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BA (Hons) Photography

  • Duration: 3 or 4 years full-time
  • Placement year: Optional 1 year
  • Course code: W640 (UCAS)
  • Institution code: A66 (UCAS)

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Overview

World leading photographers such as Giles Duley, Wolfgang Tillmans and Nick Knight started their careers at AUB.

Photography course information

We encourage experimentation and risk-taking on this visually led course. You’ll engage with photography in a variety of contexts, taking an open-minded approach to possibilities of the expanding field of photography. You’ll mix theory and research with practical work to get a rounded view of photography and its place in culture.

You'll be joining a course with an international reputation, a challenging curriculum, and inspiring teaching.

This course encourages students to engage with contemporary photography in an individually creative and experimental manner, supported by outstanding analogue and digital resources. This course is visually led, but you'll learn how to place your practice within a historical and contemporary context, and define its audience. You'll be introduced to a range of technical processes, from 19th century alternative printing techniques in our traditional darkrooms to digital still and moving image capture, and post-production in our state-of-the-art lighting studios and digital suites. You'll also be able to borrow an extensive range of analogue and digital kit from our professional standard technical store.

During your studies, you'll be engaged in specialist professional practice units, and will be able to use our extensive alumni and professional network to help plan your career or prepare you to undertake postgraduate study.

Course duration

3 or 4 years (full-time)

Placement

Option of a 1-year placement

UCAS course code

W640

UCAS institution code

A66

Placement year

All undergraduate courses at AUB offer an optional placement year, to be taken between your second and third years of study.

If you’re unsure about this optional placement, you don’t need to decide now. Once you’re here and studying with us, the course team will discuss the placement options with you, so when the time comes, you can make a decision that’s right for you.

If you’re required to have a Student Visa to study in the UK, it won’t be possible to undertake the one-year placement option; there’ll be other opportunities for you to engage with industry during your study at AUB.

Level 4 (first year)

In your first year, through group and individual learning, we'll introduce you to the technical skills, historical and contemporary practices and theoretical issues that are fundamental to photography. You'll work on a range of visual projects, develop your creativity and establish a strong grounding in photographic production. In support of this, a series of technical workshops will provide you with skills and working-knowledge of studio and darkroom practices, and digital image editing and printing.

Level 5 (second year)

In your second year, you'll begin to define your own practice and engage with more complex issues in art and photography, as you continue to take risks, experiment further and test out potential modes of display. During this time, you'll develop an understanding of the creative industries and start to consider future career directions.

Level 6 (third year)

In your final year you'll refine your practice and produce a substantial body of work for exhibition. The relationship between theory, practice and technical skills will be consolidated and your knowledge of professional practice deepened. With the opportunity to use our extensive alumni and professional network you'll be able to make informed choices in preparation for your future career.

Students studying this course achieve great things and have won prestigious and high-profile awards, such as

  • APHE Bursary
  • EIZO Award
  • Float Art Prize
  • Photograd mentorship
  • Portrait of Britain winner
  • South West Graduate Photography Prize

Looking for creative inspiration? Browse our gallery below to see the kind of projects that are students are involved with.

Course team

Dr Laurie Taylor Senior Lecturer - Photography (History and Theory)

PhD, PGCert, MA, BFA, FHEA

Lee Harper Technician Demonstrator

MSc

Watch our course video

Course leader Simon Cunningham talks more about what you can expect from studying BA (Hons) Photography here at AUB.

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Application process

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66 for courses taught at Arts University Bournemouth. For courses based at Bournemouth and Poole College, use code B49. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

If you decide to undertake an optional placement year, the tuition fee is £1,850. This is subject to inflationary increases based on government policy, and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

For the majority of our courses, we'll ask you to digitally submit a portfolio as part of the application process.

Portfolios should show examples of your work – both finished and work in progress – that demonstrate your interests and skills. We expect to see around 10 slides/images in your portfolio that shows your identity as an artist.

