Why study with us?

To see much more of what we do please visit our photography blog: www.cumbriaphotography.blogspot.co.uk

We offer a course where we are interested in you as an individual. We know that small year groups are best, so we recruit around forty students each year. This means that you see us regularly and receive a massive amount of regular tutor support and feedback. We also believe that you should work in well-equipped studios and printing labs. We pride ourselves on industry standard kit and facilities. You can borrow kit for free and don’t have to join a waiting list to use the studios. All years of our course happily mix, share ideas and inspire one another.

We like you to be able to say things with your work, to be independent, to freely experiment and to have a desire for innovative practice on location or within studio-based practice. 

Kat Westhead
Photography by Kat Westhead

You will be able to build a broad understanding of independent visual practice in photography and be able to take advantage of future professional opportunities. We invite industry professionals to talk and work with our students supplementing the highly qualified and experienced practitioners on the course team.

We love photography and, after studying with us, we’re sure you’ll feel the same. More importantly, you’ll be using that passion to produce exciting images across a wide range of traditional and digital media, showing your skill, commitment, versatility and creativity to potential employers.

Staff websites:

Miriam Goodman

Featured images by Miriam Goodman

What can this course lead to?

There is a very wide range of career opportunities in the creative and photographic fields. Our graduates are working as freelance photographers and artists throughout the world.  They are based in studios or travelling, and are independently exhibiting, working as assistant photographers, picture editors, picture researchers, stylists or photographer’s agents, forensic and medical photographers, gallery curators or photographers and artists in residence. Our purpose is to help you graduate as a flexible, fully prepared, highly motivated, professional photographer.

Commissions and success can begin before graduation for many of our students. Amy Trantum was given the university’s Highest Achieving Student of the Year award in her third year, Liam Collins won the first Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year in his second year, and the shortlist of ten for this prize was exclusively made up of our photography students.

Two of our graduates Gillian Gilbert and Anna Bridges have gone on to develop the Carlisle Photo Festival and have gained national and international recognition. Other graduates include Will Wintercross who is an acclaimed photojournalist and has worked extensively in Syria, Drew Gibson has made his mark in automotive sports photography and Caroline Leeming is a very successful fashion photographer working for clients such as Saatchi & Saatchi and  Fenwick.

Amy Trantum
Photography by Amy Trantum

Resources and facilities

We are immensely proud of our fantastic, industry standard studio facilities and our dedicated technician on hand to help all our students. We have a wide range of specialist resources available for almost every conceivable art and photographic outcome. You will be able to work with a range of new equipment, including Nikon digital cameras, professional digital medium-format and 4x5 large format, on location or in one of the three main professionally equipped studios. 

Post-production and printing is through high-quality dedicated, Mac workstations with the latest printers. The benefits of working alongside students from all years of the course are immense and the mix creates an inspiring, dynamic, stimulating and continually changing environment.

Unlike most other universities, we also believe you should be able to exploit any technical areas your project work may require. We make sure you have access to computer training labs, animation suites, printmaking studios, moving image-editing suites, wood, metal and plastic workshops, textile studios, graphic design studios and even our ceramics department!

Have a look at our learning resources for Photography.

Dark room

Teaching, learning and assessment

We believe that assessment is not the end but the beginning of the process of learning. Feedback can come not only from lecturers, but also from their peers, or the student themselves. We invite practicing professionals to join the course team in sharing their experience and viewing student work.

Recently our students have learnt from Sean Dooley, Tessa Bunny, Ingrid Pollard and Julian Germain. We have long-standing links with Redeye, the national photography network, and also encourage students to exhibit their work in the public arena; one group of students hired a shipping container from which to showcase their work!

Publicity spread for 2015 degree show

Publicity spread for the 2015 Degree Show.

What our students say

“Very welcoming to new students.”

“The course leaders are definitely enthusiastic about what they do and specific course leaders have gone above and beyond to help me with things like my dissertation.”

“A very good and useful range of equipment available for use both in the studio and for use to lend. All staff give good advice and are helpful during tutorials.”

“All staff are helpful and positive about your work. Good equipment on hand to use or loan. Critique is helpful and allows for individual development.”

“Always having equipment available to use when needed and always being able to get technical help.”

“You get a balance of both practical work and theory and writing.”

“The facilities are really good, there are plenty of studios, dark room space and camera equipment. I've learnt a lot in the area of critical studies.”

“We have good access to a darkroom for black and white traditional printing. Access to a Mac lab with high quality software and printers as well as technical staff who are always prepared to help.”

“There is always help available and the staff always help to make your work possible. And feedback is always given.”


Home and EU students: £9,000 per academic year

International students: £10,500 per academic year

For more information on finance: