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Photography Professional Practice And Academic Portfolio Course

Course description

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.

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.

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

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.

Who should attend?

The course aims to serve the needs and ambitions of three main student groups:

  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to 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.

Course outcomes

You will have an understanding of professional photography processes and skill. You will have developed your own style and created an original and personally tailored photography portfolio in readiness for progression to future studies or career opportunities.

Entry requirements

  • This course is open to students aged 18 years and older
  • As a guideline, non-native English speakers should be at IELTS level 6.0 in English language, for more information please visit UALs English Language Requirements webpage
  • To support your application you should have the beginning of a portfolio of 15-20 examples of your work, for more information please visit UALs Portfolio Preparation webpage

Making your application

To apply for this course please check the entry requirements and then click here to complete the application form.

We will only review completed applications.


This course is scheduled to run on campus in a face to face delivery format. Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation this course may be adapted in line with UK government guidance or other operational requirements. This may include changing course location (to another UAL site), cancellation of the course, or moving part or the course online. In the event of any changes being required we will inform you as soon as possible and support you in any changes required. Please bear this in mind when making any travel, visa, or accommodation arrangements.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Course structure

Term One

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.

Term Two

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to provide proof of my English Language?

No, we do not need you to provide proof to study Photography Professional Practice. However; as a guideline, non-native English speakers should be at IELTS level 6.0.

If you are progressing to a full time course at UAL after completing your programme, you are still required to meet these conditions. These will be listed on the relevant course page. For more information you can check the UAL English Language requirements webpage.


Please bring for the first session:

  • notebook and pen
  • A full list of materials will be provided on the first day of the course.
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