If we ask for a digital portfolio then we'll give you 30 days to submit it. Sometimes we'll need a portfolio submitted quickly if there's a UCAS set deadline approaching, but if you need more time, just let us know and we'll try to help.

We've created specific portfolio guidelines for each of our courses, you can take a look at these below.

If you've applied to study an online postgraduate (MA) degree, please refer to the AUB Online portfolio guidelines.

None of our courses currently require an interview.

The only course requiring an audition is BA (Hons) Acting and if you're invited to one you'll have at least 10 days notice.

Studios and resources

Lighting equipment in a Photography studio

Photography Studios

Photography and Commercial Photography students will have access to our seven photographic studios.

A group of people standing in a university courtyard at night, all with cameras and tripods.

Photography Resources

In addition to our well-equipped photography studios, you'll also have access to industry-standard...

Photography camera equipment on a shelf

Digital SLRs

Digital SLRs are available to book out on location and to use within studios, including full-frame Nikon and Canon...

Student wearing safety goggles using a machine in a workshop.

3D Workshop

Our 3D workshops with manual and digital manufacturing equipment and computers

A row of trees in front of a pair of university buildings.

Drawing Studio

Our stunning Drawing Studio was designed and completed by renowned architect and AUB alumnus, Professor Sir Peter Cook RA.

Four banks of desks in a computer suite with monitors on them.

Digital Suites

Our Digital Suites offer a digital post-production facility and digital teaching space.

Students working at computers in a library. A set of stairs leads up to a second landing with a balcony running along.

The Library

The Library at AUB holds an excellent range of print and online collections

Ten rows of empty seating viewed from the front of a large lecture theatre.

Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms

We have a number of lecture theatres and seminar room scattered around campus to assist students with their studies.

A member of AUB staff talking about a camera with a student at the Central Media Store counter.

Central Media Store

The Central Media store houses a diverse array of equipment, offering students the means to craft and capture...

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an exterior wall with two reverse-L shaped windows and three semi-circle panels visible. A person walks past towards the right.

Innovation Studio

The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises and an industry engagement hub.

Person stands by a table. Two printing presses are in the foreground.

Printroom

The Printroom and Passiv Haus are two great facilities available to all AUB student

Three people working on projects in a print room.

Letterpress and Bindery

The Letterpress and Bindery studio is a central resource, where students can learn and explore bookbinding and letterpress printing.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Honours study combines independent learning and taught sessions.

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement, and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

The course objectives are met by deploying a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including projects, lectures, seminars, group critiques and tutorials. In consultation with the Course Leader, staff are responsible for co-ordinating individual units of study, and for selecting appropriate methods of delivery according to subject matter and student experience.

The methods employed induct you to the disciplines required of a creative practitioner and promote the development of transferable and adaptable skills

The study time allocated to each unit in the course incorporates a balance of formal teaching, tutorial support and independent learning. The course is structured progressively to provide increased opportunities for independent learning as you reach the later stages of the course.

The progressive promotion of independent learning reflects your anticipated maturity as a student and allows you to direct your learning towards individual goals. The teaching in Level 4 is directed at providing you with the knowledge, concepts and skills to take increasing responsibility for the management of your own learning.

Teaching is directed at supporting individual engagement in learning, although there will be opportunities for you to work in teams to enable you to learn the value of peer co-operation.

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time which is scheduled in the studio for independent study which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

The information provided below gives the proportion of your study time which constitutes contact hours. Where there are optional routes through the course, we have used the figures for the most popular option.

Year 1 (% time) Year 2 (% time) Year 3 (% time)

66

60

65

For every unit of your course, we'll inform you of what you're expected to learn; what you have to submit; how your work will be assessed; and the deadline for presenting your work for assessment. This is made available through Unit Information, which is on your course blog.

You'll receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you'll be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you'll be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you have joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

For further information on assessment, progression, awards and classifications, please visit https://viewpoint.aub.ac.uk

What our graduates are doing

The expansive nature of the BA (Hons) Photography course means our graduates find employment in many areas of the creative industries worldwide.

