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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Photography

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Zoe Tigner Haus, BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
UCAS code
W640
Start date
September 2023
Course length
3 years

BA (Hons) Photography at London College of Communication is an innovative course that will encourage you to develop your own distinctive approach to the photographic.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • You’ll gain an excellent grounding in photographic fine art practice while considering industry and commercial approaches across fashion, advertising, editorial photography, art direction, picture editing and academia.
  • Specialising in your field of interest, you’ll develop as a creative visual practitioner who can engage with contemporary issues.
  • You'll have access to analogue and digital facilities supported by expert technicians, with opportunities to gain accredited qualifications in Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Our industry connections provide opportunities and collaborations, and have included projects with Tate, Converse and OffPrint at Photo London.
  • Our graduates go on to enjoy successful careers, such as leading names Tom Hunter, Bettina von Zwehl, Juno Calypso, Francesca Allen, Dan Tobin Smith and Rankin. Many win prominent prizes, including Silvia Rosi (Jerwood Photography Award) and Tami Aftab (Creative Review’s Photography Annual; Women Photograph x Getty Images Scholarship).

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course will be on Saturday 10 December. Book your place.

Explore life at LCC with our interactive Virtual Open Day.

Course overview

BA (Hons) Photography is an ideas-driven, multi-genre photography course which combines practice, theory, professionalism and technical expertise. You’ll graduate as a critically engaged creative who is conceptually driven and professionally focused.

What to expect

  • Each year of study is divided into two 15-week blocks with individual units focused on Practice, Contextual Studies and Professional Practice to support and develop your knowledge and understanding.
  • You’ll develop a distinctive and original voice as a photographer, alongside conceptual, technical and professional skills to prepare you for your future career.
  • Technical workshops are delivered throughout the course,will cover a huge variety of techniques.
  • You’ll have access to professional environments through visits, lectures and our artist and theorist programmes broadens your vision on the possible career outcomes of a photography degree.
  • You’ll have access to resources such as the library’s special collections, Photography and the Archive Research Centre and the Stanley Kubrick archive.
  • You are also encouraged to utilise LCC’s central London location to access international museums and galleries.

Industry experience and opportunities

The achievements of the staff team and the contacts they have with the larger world of photography help create a stimulating environment in which to work and learn.

Between Years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Photography (with Creative Computing).

Mode of study

BA (Hons) Photography is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. 

Course units

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is three years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credits. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

During the first year, through a series of specially designed theory and practice workshops, you will learn about historical and contemporary photography practices, and the key theoretical frameworks used to situate them.

You’ll be introduced to specialist photographic skills and creative methodologies in a supportive environment, to develop your curiosity and creativity.

There will be lectures from visiting professional photographers where you will learn about the many career opportunities open to those with a photographic education and meet fellow photography students from BA to MA levels of study. In your first year you will attend an Adobe accredited Photoshop course.  

You’ll be supported through tutorials to develop and research your own photographic ideas in relation to project briefs and experiment with the technical skills to develop your personal position as a photographer.

Introduction to Photography (20 Credits)

This unit acts as an introduction to the course and to your subject specialism. Topics covered include effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level as well as introducing basic technical skills. 

Remix, Remake (20 Credits)

This unit is designed to familiarise you with making practice-based work that is informed by experimentation, the development of critical, practical skills and peer-to-peer learning. Designed to assist in your exploration of the medium, the unit asks you to consider what photography is in its contemporary condition through making work. 

Histories in Context (20 Credits)

This unit addresses some of the key debates concerning photographic representation today. Using appropriate cultural and critical methods, the unit encourages you to develop an awareness of how these debates have emerged.

Photographic Fictions (40 Credits)

Photographic Fictions is an opportunity for you to identify and develop photographic work with a particular focus on book form. The unit specifically considers how work might address the potential of photographic mediations, formulating an expanded understanding of narrative which explores contemporary (as well as historic) concerns.

