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Photography Professional Practice And Academic Portfolio Course

Course description

The Photography Portfolio Course will enhance your knowledge of photography and help you to re-engage with your practice. You will build an original photography portfolio as you develop your understanding of processes and skills.

The course assists you in realising your goals through common creative exercises, workshops, demonstrations, individual tutorials and lectures from visiting professional photographers. Off-site trips to photograph on location as well as visits to specialist studios will also be provided.

A series of lectures will introduce you to the practice of Photography in its history, culture and contemporary position.You will be introduced to a range of strategies to help you develop a research methodology and a reflective approach to your studies. The course does not specialise in any one field of photography, such as fashion, fine art, photo-journalism or documentary photography - but provides students with a creative, technical and contextual foundation.

During the second half of the course, you will develop your skills and knowledge through a self-initiated project, focussing on the subject area(s) of your choice.

Photography Portfolio is split over two 10 week terms with a short break at the end of December. The course has a blended format and will take place on campus and online on the following days throughout:

Saturdays 10am - 4pm at Central Saint Martins, Granary Square

Wednesdays 6:30pm - 8pm Online (Term x 1 only)

We recommend you allow approximately 15 hours a week for independent study, self-practice and portfolio creation.

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, Camberwell College of Art, or elsewhere.
  • Those seeking to build a portfolio for application to MA Photography at Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication or elsewhere.
  • Those with some professional experience in Photography, seeking to renew their creativity through personal projects, new processes and producing a fresh portfolio.

Take a look at our guide on Why you should take the Photography Professional Practice and Academic Portfolio Course for more information.

Course outcomes

You will have an understanding of photography processes and skill. You will have developed your own style and created an original and personal 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.

All applications will be reviewed in 7 - 14 days. An email will be sent to notify you of the outcome along with information about the next steps.

Payment plans are available on request and are reviewed by the team on a case by case basis. Please note full payment for the course must be paid before the course start date in order for students to begin. Normal UAL Short Course T&Cs apply.

Contact for more information.

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.


Topics covered:

  • 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 through a combination of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, visits and individual tutorials.

Course structure

Term One

10 Weeks (September to December)

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

10 Weeks (January to March)

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.


Please bring for the first session:

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

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 photography portfolio.

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