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.
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.
Each week there will be a lecture from a visiting professional photographer 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.
What is Photography? (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.
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.
Students 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, the final stage, 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.