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Photography Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to BA (Hons) 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 Course Leader

On behalf of the course team, I would like to warmly welcome you to the BA (Hons) Photography course at AUB. We look forward to meeting you soon.

The course nurtures the individual, encouraging experimentation and risk taking – creative practice free from constraint. You'll be joining a creative community with supportive lecturers, technicians, professional resources, state-of-the-art equipment and a first-class library to help sustain your learning.

In preparation for the course, it'll be worthwhile for you to begin to think what it is about life and photography that really interests and excites you.

- Simon Cunningham, Course Leader

Before you join us

For the summer project we would like you to create a self-portrait. Please challenge yourself, have fun, be experimental, be creative and try to stay away from the obvious or predictable!

How to submit your summer project

Please save your image as a digital file and be prepared to share your Summer Project during the first week by way of a light-hearted introduction of yourself to your peers and the course team.

The course is visually led but we place importance on research and the contextualisation of your individual practice. Research skills will be taught to you in the first term, but before you arrive and in preparation for the course, it would be useful for you to have read the following books:

  • Bate, David (2016). Photography (The Key Concepts) (Bloomsbury).
  • Campany, David (2003) Art and Photography (Phaidon).
  • Cotton, Charlotte (2014). The Photograph as Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson).
  • Edwards, Steve (2006). Photography: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press).
  • Fulford, Jason (2014). The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture).
  • Fox, Anna and Caruana, Natasha (2012). Basic Creative Photography 03 Behind the Image (Bloomsbury).
  • Kessels, Erik (2016). Failed It! (Phaidon).

The AUB Library is extremely well resourced and includes all key texts that you'll need. The Course Handbook, which you'll be given includes a comprehensive reading list.

Reading the magazines below should become a regular routine to maintain awareness and currency in relation to contemporary photographic practice:

  • Artforum
  • Aperture
  • Blind Spot
  • British Journal of Photography
  • Camera Austria
  • Photoworks Magazine
  • HotShoe Magazine
  • FOAM
  • Frieze
  • Source Magazine

Prepare for the course over the coming weeks by taking time each day to explore the vast array of content on each of the following websites:

On Photographs (Thames & Hudson)

Campany, David (2020

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.

What to bring on your first day

All you need to bring on your first day is an open mind and a commitment to the medium. An A4 notebook and a pen, will be useful, too.

We suggest that you also have these items:

  • Smartphone to access the AUB app
  • Laptop
  • 32GB USB memory stick and an external portable hard drive (1TB) for archiving/backing up your work.

Explore more


We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here

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