BA (Hons) Photography

Photography has the ability to reach a global audience presenting information concisely that can delight, educate, express a view or record a fragment of time. The University of Bolton's BA (Hons) Photography degree is designed to prepare you for professional roles in a wide range of specialist areas.

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Part-time

Duration:

4.5 years

Location:

University of Bolton

UCAS points:

96

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Photographs are the most exciting and important visual form of global communication, forming a significant part of everyday life. It’s estimated that 4.66 billion people now use the internet (1) and that around 1.1 trillion photos were taken last year (2). The image has become the most widely used international language, and the ability to communicate concise visual statements that engage audiences is at the heart of our course and teaching.

Our broad-based degree offers you a unique pathway to visual self-discovery. You’ll benefit from the freedom to pursue your own interests while receiving expert support from our industry-experienced tutors, developed with help from a panel of industry professionals. We offer a supportive market-aware environment where you can explore various photographic genres such as documentary, fashion, editorial, photojournalism, commercial advertising, portraiture, architectural, wildlife, landscape and fine art.

We’ll invite industry experts to share their knowledge during guest lectures and offer you opportunities to work on placements, ‘live briefs’ and commissions. Our industry links will help to enrich your learning experience and provide you with invaluable ‘insider’ information and possible employment opportunities. You can be part of this fully integrated programme of practical and theoretical knowledge, building your confidence and skills, ready for a career in this dynamic industry.

(1) https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/ accessed 29 June 2021
(2) https://blog.mylio.com/how-many-photos-will-be-taken-in-2021/ accessed 29 June 2021

Highlights
  • Our team of highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic photography lecturers offer face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support, ensuring you can access help and advice when you need it.
  • Based on your interests and strengths, our experienced team will work to help you identify a potential career path and plan your future professional development based on your individual needs. We want to support you as you establish the foundation of your career in your chosen area of the photography industry.
  • Exhibition and display are key themes in the final year. We’ll offer you the opportunity to present your work in an external exhibition and during Bolton School of the Arts’ Creative Showcase.
  • We offer opportunities for you to participate in foreign study trips and visit collections and current exhibitions at galleries, museums, and arts centres around the UK. In recent years, visits to major cities such as New York, Paris, London and Toronto have proved valuable learning opportunities for our students.
  • You’ll also have the opportunity to progress seamlessly onto one of our postgraduate programmes.
Key Features
  • Our custom-designed photography department offers outstanding facilities, including darkrooms, a dedicated computer suite with a high output printing facility and four studios with specialist lighting.
  • Practical knowledge, such as studio lighting and location techniques, combined with research and critique, help you learn to develop your ideas and produce innovative research-led work.
  • You’ll have access to a rich visiting speaker programme, providing insight into industry experts’ professional practice and up-to-the-minute developments in the sector.
  • The programme offers work placements, internships, masterclasses, awards, competitions and open calls, such as the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.
  • Our specialist tutors and technical support staff have professional experience and industry connections.
  • As a graduate, you’ll have a wide range of independent, specialist photographic styles based on your own planning and development.
  • The Guardian University Guide 2022 ranks our Film Production and Photography courses as fourth in the UK for student-to-staff ratio, so you can be assured that we offer you excellent access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.

  • 96 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include a photography or art and design-related subject; for instance, A-level Photography/Art or BTEC Extended Diploma in Photography/Art & Design.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics.
  • You’ll be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of recent photographic or image-related (or video) work. A basic working knowledge of photography through either creative application, digital or traditional process (or combinations of the three) is expected and assessed at interview.
  • The quality of the portfolio/interview is the primary basis on which applicants are selected; therefore special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.
  • If you don’t meet the entry requirements for this course, please consider our BA (Hons) Photography with foundation year course.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


Photographs are viewed by everyone and are a part of our everyday culture. From advertising products, illustrating stories in magazines and books to appearing on apps and websites, it's an ideal medium to communicate beyond barriers.

A photography career offers opportunities to work independently or as a staff photographer for an employer. Our BA (Hons) Photography degree helps you to develop valuable transferable skills, such as team working, problem-solving, managing large and complex projects to deadline, the discipline of working to briefs and set deadlines, the ability to exploit creative and challenging visual ideas, a comprehensive understanding of digital imaging issues, and the ability to solve and put forward your ideas to address creative problems. These skills can also lead to other professional opportunities such as employment in sales, marketing and customer care, management and other roles.

What can I do with this qualification?

Many BA (Hons) Photography graduates work in areas such as fashion, photojournalism, documentary, fine art, advertising and commercial product photography, as well as in publishing, web design and digital output. Other career prospects include marketing, travel photography, studio management, teaching, medical photography, graphic design, visual media, teaching and camera operation.

Typical employers include retail sales companies, design companies, publishing (including magazines, books and newspapers), film and television, wedding photographers, medical-related organisations, the police, holiday companies, universities, and media organisations such as advertising agencies. A large number of photography graduates are self-employed and work on a freelance basis.

There is a range of photography-related postgraduate options available which can support you to develop a strong portfolio career. Some courses look at specific, practice-based areas of photography, such as fine art photography or photojournalism, while others offer a more research-focused approach. Other postgraduate research areas include curatorial, teaching, design, film, editing, journalism and creative enterprise.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers, bearing in mind that relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Film, video and picture editing
  • Secondary education
  • Visual merchandising
  • Museum curation
  • Art gallery management
  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Art direction
  • Fashion
  • Wedding
  • Photographic laboratories
  • Conservation
  • Forensics

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2021/22.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Call Admissions

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk


Learning and teaching methods are varied, and we use a blended style, meaning you'll attend face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. You can expect lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques, self-directed learning, e-learning and workshop sessions. You'll also have opportunities to engage with employer facing and work-related activities.

You'll gain practical skills through technical introduction and support, workshop sessions, demonstrations and activity-based assignments. Live briefs and personal projects will promote active learning. Your learning will also be enhanced by research in libraries, art galleries, museums and other educational visits (where relevant).

You'll benefit from opportunities to attend guest lecture events. These feed directly into our teaching and offer relevant and up-to-date photographic industry information. Group critiques and tutorials will allow you to discuss and consider your work in progress, either in individual tutorials, interim reviews, or small groups. Our lecture programmes, visiting speakers and access to the latest research all feed into your learning experience.

There are no formal examinations, and continuous assessment is used. We may ask for various types of assessment evidence, for example, portfolios, practical projects, presentations and written pieces.

Assessment is carried out at key points during the modules. We'll use formative assessment methods to help you learn and develop your knowledge and skills. You'll also undertake summative assessment on which you'll be graded.

Formative assessment (face-to-face and online) will be offered during each module. You'll also receive written feedback, and feed-forward will be provided following summative assessment. Assessment tasks are linked to the learning outcomes of each module and are normally completed by the end of each module.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Digital Imaging
  • Pre, Present, Post Photography
  • Creating Photography
  • Editorial Photography
  • Analogue
  • Video Documentary
  • The Photo Story
  • Explorations
  • The Creative Studio
  • The Photographic Industry
  • Concepts and Practice
  • Employment, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship
  • Consolidation and Display
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Level twoCoursework 80%, Practical exams 20%
Level threeCoursework 47%, Practical exams 53%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 69%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 31%
Level threeGuided independent study 76%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 19%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Ian Glover
Programme Leader

I.Glover@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903364

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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