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Pre-degree

Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course

Student hanging work on the wall.
Student hanging work on the wall. - Credit: Central Saint Martins Short Courses
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
2021 dates to be announced soon
Course length
20 weeks, split over two 10 week terms

The Photography Professional Practice and 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.

It aims to encourage you to develop upon your own creative approach and style, whatever that may be. The course will be beneficial to students looking to develop a portfolio for BA undergraduate applications, for those who want to return to education and use the course to a make an application for an MA and for professional practice.

Photography Professional Practice and Portfolio Course is a full-time course providing one day’s tuition per week, on Saturdays. The course runs as one 20 week course split over two terms with a break for the Christmas holidays in between. You are expected to work on your projects outside of class time, and allow approximately 15 hours a week for self-practice and portfolio creation.

View the information leaflet for Full Time Portfolio Courses at Central Saint Martins (PDF 1.7MB)

Read the Stories article where we interview lead tutor, Peter Cattrell, and former students in, "Why you should take the Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course".

2021 dates to be announced soon

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

Course overview

The course assists you in realising your goals through common creative exercises, lectures, workshops, demonstrations, visits and individual tuition. It will make full use of the cultural aspects of London and there may also be the opportunity to get involved in live briefs from the industry, offering you a further taste of the BA and MA courses at Central Saint Martins.

Course units

Photography Professional Practice and Portfolio Course is a full-time course providing one day’s tuition per week, on Saturdays. The course runs as one 20 week course split over two terms with a break for the Christmas holidays in between. You are expected to work on your projects outside of class time, and allow approximately 15 hours a week for self-practice and portfolio creation.

Autumn Term

The first part of the course is taught progressively, with practical and technical skills being covered. These skills will then be applied to the projects that will form the bulk of your portfolio in the second part of the programme, so that you are then in a strong position to apply for the BA and MA courses.

Spring Term

During the second stage of the course you will be asked to develop an idea for a self-initiated project that you would like to develop and undertake. Your individual research project will be the main focus of your studies for the second stage of the course. You will be supported throughout by workshops, lectures, tutorials and group feedback sessions.

Curriculum / learning and teaching

Subjects covered on the course include:

  • Alternative processes
  • Analogue darkroom skills
  • Digital workflow
  • History of photography; looking critically at photographs, exhibitions and Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida
  • Medium and large format cameras
  • Printing, scanning and colour management.
  • SLR
  • Studio skills

These topics are taught by means of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, visits and individual tuition.

Pathways and routes

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

Who will teach the course?

Peter Cattrell (course leader) has taught photography extensively at Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication and Camberwell College of Arts.

The course is also taught by visiting tutors, alumni and UAL staff.

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

Making your application

To apply for this course please click on the “Apply” button located at the top of this page, you will be redirect to a course application form which you will need to complete.

We will only review completed applications, which must include:

  • A completed application form
  • A short statement (no more the 350 words)
  • An up-to-date CV
  • 15-20 high resolution images of your work

All international students from outside the European Union will need a Short-term Study Visa (STS) in order to attend one of our portfolio courses. To find out more please visit UAL's Immigration guidance for short course students web page.

After you apply

We will review your application.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£4,995

(if you are aged 19 or over on 31 August of the year you start your course)

Free

(if you are under the age of 19 on 31 August of the year you start your course)

These fees are correct for 2020/21 entry and are subject to change for 2021/22 entry.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£4,995

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. Read more advice for EU students.

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