BA single honours Photography with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

95% of our students were employed six months after finishing the course. (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 2016/17)

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.

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

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

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 of study enables you to develop your individual and collective creative and technical abilities to a high level. The course is delivered by academic experts in photography, who are actively researching and producing creative practice that informs the teaching on the course. The experienced, supportive and inspiring team will help you to identify your own interests in photography and enable you to make the most of your creative practice.

The course is taught within professional facilities including 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. Throughout all years emphasis is placed on preparing for a successful creative life after graduation, which is celebrated in a group exhibition at the end of each year of study.

The course is delivered by research active academics engaging with the environment within which the programme is delivered. All students exhibit off campus within the exciting environment of Margate and have the opportunity to take part in various projects on location, often related to The South East Archive of Seaside Photography (SEAS).



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


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

“Within the Photography programme, at Canterbury Christ Church University, the working relationship between student and tutor is very different to what I have experienced in education before. As students we are seen more as colleagues, working alongside our tutors as equal practitioners. Everyone is always given a chance to express themselves in a relaxed and safe environment, with no judgement and encouragement to bring out the best in their abilities.”

Lauren Connolly

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

As a student on a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year course you will undertake 4 core modules introducing you to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills. 

Core Modules

Semester One

  • Life and Study 

A module introducing you to Life and Study at university, equipping you with the personal management skills you need to make the most of your time here. 

  • Understanding Arts and Humanities 

A module introducing research methods and key skills, such as academic writing, referencing, presentations and critical reading. 

Semester Two

  • Being Human

A module introducing modernity and how it is identified and researched. You will choose your own individual example of modernism, whether it be an object, a work of art, an idea or a piece of literature. 

  • School Core Module 

A module designed to equip you with the skills relating to your chosen subject area, providing you with a seamless transition to level 4/year one.   

Complementary Modules 

In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:

Semester One

  • Foundation Media and Visual Communications 

You will explore key creative processes, aesthetics and principles that underpin work in the creative sector, such as pre-production, experimentation and the use of these skills to produce work in a suitable format.  

Semester Two

  • Ways of Seeing Aesthetics 

You will be introduced to some of the key ideas and principles that explain the ways we see and understand the world around us. 


  • Analysing British Cinema 

You will study the key principles of textual film analysis using examples from British cinema. Each lecture will study a different aspect of a given topic, such as History, Genre, Landscape and Politics and be studied via a close analysis of a specific film. 

Year 1

Introduction to Creative Photographic Practice 1 and 2  (20 credits each)

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. Digital photography, processing and printing is also taught enabling you to develop a sophisticated understanding of digital technologies and materials and how these can be used to articulate the student’s own creative aims.

Introduction to Photographic Studies (20 credits)

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 specific work and practices not necessarily covered in module lectures. The visits and following seminar discussions provide an opportunity for you to develop your own critical approaches to photography.

Visual Research (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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  (20 credits)

The module will place photography into a broad context of cultures, politics and art histories. The pattern of study is designed to give 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 and cultural framework. This lecture would then  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 own creative  purpose. The third week of this cycle would offer time for your work to be critiqued and discuss ways that the work might be developed and improved.

Year 2

The compulsory modules in Year 2 are Advanced Creative Photographic Practice 1 and 2 Advanced Creative Photographic Practice 1 and 2 (20 credits each)

These co-related modules over two semester will teach you a range of specialist equipment and advanced relevant skills. The learning will be predominantly delivered through workshops within a studio and location-based context.. 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 further. The module will also work towards an end of year interim 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  (20 credits)

The module will examine analogue photography across a number 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 inter­relationship 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 (20 Credits)

The module will examine the connections between documentary photography, its historical contexts and its practice.  Examining the history of documentary photography the module will place emphasis on how representations are mediated and constructed. To enable this exploration , you will be introduced to a survey of 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. Alongside this critical exploration you will produce your own documentary project that explores an area or subject that you feel passionate about.

Sequential Design (20 credits)

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 both  print and  web. These workshopsalso develop a knowledge and understanding of 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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

The module begins with a series of lectures and workshops that explore curation and will 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 on­line 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, applying 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, 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.

Independent Study by Major Practical Project (40 credits)

The module will facilitate your development of a major practical project proposal and provide conceptual, technological and creative guidance through seminars and tutorials. In semester 1 you will identify an area of practice based research and will produce an ongoing research journal of research and pre­production materials in preparation for the major project. Semester 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 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 (20 or 40 credits)

You will be supported in the completion of a proforma indicating the proposed topic for study and the resources considered to be essential. Seminars will introduce you to research methods and methodologies and you will have an opportunity to 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 (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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. Graduate 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


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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

Course specific costs


The course fees cover materials and specialist equipment for the taught aspect of the programme, however if you were interested in a particular specialist area of photography you would need to cover the costs of this yourself. For example, you will be taught how to analogue photography on the course, but if you chose to expand processes (or scale) beyond the taught workshops you would need supplement this yourself. This may include additional processing costs, photographic papers and film.

There are opportunities to go on overseas trips, which are again may incur an additional cost.

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.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

Practical workshops will teach you the skills and technical knowledge you will need to produce your coursework. Lectures will give you a firm grounding in the theoretical aspects of photography and will help you to develop your critical understanding of photographic practices. Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and enable you to express your ideas, observations and experiences in a supportive academic environment. In addition to these three learning approaches you will present your work regularly during critiques, where academic staff and your peers will help you to develop your work and improve the quality of the course work you produce. Finally, you will meet with your academic personal tutor to get personal support on your academic journey.

During all the practical workshops, you will be introduced to specialist facilities and after this initial introduction you will have access to these throughout your course.

You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week, but your actual contact hours depend on the optional modules you select.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments, workshops and seminars. During this time you will have access to the specialist facilities (Photographic darkrooms and Studios), to help you develop and improve your practical skills.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For the Dissertation in year three, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours. You will undertake 18 hours independent learning and assessment activity. In addition, there will be field trips.

For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics, who a have interests and experience in diverse areas of photography. All of the teaching team hold teaching qualifications and are research-active, sharing a range of expertise and experience. They all have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. For more information see the individual staff profiles.

The course provides you with opportunities to develop your work and receive ongoing feedback before you submit your coursework which will count towards your final mark. Each module contains a number of feedback sessions (either through critique or tutorial) to give you formative feedback on the work that you produce. During this phase, work will not be assessed formally as this is part of developmental process and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, portfolios, critical research journals, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

Assessment is 100% coursework in all three years.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessment).

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.

BA Photography is based in the Daphne Oram creative arts building, a new £12m facility on our Canterbury campus. The building is equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

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.

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


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course 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 2020

Entry requirements

  • p>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: 05/09/2019 09:25:00