Ideas in Practice (20 Credits)

The unit builds on your previous study in addressing some of the key contemporary questions concerning photographic representation. The unit interrogates contemporary areas of research and practice, particularly concerning the politics of visual representation.

Year 2

As you move into Year 2 you will expand on your skills and start to develop your voice within your practice. Year 2 builds on the foundations established in Year 1, introducing themes of practice, contextual studies, and professional development.

You’ll work through considerations of the medium, usage, and institutional setting, to focus on two key themes of contemporary photography: society and culture.

Towards the end of the year, the emphasis in contextual studies is shifted towards preparation for your selection of a dissertation topic and approach and the initiation of research.

Visualising Ideologies (20 Credits)

This unit encourages you to consider the ideological basis of both photographic and art practice. It will examine the production of overtly political work with a clearly identified political target, but also consider the ideological basis of any visual artefact.

Image, Society, Resistance (20 Credits)

This unit places emphasis on contemporary photographic issues and practices and builds on your developing understanding of historical and theoretical photographic knowledge. This unit develops essential skills in independent research and critical thinking and provides critical insight into photographic practice.

Professional Collaborations (Elective) (20 Credits)

The Professional Collaborations (Elective) Unit provides you with the opportunity to choose from a number of available collaborative options. Through this process you will share skills and expertise with others and gain insight from working on projects that may fall outside of the usual opportunities provided within the course.

Situated Practice (40 Credits)

Situated Practice considers practice in relation to theories of site and location (i.e., political/economic), but also specificity of place and space and how such specificity can transform meanings in practice.

The central theme of situated practice allows an interrogation of the photographer or photographic artist as fieldworker and considers what it is as photographic image makers to practice within the public sphere.

Culture Machines (20 Credits)

This unit explores models of production and their consequence for meaning, identity and value. Culture Machines will contribute to your developing skills in independent research and critical thinking.

Year 3

Year 3 consolidates and develops your ability to direct and plan your own work by producing three substantial self-selected pieces of work – your Major Photographic Practice Project, Professional Practice Outputs and Dissertation. All three units are designed to enable you to sustain your practice and find exciting career opportunities.

Dissertation (40 Credits)

The dissertation is an extended research paper written on a self-selected topic relevant to your sense of photographic/artistic practice and research concerns.

The research topic is generally chosen to complement your Major Project and provides you with the opportunity to develop a larger set of questions and ideas using skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired over the course.

Major Project (60 Credits)

Major Project builds on your interest and knowledge acquired from previous units to produce a significant body of work. You will be supported in conducting in-depth research and technical / methodological experimentation which will on completion demonstrate sophisticated understanding and articulation of your own practice.

Professional Practice Outputs (20 Credits)

Professional Practice Outputs explores the future possibilities of photographic practice and scholarship open to graduates.

The unit considers the ways that your practice can be situated in contemporary culture and focuses on personal professional planning, considering your career development outside of the undergraduate environment.

Learning and teaching methods

The course is taught through a mixture of learning and teaching methods including (but are not limited to):

  • Group briefings
  • Academic tutorials
  • Group tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Critiques (crits)
  • Seminars

Online Open Day

Course Leader, Peter Ainsworth gives an overview of studying BA (Hons) Photography.

Graduate Showcase 2021

Exhibition walk-through

A sample walk-through of BA (Hons) Photography's Notes for the Future Monument, 2021.

