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BA Fine Art: Photography

College
CAMBERWELL
Start date
September 2020
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W642

BA Fine Art Photography at Camberwell College of Arts offers an open and experimental approach to fine art photographic practice.

Student work

BA Fine Art Photography Stories

Course overview

This course begins with photography but expands into the processes that emerge from a global culture of widespread image-making. You will explore the future of the image, its historical and material foundations, its potential as a social and political tool and its status and meaning within fine art and the everyday.

What to expect

  • To test and explore the creative possibilities and limits of photography
  • To consider the broadest applications of image and material through experimentation. To think about documentation, advertising, personal memento, public image and object of expression. To ask how these uses affect our perception of photographic culture
  • To explore photography’s diverse relationships to the sciences and technologies of vision, including machine vision, physics and neurology, and the history of expanded photographic practices
  • To be introduced to technical processes from analogue to digital, including 3D camera construction, 3D printing, photogrammetry and model-making as well as colour and black and white darkroom processes
  • To learn about studio lighting, advanced alternative printing, post-production and colour management
  • To investigate methods through which your work reaches its audience. From physical installations, exhibitions and publications, to new media and the web
  • To be taught by prominent artists, critics, curators and publishers, supported by experimental models of collaborative technical and academic teaching and embedded professional practice
  • To join a strong community and dynamic studio culture, with mixed-year studios oriented around shared concerns and modes of practice
  • To take part in an external exhibition. This will be with students from across Camberwell's BA Fine Art programme
  • A Fine Art lecture series. This is for all Camberwell undergraduate students studying Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Computational Arts
  • To explore international ideas about contemporary photographic practice. You will do this by attending our programme of artists’ talks. By accessing London’s extensive galleries. By taking part in optional visits to major exhibitions and events. These have included the Venice Biennale, Documenta and Paris Photo
  • To develop ideas and experiences through optional international exchanges with other art schools. Partnerships include University of California (Los Angeles and San Diego), Kyoto Seika University (Kyoto), Università Iuav di Venezia (Venice) and Die Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (Leipzig)
  • To have access to Camberwell's shared workshops that include printmaking, photography, film, moving image, digital, plastic, ceramics, wood and metalwork. View the Camberwell facilities

Work experience and opportunities

BA Fine Art Photography students will have the opportunity to exhibit their work internally at the college and at external venues in London, with previous spaces having included Dilston Grove, CGP London, Shoreditch Town Hall and Southwark's The Biscuit Factory.

Students are supported in pursuing work experience with major organisations, including Self Publish, Be Happy, and Art on the Underground.

Students can also study abroad in the second year of their degree as part of the college's Erasmus scheme.

Mode of study

BA Fine Art Photography is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

A short description of each unit and what you can expect.

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Fine Art

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Studio projects

  • To produce a research in practice document comprised of written and research tasks, alongside reflections on talks and events
  • An introduction to a range of ideas and processes which you can use to work with photography as an artist
  • To be exposed to fine art wide resources and contextual studies, allowing you to think about your work within a wider fine art conversation
  • To begin to explore an individual interest in research and the wider areas of artistic practice

Unit 3 - Ideas into practice

You will be asked to identify which specific skills and strategies help you in making and understanding your work. You will be thinking about questions such as how your work is made, how it begins to communicate and how you might introduce or discuss it.

  • Group crits will develop your expertise in how to talk about art
  • To explore writing and research through workshops and group exercises
  • To present and share ideas and pictures shaping your imagination to your peers
  • Workshops and seminars about techniques of artistic display, curatorial themes and audience relationships
  • To take part in a cross-course fine art exhibition

Unit 4 - Live practice London

This unit has 2 parts. The first uses the college degree show as an opportunity for reflective critical and contextual writing. The second part asks students to imagine an external project outside the college’s studio environment.

  • Lectures on the contexts in which art is made and shown. They will look at examples of how proposals around the world are realised for specific locations and exhibitions
  • To develop a proposal for a London site
  • To be supported through tutorial and group discussions
  • To write a review of a selected BA Fine Art Photography work on display in the college degree show
  • Writing workshops to support you by looking at diverse styles and purposes of reviewing art exhibitions

Year 2

Unit 5 - Working for a context

This unit is about re-establishing your studio practice whilst also progressing your research methodologies. It is about exploring the relationship between fine art and photography in more depth.