The expansive nature of the course has enabled graduates to work in all kinds of roles, in many areas of the creative industries worldwide. Where will this course take you?

  • Contemporary artists and photographers, exhibiting in commercial galleries and museums worldwide
  • Commercial photographers and directors working for the most prestigious clients worldwide, represented by leading agencies such as Webber Represents
  • Artist filmmakers – winners of the 2019 Jerwood/FVU Award
  • Film directors – commissioned by BBC New Creatives 2019
  • Museum directors, gallerists and gallery managers, worldwide
  • Creative producers – working for Apple in San Francisco, California
  • Photographic agency directors
  • Advertising directors
  • Art directors and buyers
  • Photographic assistants and technicians
  • Lighting technicians
  • Studio managers and assistants
  • Creative re-touchers
  • Artist assistants
  • Art handlers
  • Installation technicians
  • Fine art framers and fabricators
  • Picture librarians
  • Archivists and curators
  • Gallery education officers
  • Teachers, lecturers, technician tutors, and course leaders

The expansive nature of the course has enabled graduates to work in all kinds of roles, in many areas of the creative industries worldwide. Where will this course take you?

Abstract photographic works, one panel with mountain imagery, displayed on a gallery wall. A large ruler is leant up against the wall on the right.

Ibrahim Azab – BA (Hons) Photography

London-based artist and curator Ibrahim Azab shifts between sculpture, performance and photography. Ideas of process, perception...

A large collage of black and white abstract photos stuck to a wall.

Asano Tsutsumi – BA (Hons) Photography

After graduating from AUB, I returned to Japan and started an internship for Kyotographie, an international photography festival in Kyoto...

Andrew & Caitlin Webb-Ellis

Webb Ellis – a BA (Hons) Photography duo

Caitlin and Andrew Webb-Ellis are a British/Canadian artist duo. Working primarily with moving images and sound, their process is fluid...

Two photos. Left-hand image shows a sculpture with a distorted effect. Right-hand image shows a tower of boxes on a marbled surface.

Thomas Brown – BA (Hons) Photography

Since graduating from AUB BA (Hons) Photography, Thomas Brown has been shooting and directing in London...

Black and White Photograph of legs

Ellen Stewart – BA (Hons) Photography

I’ve just graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth. The university itself has supplied me with the most valuable mentorship...

Trips and visits

As part of your course you may also get the opportunity to take part in course trips, previous trips have included:

  • Paris
  • Moscow
  • Berlin
  • Kraków
  • Amsterdam
  • New York
  • London

*These trips are optional and some may incur additional costs

Over the years, visitors and guest speakers have included Francesca Allen, Thomas Brown, Damian Griffiths, Eugenie Shinkle, Hannah Archambault, Åsa Johannesson, Jake Elwes, Jennifer Martin, Spectrum Photographic, Dominic Bell, Ibrahim Azab, Yushi Li, Tereza Cervenova, Simone Mudde, Duncan Wooldridge, Dr Lucy Soutter, Aron Morel (Morel Books), Bruno Ceschel (Self Publish Be Happy), Folium, Eleonora Agostini, Silvia Rosi, Lorenzo Vittori, Thomas Brown (Webber Represents) and Kate Steciw.

White square with copy that reads: Japan Now

Japan Now

Tomoko Sawada’s practice as a photographer and performance artist has made her one of the leading Japanese artists of her generation...

Several miniature artworks in square framed displayed on a wall with a large red rectangle on it. A row of miniature images is displayed on the opposite wall, with a framed abstract artwork hanging underneath. A display case stands in the centre of the space.

Gazer

As part of the University's programme of undergraduate London exhibition and show events, Level 6 BA (Hons) Photography students...

Latest from BA (Hons) Photography


See more of our student work

Some of the world's leading photographers such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Nick Knight started their careers on this photographic course.

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