BA (Hons) Photography

Places available 2016/17

This course has places available. View the How to apply section on this page for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2016/17 entry, including others available at London College of Communication, visit the Places available page.

BA (Hons) Photography at LCC is a rigorous and robust programme which takes a conceptual approach to the study of photography. This involves researching and studying photography theoretically, as well as practically, and it’s this combination which enables students to produce a conceptually strong practice and increasingly find their own voice within it.

Juno Calypso, LCC BA (Hons) Photography alumna wins British Journal of Photography International Award 2016
Image © Juno Calypso
LCC Alumna Emma Hartvig discusses her work with Aesthetica Magazine.
Image © Emma Hartvig
Photograph: Manicured hand in a pool reaching for some pills.
Image © Rebecca Scheinberg and Chloe Newman, Untitled

LCC Student Voices // Julian Mährlein – BA (Hons) Photography

Summer Shows 2014, London College of Communication, LCC
London College of Communication private view. Image taken by Lewis Bush

Student Rebecca Scheinberg talks us through her work in LCC Summer Shows 2014

SUMMER SHOWS 2014: See work from the BA (Hons) Photography show
Chloe Newman, BA (Hons) Photography

Student Thorsteinn Cameron talks us through his work in LCC Summer Shows 2014

Reasons to Apply

  • A conceptually driven multi-genre photography programme combining practice, theory and professionalism.
  • Through this approach we produce creative conceptual photographers who are specialists within their field of interest. On leaving the course these skills become transferable into many photographic and related career pathways.
  • This training has proved to be excellent grounding for both future academic careers and when entering the public arena, including a more commercial approach such as fashion, advertising, editorial photography, art direction and picture editing.
  • Access to excellent analogue and digital facilities with specialist technicians on hand to help.
  • Our enviable relationships with industry provide opportunities for collaborations for both staff and students outside of the course structure.

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for undergraduate study.


Course Leader

Beverley Carruthers

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Through UCAS. Please see the apply tab for more information.

Application DeadlineOpen for UK, EU and international applicants for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW640
University CodeU65

Content and Structure


BA (Hons) Photography encourages you to generate visual ideas and teaches you the techniques to put them into practice. In a developing image market, transferable skills such as these are recognised as essential career tools for photographers.

The course is delivered by a team of practising photographers, artists, curators and writers, supplemented by visiting tutors and speakers from the photography, arts and media industries. Graduates have been successful as photographers or artists, particularly in cross-over areas of fine art, documentary, fashion, editorial and advertising photography.

The course enables you to develop independent photographic practice. It encourages an approach to photography, which encompasses fine art, documentary and commercial practice. 

Our contextual studies programme is also a key element of the course. Developed especially for photography students, it introduces you to a wide range of cutting-edge and historical photographic practices.

Your development as a professional photographer will also be supported through lectures, seminars, project briefings and technical workshops designed to enhance your skills, in addition to regular talks from visiting speakers.

You will have an opportunity to visit London-based production facilities such as photographic studios, magazine and newspaper publishing houses and processing facilities. London's art centres, galleries and museums provide wonderful stimuli for project work.

You will also be working with the excellent technical facilities at LCC – including black and white and colour darkrooms, specialist studios and digital suite, which is all available to students during term times.

Learning and teaching

Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.

Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods including presentation, termly essays, VIVA and in exhibition. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to things such as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. 


In common with all courses at University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Units Summary: 

  • Introduction to Higher Education (20 credits)
  • Practice 1: Image and Reality (20 credits)
  • Contextual Studies 1: Practices, Histories and Ideas (40 credits)
  • Practice 2: A Personal Manifesto (20 credits)
  • Practice 3: Site-ing the Image (20 credits)
  • Technical Workshops

In Year 1 you develop and research your own photographic ideas in relation to project briefs, and learn and experiment with the technical skills you need to realise a range of solutions. You will learn about historical and contemporary photographic and related practices, and the key theoretical and historical frameworks used to situate them. Informed discussion about photography and its cultural context is central to the course, which is delivered by way of lectures, seminars, and workshops.

Year 2

Units Summary: 

  • Practice 4: Photographic Visualisations of Society and its Ideologies (20 credits)
  • Contextual Studies 2: Contemporary Issues (40 credits)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
  • Practice 5: The Digital Image in Contemporary Experience (20 credits)
  • Practice Six: The Symposium (20 credits)
  • Tecnical Workshops

Year 2 builds on the foundation established in Year 1, introducing themes of practice, contextual studies and professional development. Students work through considerations of medium, usage and institutional setting to focus on two the key themes of contemporary photography, society and culture.  Towards the end of the year the emphasis in contextual studies is shifted towards preparation for your selection of a dissertation topic and approach and the initiation of research.

Year 3

Units Summary: 

  • Practice 7: Pilot Project and Exit Dossier (20 credits)
  • Practice 8: Major Project (60 credits)
  • Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (40 credits)

Year 3, the final stage, consolidates and develops your growing ability to direct and plan your own work by producing two substantial self selected pieces of work – your Major Photographic Practice Project and Dissertation. 

