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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Photography

Jellyfish against a grey background
Yaqing Tang 2019, Graduate Diploma Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
31 weeks

Graduate Diploma Photography will help you enter the field of photography and work at the cutting edge of contemporary practice. 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.

Re-approval​

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high-quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Our strong relationships with industry provide opportunities for students outside of the course structure. Previous external professional projects include collaborating with London Fashion Week and working with Canon Cameras, Genesis Imaging, Capture One - Phase One and The Flash Centre.
  • An introduction to key industry contacts including camera and lighting manufacturers, bespoke printers, post-production companies, photographic organisations, photographic professionals, gallery owners and seasoned art buyers.
  • An opportunity to gain awareness of the varying demands of the differing markets, which comprise the international professional photographic industry.
  • A structured timetable that focuses on the technical and professional skills needed in contemporary photography practice including optional choices, combining taught and independent study.
  • An opportunity to study professional photography in the rich international cultural and professional context of London College of Communication, with its long-established courses, guest speaker programmes, research culture and industry networks.

Open Evenings

The next online Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

An introduction to postgraduate courses in the Photography programme is available online.Watch now.

Student work

Course film

Course Leader Adrian Mott talks about what to expect on the Graduate Diploma Photography course at London College of Communication (LCC).

Student Voices: Yachu Hsu (Joy)

Joy talks to us about her final year project looking at loss and the city.

Student Voices: Heather Buchanan

Heather talks to us about her final year work – a night time landscape project on farming.

Course stories

Facilities

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

A vintage camera enclosed in a transparent box atop a plinth.
Image © Lewis Bush

Media Photography

Photography students benefit from access to resources held in the Media Photography areas.

Course overview

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’ll 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 Masters level.

The Graduate Diploma in Photography is taught within the Media School at London College of Communication.

Mode of Study

Graduate Diploma in Photography runs for 30 weeks in full time mode.

Course units

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 discover the ethos of the course.
  • 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.
  • Get to know your tutors and colleagues.
  • Learn about the difference between working at postgraduate and undergraduate levels.

Term 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.

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.

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.

Term 2 

Professional Photography in Practice (continued)
Critical Approaches (continued)
Personal Project (continued)
Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (Professional Context and Progression) (40 credits)

The Professional Identity and Portfolio Development unit is a culmination of the 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.

Term 3

Personal Project (continued)
Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (continued)

You will explore and gain a 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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • ONLINE LECTURE/TUTORIALS
  • WORKSHOPS - these form the core of the teaching programme and involve a critical peer review of your work in progress.
  • LECTURES - these concentrate on the craft elements of Photography, and are delivered by the course team together with visiting speakers from industry.
  • INDEPENDENT STUDY - this provides an opportunity for you to engage with research, writing and other activities related to your academic and creative progress, outside formal teaching hours.
  • REFLECTIVE REPORTS – reports in which you, the student, reflect upon your practice with respect to projects
  • TUTORIALS - these one-to-one sessions with a tutor provide a platform for assessing your development and addressing issues relevant to the course.

Assessment methods

  • Practical project work and computer based activities
  • Prepared writing
  • Responses to case studies
  • Oral presentation
  • Personal presentations of prepared work
  • Simulations and role plays
  • Workshop based activities
  • Written research
  • A portfolio of work 

Staff

Adrian  Mott

Adrian Mott

Course Leader, Graduate Diploma Photography

Quentin  Tyler

Quentin Tyler

Senior Lecturer, Graduate Diploma Photography

Victoria  Ahrens

Victoria Ahrens

Senior Lecturer, Graduate Diploma Photography

Ian  Macauley

Ian Macauley

Technical Senior Lecturer, Graduate Diploma Photography

Tutor

Monica Takvam

Visiting Tutors

Ryan Hopkinson, David GrahamSimon TomkinsonLyndsey Goddard

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

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.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

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 (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.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

Your application and supporting material will be assessed for:

  • The quality of the applicant's practice
  • The appropriateness of the applicant's skills, experience and practice to the area of interest identified for development in the course
  • Effective communication of intentions, purposes and issues
  • The level of contextual awareness and expression of perspective
  • The potential for realisation of the stated objectives within the timeframe of the course and envisaged resources
  • Evidence that the applicant has the confidence and ability to benefit

Making your application

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all Postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for application to this course

  • Portfolio

Start your application now

Apply now

The online application 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 press submit.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on Graduate Diploma Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

There are two ways international students can apply:

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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 application form.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Required information for all Postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Extra information required for application to this course

  • Portfolio

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on Graduate Diploma Photography. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

We receive lots of applications for this course. We consider each one equally, so we review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview information

All applications submitted must be supported by a digital 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.

Interviews help us 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.

Interviews will be held online. If you are invited, 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. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Career paths

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.

The creative, research and professional skills gained on the course enable a broad range of careers possibilities, including:

  • Photographer (advertising, fashion, editorial, blogging, documentary, picture researcher)
  • Art buyer
  • Picture editor
  • Publisher
  • Stills production
  • Digital operator
  • Art director
  • Entrepreneur

See examples of work by our graduates: