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BA (Hons) - Photography (with integrated foundation year)

Capture the world in its many facets and faces. Create and seize unique moments in time. Explore your creative passion and bring it to life. This course, based on our dedicated arts campus, will help you focus on your future as a professional photographer.


Photography (with integrated foundation year) cover image

Course Overview

Our foundation course will give you a strong grounding to experience life through the camera lens to advance your studies to degree level.

You’ll learn all the essential photography basics - how to use a variety of cameras, both digital and film, how to make creative images, work in a studio and on location, and how to print your photos to a high standard.

In addition, you’ll explore historical and contemporary photographers and images to encourage you to develop your own style and flourish as a photographer ready for year one of the degree course.

Former students have gone into a range of photographic careers, become freelance photographers, curators and editors and some have secured solo exhibitions in art galleries just months after graduating.

On this course you will...

  • Develop your photographic and editing skills while experimenting during workshops and outdoor activities.
  • Work with students across the creative arts, collaborating on projects and exploring new mediums.
  • Be taught by industry experts with experience working freelance and within creative organisations.
  • Have the opportunity to exhibit your work publically alongside the work of classmates across the arts.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

Photography is a fantastically versatile discipline and as such offers many routes into employment within the creative industries.

At the University of Cumbria, we have designed a programme that allows you to experiment with techniques, develop your practical skills, study through critical thinking and enquiry.

Informed by the clear integration of practice and theory, and by an expectation of your intellectual engagement in Photography practice, you will develop transferable skills.

Year one

Your introduction to photography will see you exploring a variety of lens-based and other creative media through contemporary and traditional ways of working. So, you'll be experimenting and exploring photography using a variety of techniques and processes.

  • Making Images
  • Making Objects
  • Visual Enquiry
  • Environment
  • Portfolio and Progression
Year two

In your second year, you will focus on The Photographic Environment which deals with the cornerstone craft of photographic image capture, both analogue and digital, in application to and investigation of, your photographic interests.

Research and contextual skills will be established at this level as we introduce the work of significant photographers and explore how influences and themes can be tracked through history, thereby setting the stage for the development of your own work.

  • Photographic Image Capture
  • Cultural Contexts
  • Picturing Place: Culture & Identity
  • Collaborative Practice
Year three

In your third year, you will explore the Relevant Photograph. This attends to socially engaged practice. Working with the local community and culture with input from industry professionals you will learn to apply your craft to a greater purpose. You will also develop your contextual explorations into photographic theory, critical thinking, and analysis.

We have developed an enrichment module in year two where you can experience and practice traditional techniques and cutting-edge technologies.

Creating the space for experiment and play is enormously valuable in promoting creativity, problem-solving skills, risk-taking, and imagination. The module is intended to expand your practice skills midway through your degree enabling you to explore your own potential and readying you for a more focused journey through your final year and employment beyond that.

  • Networks & Narratives: Photography in the Community
  • Immersive Image-Making
  • The Photographic Interface: Industry Experience
  • Theorising Photography
Year four

Your final year will revolve around an Independent Showcase where you will take full charge of your own practice and bring it into the public domain.

Research, practice and professional skills come together in the final year of study to refine and showcase your personal vision and expression of photographic practice. At this point, you will be an independent, intelligent and competent practitioner with a personal portfolio representing the breadth of your skill and the depth of your engagement.

  • Blueprint of Practice
  • Independent Research Paper
  • Resolution of Practice

Stay focused. Go far. We've got you.

You don't have to go further to go far.

It only takes a few hours to change your life.