You will then be asked to apply the skills you have acquired, often in the form of a practical task. Further teaching takes place using the many of the computer-based systems relevant to the contemporary creative practitioner.

Academic input

The course team includes a broad range of academics currently ranging from Senior Lecturer to Reader level. All staff are actively engaged in high-quality research.

Knowledge and understanding is assessed via coursework including practical portfolios/projects, essays, studies, and critical journals. Intellectual skills are assessed through coursework.

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

BA Photography is well-resourced and draws upon a range of equipment, much of which is available for students to borrow out of class. These range from Medium and Large Format digital and film cameras and access to an alternative processes suite where experimentation with a variety of techniques is encouraged and supported.

The programme is affiliated to the Association of Photographers (AOP) and has a monthly programme of visiting industry professionals open to all students.

There was not enough data to publish information specifically about this course. This may be because the course size is small, it is a new course, or not enough students responded to the survey. For this reason, the data displayed is for all students in Cinematics and Photography.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • W642 Photography with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should have studied at level 3 and have attained 48 UCAS Tariff points, although those without formal qualifications will be considered.

    You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.

    More entry requirement details.



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Last edited: 20/09/2018 11:01:00