  • To produce work for a group crit
  • An introduction to strategies for collaboration and the ethical considerations that accompany working with others
  • To reflect on your progress through self-evaluation

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 7 - Establishing practice

  • To continue to develop your creative practice
  • Seminars and reading groups introduce you to the relationships between painting and ideas about society, identity, politics and the environment
  • To write an essay based on a selected text, theory or set of ideas in relation to an artist’s work
  • To take part in a group exhibition with your peers

Unit 8 - Audiences

  • To create and present an artist’s manifesto that expresses the context for your practice
  • To participate in workshops that will explain and help you plan for your third year
  • To prepare a detailed proposal for your third year
  • To work alongside third year students helping with their degree show

Year 3

Unit 9 - Practice and articulation

  • To develop and produce work for your final degree show exhibition in unit 10
  • To produce a piece research that can be produced either in written form, or in a performance lecture, or through a live project/work placement
  • Art and its audiences programme of seminars to help you manage an artistic life after art school and how to apply for postgraduate study

Unit 10 - Practice and presentation

  • To present work in the college degree show
  • An introduce to possible national and international progression routes
  • Workshops, seminars, tutorials and lectures on approaches to curation, audiences, methods of display, materials and the ethics of representation
  • To produce written work or a website that presents your work and ideas
  • To be encouraged to proactively engage with communities within and outside of the art school to build sustainable and ethical working relationships

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the Diploma in Creative Computing.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Events, screenings and visits
  • Group and individual critiques, tutorials and formal reviews
  • Individual programmes of study
  • Key ideas lecture programme
  • Learning skills in practical and technical workshops.
  • Lectures and visiting speakers
  • Staff and student led seminars and discussions
  • Taught drawing sessions

Assessment methods

  • Assignments, essays, statements and reports
  • Development file
  • Peer assessment
  • Portfolios
  • Practical work
  • Presentations
  • Project and support work
  • Proposals
  • Self-assessment

Staff

Contextual Studies Staff

Recent visitors have included:

  • Becky Beasley
  • Walead Beshty
  • Rut Blees Luxemburg
  • Marc Camille Chaimowicz
  • Shezad Dawood
  • John Divola
  • Hal Foster - Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University
  • Darren Harvey-Regan
  • Mishka Henner
  • Helen Molesworth - Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Aron Morel
  • Matthew Noel-Tod
  • Eddie Peake
  • Sarah Pickering
  • Griselda Pollock - Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CATH), Leeds University
  • Clare Strand

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

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) 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
  • A combination of these factors

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

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • An ability to explore, articulate and develop ideas
  • An ability to research information and visual material to support your ideas
  • Your portfolio to demonstrate a range of appropriate skills and technical abilities
  • An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • An ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work

Making your application

Portfolio advice

  • The portfolio will mainly be made up of photographic work, but may include work made in other media
  • The portfolio should show an ability to develop and explore ideas
  • It is important to include sketch books. These help us see your working process and indicate your developing research interests and influences

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed and scanned
  • To organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes

You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W642

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Camberwell College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

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.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

The event will also give you a chance to meet current students, take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for Home/EU applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • In person at Camberwell College of Arts
  • By phone or Skype

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Please note that applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Camberwell College of Arts:

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W642

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Camberwell College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

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.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be asked to upload a digital portfolio. Once you have uploaded your portfolio, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

You will be expected to bring your portfolio, which will be reviewed by the academics conducting the event. Please be prepared to talk about your work, what inspires you and your influences. We may not discuss all of these topics at the event.

More details about your interview selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen or been allocated your date.

Selection for international applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • By phone or Skype
  • In your country, if your application was made through one of our official representatives
  • In person at our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts

If you choose phone or Skype your portfolio that you uploaded via UAL’s online portfolio review system will be used during the interview.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

  • If you applied through UCAS you will receive the final outcome of of your application through UCAS track
  • If you applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal

Please note that applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Study Abroad

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course.

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section.


Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Our BA Fine Art Photography graduates have exhibited their work in major UK competitions and exhibitions, including The Photographer’s Gallery’s Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed exhibition of most promising graduates, Saatchi New Sensations, Sony Professional Photography Awards and The Sovereign Asian Art Prize.

Others have gone on to work for major galleries and publishers, whilst many former students progress to postgraduate study.

Alumni

  • Pedro Alfacinha - Photography publishing, Steidl and Mack Books
  • Lea Collet - Artist
  • Jon Maguire - Freelance documentary filmmaker
  • Robert Zhao Renhui - Artist
  • Katherine Reynolds - Curator

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.

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