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Beyond the Blue
    Beyond the Blue, Francesca Kopanycia-Reynolds, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Dirty Dinners
    Dirty Dinners, Katy Philpot, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • 146
    146, Taja Lewis Boodie, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Look How Far You’ve Come!
    Look How Far You’ve Come!, Lam Fave Lai, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Grandmother Project
    Grandmother Project, Yura Kim, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • 'To Come To Mind'
    'To Come To Mind', Alexandra Wansell, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • חיים טובים
    חיים טובים, Jack Lumer, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Troubled Peace
    Troubled Peace, Danielle Anderson, 2021 BA (Hons) Photography, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Black and white photograph of Silvia Rosi, holding a phone.
    Self Portrait as my Mother, The Phone Call by Silvia Rosi, 2016.
    Graduate wins Third Jerwood/Photoworks Award  

    BA (Hons) Photography graduate Silvia Rosi is the joint recipient of the Third Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. Selected from over 450 submissions, Silvia's work explores the concept of the family album and the idea of re-staging archival images through self-portrayal.

  • Photograph of graduate Francesca Allen giving a talk.

    Graduate speaks at It's Nice That's Nicer Tuesdays  

    BA (Hons) Photography graduate Francesca Allen talks to an audience at It's Nice That's Nicer Tuesdays about her career to date – from her graduation project Girls, Girls, Girls – which went on to be exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery a year later – through to her first book, Aya.

Student voices

Mick O’Connell

Mick talks through building a set for his project, The American Dream, a visual representation of how this idea influenced him growing up in rural Ireland.

Millie Hardingham

Student voices

Millie's series of self-portraiture, 'ANA' explores the stereotype of the housewife in Hollywood cinema.

Pepo Fernando

Student voices

Pepo's work features a non-binary sex worker and aims to challenge power structures.

Course stories

Facilities


  • Media Photography

    Photography students benefit from access to resources held in the Media Photography areas.

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space  

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Associate Lecturers

Our Associate lecturers encompass a range of artistic and critical concerns connected with the Photographic, adding a diverse range of approaches and ideas to our teaching programme. Recent associate lecturers include:

Katja Mayer, Krasimira Butseva, Mahtab Hussain, Sheyi Bankale, Lalu Delbracio, John Briggs, Max Colson, Ana Escobar, Mandy Barker, Becky Warnock, Anthony Luvera, Richard Kolker, Max Ferguson, Magali Avezou, Atsuhide Ito, Ileana-Lucia Selejan, Parnian Ferdossi

Visiting practitioners

The course regularly invites a range of visiting practitioners for lectures, seminars and workshops, enabling BA (Hons) Photography to always keep abreast of conceptual, commercial, and artistic approaches and developments. Visitors include:

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in the industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

104 UCAS tariff points, which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Distinction at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing, Media).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 5 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

If you do not meet these entry requirements but your application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative relevant experience, you may still be considered. This could include:

  • 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. We cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

  • IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For further guidance, please check our English language requirements.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of an appreciation of photography as a specialised discipline.
  • Technical skills and experimentation with visual creativity, demonstrated in your own photographic work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas through practice to achieve specific outcomes.
  • Quality of ideas and thought processes in the production of your work.

Apply now

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W640

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in photography, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course. 

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

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

  • University code – U65
  • UCAS course code – W640

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. 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 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in photography, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course. 

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Immigration history check

You will be asked to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. We will not be able to proceed with your application until you have submitted your completed Immigration History Form.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Study abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Photography for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

Please provide a maximum of 20 images of your own original photographic work to support your application.

Important Note: You are strongly advised not to delay the upload by trying to create new work; your main aim should be to demonstrate the creativity within your current portfolio.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Hub. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to attend one of our online Offer Holder events. This is your opportunity to meet the academic team and fellow offer holders, find out more about the course, and get a taste of what it will be like to study here.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Careers

A huge variety of options are open to students after graduating from BA (Hons) Photography. The creative, research and professional skills gained on the course enable a broad range of careers possibilities, including:

  • Photographer (advertising, fashion, editorial, blogging, documentary and art photography)
  • Art buyers
  • Picture editors
  • Publishers
  • Curators
  • Archivists
  • Academics
  • Art directors
  • Entrepreneurs

Alumni achievements include:

Each year there are some graduates who go on to study MA Photography at LCC or other related MA courses.

Alumni include internationally renowned artists and photographers including: