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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 the BA (Hons) Photography course

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 in October 2020.

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

Before you join us

Challenge yourself with either of the Summer Projects below. Have fun, be experimental, be creative and try to stay away from the obvious or predictable!

A. Self-Portrait in Lockdown

B. Home Life Still Life (In response to the Instagram project, @homelife_stilllife)

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 will need. The Course Handbook, which you will 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:

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

A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Black Swan).

Bryson Bill (2004)

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

  • An open mind – and a commitment to the medium!
  • A4 Notepad and pen

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

You are encouraged to bring your own Laptop and Mobile device to AUB to support Online Learning, Collaboration and Communication whilst at University.

We provide access to a range of free software and discounts on Apple and Dell hardware. We recommend that you wait until you've set up your AUB IT account to access this free software and discounted hardware if you're planning on investing in a new computer.

Even if your course does not specifically use Adobe Creative Cloud we would recommend that you try to make sure your computer is able to run this software.

We recommend that you format any external hard-drives/USB sticks to work on both Apple and Windows.

Please note, the course computers are Apple based.

The nature of the course means that you may need to use your computer on and off-campus. We therefore recommend that a portable laptop would be better than a desktop.

The course includes the use of Adobe Creative Cloud Suite software. We recommend a computer capable of running this.

Explore more


We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth
Photograph of AUBs North Building with square shaped trees in front

Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here
Photograph of A Block with trees


We are looking forward to welcoming you to BA Photography this year in just a few weeks!