Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course

The Photography PPA Portfolio Course will enhance your knowledge of photography through the understanding of professional processes and skills and the building of an original and personally tailored photography portfolio. While primarily aimed at helping students develop a portfolio to apply for MA programs or for their own professional practice, this course can also help students build a portfolio for application to undergraduate photography programs.

Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course video by SokFok Studio. Music Credits: Garden of the Forking by DJ Lang.

Video from the PPA Final Exhibtion 2015 by Ruth Sewell

Photography PPA Portfolio Course Final Show 2014. Video by Ruth Sewell 2014

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Facts

Course Leader

Kathryn Faulkner

Course Location

Kings Cross

Study LevelFoundation
Study ModePart time
Course Length1 or 2 Semesters depending on experience, each semester is 15 weeks, Saturdays 10.00-17.00
Home/EU Fee

£4,295 per semester or stage. 

International Fee

£4,295 per semester or stage. 

Start DateStage 2: October or Stage 1: February
Autumn Term DatesStage 2 (Oct-Feb): 8 Oct – 10 Dec then 14 Jan – 11 Feb (no class 17, 24, 31 Dec, 7 Jan) (15 weeks in total). Saturdays 10.00-17.00
Spring Term DatesStage 1(Feb-Jun): 18 Feb – 18 March then 22 April – 24 June 2017 (no class 25 Mar, 1, 8 and 15 Apr) (15 weeks in total); Saturdays 10.00-17.00
Application Route

Application by Portfolio. For further information see the 'apply' section below.

Content and structure

Aims of the course
The Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course (PPA) will enhance your knowledge of photography from an informed beginners perspective, through the understanding of photographic history, the development of professional processes and skills and the building of an original and personally tailored photography portfolio. This course focuses on the practical applications of photography to best achieve your goals.

The course aims to serve the needs and ambitions of three main student groups:

  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, BA Photography at LCC or Camberwell or elsewhere
  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to MA Photography at Central Saint Martins, LCC or elsewhere
  • Professionals seeking to renew their creativity through personal projects, new processes and produce a fresh portfolio with a distinctive London edge.

The course assists you in realising your goals through common assignments, lectures, workshops, demonstrations, visits, peer group and individual tuition.

Structure

Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course is a full-time course providing one days tuition per week over two semesters known as Stage 1 (Feb-Jun) and Stage 2 (Oct-Feb). You are expected to work on your projects outside class time and allow 15 hours a week for this work. These stages are taught on a progressive basis, providing the opportunity to study for up to 9 months. You are recommended to take both stages, but this is not essential as you can apply to join the course at two points during the academic year:

Stage 1 (Feb-Jun):

If you are accepted on to this course starting in February, (like the majority of applicants), then you will complete a full academic year of study, ending in January 2013. The first part of the year-long programme is taught progressively with practical and technical skills being covered between February and June. These skills will then be applied to the projects that will form the bulk of your portfolio in the second part of the programme, between October and January, so that you then in a strong position to apply for the BA and MA courses.

Stage 2 (Oct-Feb): 

If you are accepted on to this course starting in October then the tutor thinks you have the potential to build a portfolio within three months to be in a position to apply in January to the BA and MA courses. 

If you are interested in applying for Stage 2 (Oct-Feb) you will need to include in your application an idea for a self initiated project that you would like to develop during Stage 2 (Oct-Feb) of the Photography PPA Portfolio course. You will need to write up a detailed proposal of this project and show supporting images for it, even if it is just the start of the project. Once you send us the proposal and supporting material for your project, we will be able to consider your application.

Your study will therefore be mainly project based.

Curriculum
Subjects covered on the course include: History of Photography, Studio skills, Analogue Darkroom skills, SLR, Medium and Large Format cameras, Alternative Processes, Digital workflow, printing, scanning and colour management. These topics are taught by means of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, visits and individual tuition.

Faculty
The course leader of Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course is Kathryn Faulkner who has taught on the former Postgraduate Photography Course for the last 12 years. The Photography Portfolio Course tutors are drawn from the former Post Graduate Certificate in Photography course at Central Saint Martins. They are experienced at teaching students from all over the world and therefore they understand the needs of international students.

Staff

Kathryn Faulkner who has taught on the former Postgraduate Photography Course at CSM for the last 12 years. 

The Photography Portfolio Course faculty are drawn from the former Post Graduate Certificate in Photography course at Central Saint Martins. They are experienced at teaching students from all over the world and therefore understand the needs of UK and international students.

Careers

The course aims to serve the needs and ambitions of three main student groups:

  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, BA Photography at LCC or Camberwell or elsewhere
  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to MA Photography at Central Saint Martins, LCC or elsewhere
  • Professionals seeking to renew their creativity through personal projects, new processes and produce a fresh portfolio with a distinctive London edge.

Certification
An assessment of work will take place for those who successfully complete both courses, and a certificate of attendance will be granted to all students who attend 80% or more.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

  • 18+ years old
  • Some formal education or work experience related to art and design
  • Previous photography experience
  • Proficient in English, both the spoken and written word, to IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent

How to apply

Download the Portfolio Prep Application Form [PDF, 0.1MB] and the Essential Application Guide PPA [PDF, 26KB], as this will have useful information on how to submit your application to the Photography PPA Portfolio Course

We will only review completed applications, which must include: 

  1. A completed application form
  2. A short statement (no more the 350 words)
  3. An up-to-date CV
  4. 10 - 20 images of your work via a flickr account (for portfolio advice please refer to our ‌Essential Application Guide PPA [PDF, 26KB]
  5. If you are interested in applying for Part 2 you will need to include an idea for a self initiated project with your application. This should be approximately 250 words and show supporting images, even if it is just the start of the project. Please include any specialist skills you will need support with to realise your aims and objectives. 
  6. Your IELTS certificate (non-native English speakers only)  

*Please note that there is no strict deadline for applications. We take enrolments until each course is fully subscribed and therefore recommend students to apply at least three months prior to the course start date to avoid disappointment. International students will need to apply for the course as early as possible to ensure they leave sufficient time for their visa application if they are accepted to the course.

We look forward to receiving your application.  If you have any queries please use our course enquiry form.  After you have submitted your portfolio, you will receive an email letting you know how long you will need to wait for your result.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry

Advice for international students

All international students attending portfolio preparation courses will need a Short-term Study Visa (STS) to attend the course.  Students can find out more about the Short-term Study Visa (STS) from the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website: https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct visa to study on a course, and to ensure that they have read through the immigration information on the UKVI website. If a student does not have the correct visa to study on their chosen course they will not be able to join the course.

Short-term Study Visa’s allow students to study in the UK for up to 6 months in a year. This means that International students will only be able to take 1 stage of a Photography PPA Portfolio Course. We advise that student’s carefully choose which stage of the course they apply to, in consultation with our staff, to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from the course to their portfolio and development.

Students should be aware that all Visas for the UK are issued at UKVI’s discretion, and they reserve the right to refuse entry clearance to any individual.

Any student who is thinking of attending the course on a visa that is not a Short-term Study Visa (STS) should contact the portfolio preparation team immediately at portfolio@csm.arts.ac.uk