- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length39 weeks
Graduate Diploma Photography
Graduate Diploma Photography will help you enter the field of photography and work at the cutting edge of contemporary practice.
About this course
You will build a foundation of technical skills, from analogue to the latest digital technologies and develop professional skills through set course projects.
Finish the course with a high quality portfolio, a strong conceptual approach and personal identity to your practice.
Student Films and Profiles
- Graduate Catch Up // Fern Leigh Albert talks about Wild Wood, exhibiting in South Korea and Magenta Flash Forward
Graduate Diploma Photography will give you the practical skills you'll need to define yourself as a leading photographer. You will be encouraged to develop a strong conceptual approach to your personal practice – to achieve a more defined identity within your work.
Building on the rich heritage of photography teaching at London College of Communication, Graduate Diploma Photography will open a variety of career opportunities in professional photography. You will gain an invaluable understanding of the photography industry and the business aspect of professional photography. The course will introduce you to key contacts and help you to build relationships.
During your studies, you'll work towards developing a high-quality portfolio suitable for presentation when approaching clients for future commissions or industry roles. In addition, you'll work on set and self-initiated projects which promote learning through discovery, interaction and response to change.
For those wishing to continue their study, the theory and research elements of the course will also prepare you for continued learning at a higher level of study.
The Graduate Diploma in Photography is taught within the Media School at LCC.
During the first two weeks there will be an induction programme in which you will:
- Get an overview of the structure of the course and the structure of each unit
- Get to know the facilities on offer to you at course, College and University level, including those provided by the Learning Resources department, Student Services and Students' Union
- Give you an introduction to the facilities for the course
- Get to know your tutors and colleagues
- Learn about the difference between working at postgraduate and undergraduate levels
- Discover the ethos of the course
Autumn, Term One (11 weeks)
- Unit 1: Professional Photography in Practice (Photographic Technology and Applied Production Skills) (40 credits)
Through a series of workshops and project briefs, this unit will enable you to develop and utilise specialist photographic skills and knowledge to solve photographic problems. Through planning, implementation and review, and engagement with industry, you'll be able to apply your photographic skills in a realistic professional context and identify areas in which you may wish to develop your practice.
- Unit 2: Critical Approaches (Photographic Culture, History and Theory) (20 credits)
This unit will give you the opportunity to study major developments and critical approaches in photography. This will enable you to gain an understanding of the contemporary significance of photography and to place your own work in a historical cultural context. This unit is particularly useful to those students wishing to bridge to Master level study.
Spring, Term Two (10 weeks)
- Professional Photography in Practice (continued)
- Critical Approaches (continued)
- Unit 3: Personal Project (Research and development) (20 credits)
Through the research and development of a comprehensive project, you will be able to recognise creative influences in your own work and develop an understanding of your own creative ambitions.
- Unit 4: Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (Professional Context and Progression) (40 credits)
This unit is a culmination of your previous units, offering you the hands-on opportunity to develop a professional body of work that showcases your personal identity. This is the most significant unit in that you are expected to produce a professional portfolio of work in which you'll be required to demonstrate a rigorous and critical analysis of your interests in professional photography, strongly influenced by your area of specialism.
Summer, Term Three (10 weeks)
- Personal Project (continued)
- Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (continued)
You will explore and gain working knowledge of contemporary business practice, with an emphasis on operating as a freelance practitioner. The process for all units will involve you in original applications of knowledge, together with a practical ability to use and critically assess existing photographic techniques and formats. You will also, in the process of the critical evaluation of your own and others work, develop innovative solutions to creative challenges.
How to apply
You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
Required information for all postgraduate course applications
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.
From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
- Personal statement
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
The online application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the online application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
Applicants should have an honours degree or equivalent experience to be considered for this course. We are looking for applicants who may be progressing from an undergraduate course (or equivalent) and who already have a portfolio that demonstrates a good level of practice.
Alternatively, you could be considering a career change and already have a portfolio of good quality photographic images, and now interested in expanding your subject knowledge and understanding, and developing a career in photography.
Language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.0, with 5.5 in each four skills is required.
- If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
- Secondly, they will scrutinise your personal statement and portfolio
There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- A passionate commitment to the medium of Photography
- The desire to acquire the skills do develop a commercial career in the medium
- A wish to develop critical thinking around their work and the medium
- A capacity for independent study
- An interest in acquiring the technical skills required to embark on a professional career”
Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
Portfolio and interview advice
All applications submitted must be supported by an online portfolio of work to be considered at interview. Your online portfolio should be in the form of up to 20 images of your work. Please label your work carefully with your name, plus titles if appropriate.
References and interviews help determine whether your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and philosophy of the course. Not all applicants will be called for an interview.
If you are called for an interview, we advise you to bring strong examples of current work. The interview also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate an objective, critical and reflective relationship to your work.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
The Graduate Diploma in Photography provides you with the skills you will need for a career as a professional photographer. You'll be encouraged to research, evaluate and develop projects which directly relate to your future aspirations and be given the chance to develop a portfolio suitable for presentation to clients to help you gain commissions or employment on completing the course.
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.