skip to main content
an image

BA (Hons) Photography

Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Applications closed 2019/20
Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the ‘Courses with places available’ page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

BA (Hons) Photography at London College of Communication (LCC) is an innovative programme that encourages you to develop a distinctive approach to photography.

Great reasons to apply

  • Spanning fine art, documentary and commercial practice and grounded in a critical understanding of the medium, you will develop and research your own ideas in relation to project briefs and learn the skills needed to work professionally.
  • BA (Hons) Photography is a conceptually driven, multi-genre photography programme, combining practice, theory and professionalism. Through this approach, we produce creative conceptual photographers who are specialists within their field of interest.
  • The course provides an excellent grounding for future academic careers or within the industry in a more commercial approach such as fashion, advertising, editorial photography, art direction and picture editing.
  • Graduates go on to enjoy successful careers in the arts, design or media industries. Prominent alumni include Tom Hunter, Bettina von Zwehl, Juno Calypso and photographer Rankin ­­– the acclaimed co-founder of Dazed and Confused magazine.
  • Access to excellent analogue and digital facilities with specialist technicians who help to support students working in all areas.
  • Our strong relationships with industry provide opportunities and collaborations for students outside of the course structure. Previous external professional projects include OffPrint at Photo London, Tate, Nokia and Zenphone.

Open Days

Student work

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: Fernanda Liberti

Fernanda talks us through their work in the LCC Degree Shows 2017.

Student voices: William Britten

William talks us through their work in the LCC Degree Shows 2017.

Student voices: Tim Swan

Tim talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Course stories


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.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

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

Course details

BA (Hons) Photography is a multi-genre course which celebrates all areas of photography through an expansive curriculum which includes creative and technical skills, contextual studies (photographic history, philosophy, and relationship to art history) and professional development.

The course is delivered by a team of practising photographers, artists, curators, and writers, supplemented by visiting tutors and speakers from the photography, arts and media industries. You will be taught through theme-based units linking professional, theoretical and practical elements of the course.

In the first unit Introduction to Photography, you will be introduced to the exciting world of photography and it’s professional possibilities through lectures, seminars, exercises, and interviews.

The course enables you to develop independent photographic practice and encourages an approach to photography which encompasses fine art, documentary, and commercial practice. For each unit, you will write your own brief and work within a small group to develop creatively through experimentation, research, and technical skills to realise your project.

The contextual studies programme is also a key element of the course. Developed especially for photography students, it will introduce you to a wide range of cutting-edge and historical photographic practices.

You will have an opportunity to visit London-based production photographic studios, magazine and newspaper publishing houses and processing facilities. In addition, visits to art centres, galleries and museums in London will provide wonderful stimuli for project work.

You will also be working with the excellent technical facilities at LCC – including black and white and colour darkrooms, specialist studios and digital suites, available to photography students during term time.

This course is suitable for you if you are fascinated by photography, taking photographs and questioning their purpose, working creatively with photography, curious about photography from a wide perspective, find yourself reading about photography or interested in photographic theory.

Course structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks.

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Showcasing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCC and will last for up to 12 months after graduation.

This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.

Course units

In common with all courses at University of the Arts, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Photography (20 credits)
  • Image and Reality (20 credits)
  • Histories in Context (20 credits)
  • A Photographic Manifesto (40 credits)
  • Ideas in Context (20 credits)

During the first year, you will learn through experimentation and play to develop your curiosity and creativity. You will also learn how to gather photographic research and create methodologies to develop your personal position as a photographer.

You will develop and research your own photographic ideas in relation to project briefs and experiment with the technical skills you need to realise a range of solutions.

You'll learn about historical and contemporary photography practices, and the key theoretical frameworks used to situate them. Informed discussion about photography and its cultural context is central to the course, which is delivered by way of lectures, seminars, and workshops.

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Visualising Ideologies (20 credits)
  • The Symposium (20 credits)
  • Elective Unit (20 credits)
  • Image, Society, Resistance (20 credits)
  • Cultural Machines: Meaning, Identity, Value (20 credits)

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

Students work through considerations of the medium, usage, and institutional setting, to focus on two the 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.

Year 3

Units summary:

  • Exit Dossier (20 credits)
  • Major Project (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

Year 3, the final stage, consolidates and develops your ability to direct and plan your own work by producing two substantial self-selected pieces of work – your Major Photographic Project and Dissertation. The dissertation is a researched extended essay on a topic of your choice which is relevant to photography.

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

Through the dissertation, you develop the ability to produce a thoroughly researched and appropriately presented piece of extended written work.

Both your Major Project and your dissertation are developed in consultation with staff and according to a negotiated programme.

Learning and teaching methods

The course is taught through a mixture of:

  • Group briefings
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Crits
  • Seminars

Assessment methods

Throughout the course there are a variety of assessment methods used:

  • Blogs
  • Essays
  • Dissertation
  • Case studies
  • Interviews
  • Exhibitions
  • Presentations
  • Book launch
  • Symposiums
  • Student led critics
  • We mix assessment requirements so that at times students are present and others the works are assessed without presentation, supported by written statements.

Changes to courses

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services, in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, in order to bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, in response to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options.

Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which lead to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.

If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, use our register your interest form.


Beverley  Carruthers

Beverley Carruthers

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Photography

Matthew  Hawkins

Matthew Hawkins

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Photography

Lee  Mackinnon

Lee Mackinnon

Joint Acting Course Leader, MA Photography

Sophy  Rickett

Sophy Rickett

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Photography and MA Photography

Paul  Tebbs

Paul Tebbs

Joint Acting Course Leader, MA Photography

Harry  Hardie

Harry Hardie

Lecturer, BA (Hons) Photography

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 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 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:

80 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).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Merit, Pass 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.

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

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 (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

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.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a full portfolio. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

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.

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.

Making your application

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

You must 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 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

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.


For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

  • Through one of our official representatives in your country
  • Through a direct application
  • Through UCAS

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

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W640

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

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

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.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or 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 do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. 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 come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

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

Deferring your place

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£9,250 (2019/20).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2019/20 academic year, subject to changes in the law. 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

£19,930 (2019/20).

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.


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

Scholarships and Awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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:

View college guides



Follow us