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Commercial Photography Welcome Guide - Overview
Your Welcome Guide

We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth, and hope that your time here will be rewarding, challenging, creative and enjoyable.

Welcome to BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you in October.

A message from your team

It's with great pleasure that the staff and students of the course look forward to welcoming you in October, as you start this exciting part of your journey in photographic education.

I know it’s been a strange summer for us all, due to the pandemic, but I hope you and your friends and family have been able to stay safe and well, and that you're now looking forward to joining us at AUB on the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course, and the exciting challenges this will bring.

During your first week, you'll have the opportunity to learn about your course and the environment at AUB and get to know your new colleagues and the Course Team. You'll also get the opportunity to discover Bournemouth and the surrounding area.

During your first term, you'll have the opportunity to use our fantastic facilities, spending time in our studios, darkrooms and digital facilities, and getting used to our professional standard of equipment.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

- Conrad Tracy, Course Leader

Before you join us

‘Phoenix’ is the title of your Summer project, and you will be expected to present four images that communicate your hopes as we prepare to come out of a period of self-isolation and introspection, post-pandemic. The images themselves must be ready to be viewed on your own tablet or laptop, if this isn't possible, then on a memory stick, as jpegs or a pdf.

Additionally, if you're joining AUB in the first year, we'll be conducting portfolio ‘show and tell’ sessions so please make sure that you come prepared with your portfolio (the one that you submitted for application, which may include additional work you may have made since that point).

How to submit your summer project

You'll need to bring your portfolio with you on the Wednesday of the first week.

The Library at AUB is extremely well resourced and includes all key texts that you will need. The list below indicates the key texts that will be useful throughout your studies. Aall of these are available from the Library at AUB. You might want to borrow a copy from your local library to look at before you arrive. When you arrive at AUB you will receive your Course Handbook, which will include a comprehensive reading list.

The texts below offer a good foundation of knowledge to support our curriculum, so you may wish to consider buying copies prior to commencing your studies (or making sure you get to the front of the queue in the library!):

  • Bate, D. (2009). Photography: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg.
  • London, B., Upton, J., and Stone, J. (2016). Photography. Pearson
  • Bull, B. (2009). Photography. Routledge: Introductions to Media and Communication.
  • Wells, L. (ed.) (2015). Photography: A Critical Introduction (5th edn). London: Routledge.

If you read one thing before you arrive, we recommend...


Stephen Bull

Current student work

Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be making on our course.

Course equipment

Although you may already have the photographic equipment necessary to start your course, you may find it useful to read through the list of essential and useful equipment to help support your studies during the following 3 years.


  • DSLR camera (24 megapixels or above, preferably Nikon or Canon) capable of manual aperture and shutter speed control.
  • Sketchbooks – A4 and A5.
  • Three memory sticks for submitting work – 8GB+.
  • A4 ring binder for course handouts etc.
  • Portable hard drive (preferably 1TB SSD).
  • Card reader.


  • Flash.
  • 35mm film SLR camera capable of manual aperture and shutter speed control (borrow rather than buy if you don’t have one).
  • Scissors.
  • Cable release.
  • Standard blower brush.
  • Tripod (portable, but heavy enough for medium format cameras and DSLRs with telephoto/zoom lenses).

What to bring on your first day

All you need to bring on your first day is a smile, an academic diary, notebook and a pen.

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We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth
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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here
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We are looking forward to welcoming you to BA Commercial Photography this year in just a few weeks!