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Graduate Diploma Photography

Start date
September 2019
Course length
30 weeks

Course summary

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.

Five reasons to apply

  • 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 Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 15 November.

Book your place

Student work

Course film

Course Director Adrian Mott talks about the Graduate Diploma Photography course at London College of Communication (LCC).

Student Voices: Sofya Bredikhina

PGDip Photography Portfolio Development student Sofya Bredikhina talks us through her work in LCC's Postgraduate Shows 2014.

Student Voices: Manuel Perez de Guzman Luengo

PGDip Photography Portfolio Development student Manuel Perez de Guzman Luengo talks us through his work in LCC's Postgraduate Shows 2014.

Instagram Feed

Red 🔴 by @tolkalin.da •
#photography #student

Red 🔴 by @tolkalin.da • • • #photography #studentphotography #lccgraddipphoto #lcc #ual #london #karlmarx #polaroid #ph...

First brief of the term! #photographyeducation #re

First brief of the term! #photographyeducation #red#interpretation #lccdipphoto #lcclondon...

It’s the first week of term and a very warm welcom

It’s the first week of term and a very warm welcome to our new students! Today we each brought a photo and everyone had ...

Well, is it Sunday already 🌚
#lccdipphoto #

Well, is it Sunday already 🌚 . . . #lccdipphoto #lccdipphotography #artistsoninstagram #artofvisuals #visualsoflife #su...

Latest news

Course details

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 Masters level.

The Graduate Diploma in Photography is taught within the Media School at LCC.

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 each unit 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.

Autumn, Term One (11 weeks)

Unit summary:

  • 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.

Spring, Term Two (10 weeks)

Unit summary:

  • Professional Photography in Practice (continued)
  • Critical Approaches (continued)
  • Personal Project (Research and development) (20 credits)
  • Professional Identity and Portfolio Development (Professional Context and Progression) (40 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.

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.

Summer, Term Three (10 weeks)

Unit summary:

  • 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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • 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

The course objectives are assessed using the following 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
  • The creation of a portfolio of collection of work which may contain a number of different activities

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.


Adrian  Mott

Adrian Mott

Course Leader, Graduate Diploma Photography

VJ  Choolun

VJ Choolun

Associate Lecturer

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

Critical Approaches Senior Lecturer

Dr Selina Chen

Visiting Tutors

Ryan HopkinsonDavid 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 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.

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 (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

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of a commitment to the medium of photography and a desire to acquire the skills needed to develop a commercial career in the medium
  • An evident commitment to developing creative practice whilst academically engaging with the subject
  • A demonstrable capacity for intellectual enquiry and openness to new ideas
  • Evidence of an ability/wish to work both autonomously and collaboratively
  • 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.

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.

Portfolio and interview advice

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.

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.


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19).


Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the register your interest form.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Career paths

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.

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:

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