The dissertation is a researched extended essay on a topic  of your choice which is relevant to photography. The topic is generally chosen to compliment the Major Project and provides you with the opportunity to develop a larger set of questions and ideas using skills, knowledge and understanding acquired over the contextual studies units of the course. Through the dissertation you develop the ability to produce a thoroughly researched and appropriately presented piece of extended written work. Both your major project and your dissertation are developed in consultation with staff and according to a negotiated programme.

This final phase provides a variety of forums for debate and critical evaluation of work in progress. As an integral part of the supervision process of the Major Project, skills needs are identified and technical workshops offered in response to individual and group needs.


Course Leader: Beverley

First Year Leader: Matthew Hawkins

Contextual Studies Coordinator: Paul Tebbs

First Year Contextual Studies: Edward Dimsdale 

Second Year Leader: Sophy Rickett 

Senior Lecturer: Dr Esther Tiechmann 

Third year Tutor: Professor Tom Hunter 

Introduction to Study in Higher Education (ISHE) Coordinator: Harry Hardie

Visiting tutors include: Peter Liversidge, Jonny Briggs, Liz Orton, Nigel Shafran, and Liane Lang.


A huge variety of options are open to students leaving the course. From working as a photographer, assisting photographers, curating, researching, picture editing, agency work, publishing, and each year there are some who go onto study MA Photography at LCC or other related courses.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Recruitment and Admissions

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A Level (or equivalent) or from a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art and design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

Entry Requirements (Home/International/EU)

For admission to BA (Hons) Photography, applicants need:

200 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level (or equivalent) ideally achieved at Grade B or above, plus passes in five subjects at GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above. A Level subjects studied could include Photography and should include Arts and Humanities subjects such as English, History, Media, Business, Art and Design or other Humanities subjects.

A typical applicant might have:

  • Two GCE A Levels (or equivalents) ideally achieved at grade B or above, plus passes in five subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.
  • One subject at GCE A Level, plus a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.

Applicants might also have overseas qualifications, or others:

  • International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate
  • UAL Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 
  • National Diploma, Access, or NVQ

If applying straight from A Level it is important to demonstrate your ability to learn independently. You will have to show a strong interest in photography theory and practice, ideally with some experience of media practice or of working in a related industry, and an aptitude and talent for photography.

Alternative Entry Routes

We welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry.

Students applying on the basis of their previous experience should apply as normal via UCAS and will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps, through either of the Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or the Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes.

Language Requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Admission Procedures

The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy of the University of the Arts London.

Applications are normally made through UCAS and are assessed on the basis of qualifications, your personal statement, and your portfolio of work. 

All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team after application and asked to submit an electronic mini portfolio of work via PebblePad.

Applicants successful at mini portfolio stage will be required to attend a full portfolio review and short group interview at LCC. In exceptional cases, those living outside London and unable to attend LCC may be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and should also prepare a digital version of their full portfolio. 

Applicants are not guaranteed a portfolio interview, and may be informed of an unsuccessful outcome, after the mini-portfolio stage.

Student Selection Criteria - what do we look for?

All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria. The team will consider three key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and your portfolio of work. 
  • They will consider at your qualifications (or projected results).
  • They will also review your academic or personal references.

Personal Statement

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in photography and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, studying and personal experience and their ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

Your personal statement should state your interests in photography, demonstrate your knowledge of photography to date and your ability to work independently.

You should take great care when writing your personal statement to ensure that it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and that you are motivated and have a willingness to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio Advice

Your portfolio is the most important part of your application. You must clearly evidence the following, through development work as well as completed projects:

  • A strong interest in photography and a level of experience in the area demonstrated through your portfolio of work.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study.
  • An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures.

Mini Portfolio

All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio via PebblePad.

Your mini portfolio should consist of no more than 10 images from two or three of your photography projects.

Full Portfolio

If successful at mini portfolio stage you will be given an interview date, and you should then prepare your full portfolio to bring with you.

Your full portfolio should contain or include the following:

  • Examples of your photography and writing work across a selection of projects, and should include development as well as completed work. 
  • We advise you bring approximately 20 printed images from a selection of projects. (Please do not bring digital portfolios to the interview.)
  • Try not to include any singular shots in this selection (put these in a separate book if you really want show them, along with technical experiments).

In addition, we are very interested in your research books and would also like you to bring along a sample of written work. We would like to see your ideas and how you have developed and researched projects, so you can use your research books to demonstrate this.

You might want to rearrange your portfolio, for example think of a theme throughout rather than small samples of different projects. The presentation is not fixed; it may all be in one folio or in a selection or whichever way you decide is best.

Interview Advice

If invited for interview, it is advised that you prepare in advance. Practice talking through your portfolio before the 15 minute interview. You will be asked to talk through your portfolio so organise it so that you can discuss your ideas easily.

Also, before the interview, immerse yourself in photography. Go to exhibitions (if not possible look on websites), read relevant books, magazines, reviews of exhibitions and take time to look at images. Make notes about your reactions to the things you see or read in preparation for your interview. If any of these have influenced a piece of your own work then all the better.

Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme.

Next Steps

You can normally expect to hear from the admissions team within two weeks after your interview. Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W640
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC.

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

Study Abroad Applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join this BA course for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the Study Abroad section for details on how to apply or contact the Study Abroad office:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249

Deferred Entry

For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader will determine whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and course leader before/after applying at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.

International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.

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