BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Photography

Institution code: N39
Course 3 Year UCAS code: W640
Course 4 Year UCAS code: W641
Course length: 3 or 4 year options

All courses starting in September 2020 will run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning and will follow UK government safety advice. We may need to adjust course delivery if advice changes. We will notify applicants and students of any changes directly.​

Connecting your passions and unique perspective to the world of professional photography is at the heart of our BA (Hons) Photography degree course, recognised by the Association of Photographers.

You will develop your own approach at NUA – not a standard house style.

You will learn how to apply your creative vision to a range of industry briefs, from fashion to advertising and editorial photography.

Whatever your aspirations, your work will be unmistakable as you emerge as a professional practitioner with a distinctive portfolio.

Thinking beyond the frame

We will encourage you to think about client needs and expectations.

We want to see you produce stand-out work that could wow creative teams in whatever industry drives your interest.

But it will always be your vision.

You’ll also be part of a community of photographers – collaborating with other students and taking part in peer review and cross-year critiques to give and receive feedback.

Designed for the future

Studying at NUA will give you access to a wide range of industry-level photographic and lighting equipment.

You will have access to tools to produce imaginative and original images to the highest standards.

There will be opportunities to work at the cutting edge of digital photography; exploring the possibilities of moving image and computer-generated images (CGI).

Inspiration from professional photographers

Inspirational guest speakers covering a range of photographic roles will feature in your timetable almost every week.

And you’ll get feedback from professionals by pitching your work to industry panels.

Insight from renowned professionals like Dean Chalkley, Tim Flach, Lottie Davies and Carol Sharp will help you understand latest trends as you hone business skills like self-promotion, networking and client management.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Photographer
  • Photographic Assistant
  • Art Director
  • Image Producer
  • Picture Editor
  • Digital Retoucher
  • Picture Librarian
  • Curator
  • CGI Artist
  • Teaching Technician
  • Digital Assistant
  • Photographer’s Agent
  • Picture Researcher
  • Studio Assistant

You’ll also get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Explore your individual approach to photographic practice through a range of projects
  • Learn to strengthen your understanding of the communicative aspects of photography through subtle changes and the use of visual elements, technique and context
  • Work with studio and location lighting, digital cameras and large format inkjet printers
  • Develop production and post-production skills in the Digital Darkroom.
  • Year 2
  • Explore the application of your creative practice within professional contexts including fashion, advertising and editorial projects
  • Apply your visual approach across a range of genres utilising new and emerging technologies - digital moving image and CGI
  • Investigate the opportunities of collaborative practice to develop your ideas and image making beyond the boundaries of photography
  • Enter national competitions like AOP Awards, D&AD and Canon Shoot Like a Pro.
  • Year 3
  • Apply your unique individual approach - informed by your interests and passions - to the production of a professional portfolio
  • Develop your understanding of the photographic industries and build your networks
  • Gain entrepreneurial and employability skills
  • Participate in a London graduate showcase, presenting the very best work to industry
  • Prepare a detailed Research Report that informs your professional practice.
Visit the Degree Show website #Disrupt

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 27 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world. To find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

We also accept some alternative English qualifications. Learn more about our English entry requirements.

You can email us on if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Photography degree portfolio guidance

Your portfolio should be relevant to this course, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of what makes an image stand out.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Photography, such as portraits, landscapes, live or staged events, architecture, interiors, fashion and technical challenges such as reconstructions of popular images
  • Film, animation or moving image work
  • Images emphasising retouching and/or colouring skills
  • Images edited using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign
  • Story boards
  • Editorial based work
  • Compositing skills and collage based imagery
  • Collaborations with other students and creatives.

Further portfolio advice and tips

Get more advice on presentation formats, layouts and when to submit your portfolio in the application process.

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Photography at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by Skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2020/21 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status



UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2020 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find out how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,725 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2020/21

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £9,203 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,747 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


For new entrants whose household income is assessed as £25,000 or less, the university will offer a contribution towards the costs of studying at NUA (such as equipment, materials and other course-related costs). This will be £200 for new entrants to Year 0 and Year 1, rising to £300 in Year 2, followed by £500 in Year 3. Find out more about bursaries at NUA

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.

Four year degree

Four year degrees are exactly the same as our three year degrees but include an extra year of study at the beginning – Year 0.

Year 0 is about developing the skills, knowledge and the confidence you need to successfully complete your degree course. Building on your experience from A Level or equivalent courses, the Year 0 curriculum allows time to develop the practical, creative and conceptual skills that are critical to successfully completing an undergraduate degree at NUA. You will achieve this, making full use of the University workshops and studio facilities.

While studying Year 0 BA (Hons) Photography you will build upon key technical and craft skills that are fundamental to a sustainable photographic practice. The first project is centred upon studying and utilising techniques of lighting, composition and framing of key photographic references, working both on location and within the studio. 

You will then build on these skills through exploration of ideas around self-portraiture. Project briefs encourage visual research, documentation and communication within a range of different contexts. You will work with course tutors and have the opportunity to join first, second and third year students for guest lectures.   

Typical UK offers and entry requirements for Year 0 entry

GCE A/AS Levels
2 A-level qualifications at grades CC or higher. 

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Merit, Merit, Pass in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma
An overall Pass

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
An overall Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 24 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

Jordan Hudson, blogger at Norwich University of the Arts standing on London Street

Jordan Hudson

"Norwich is a beautiful fusion of modern and historic buildings; there’s an endless list of cafes and restaurants, modern shopping complexes and a river running through the heart."

BA (Hons) Photography

photo of alum leoni lessmann sitting on a ledge next to a window and smiling whilst looking up and with tied back hair and glasses with a rolled neck knitted jumper and crossed hands

Leoni Lessmann

"When I first started at NUA my work was mainly portraiture but the course has enabled me to develop my skills in still life photography – it really pushed me into finding my own photographic focus and style."

BA (Hons) Photography

portrait photo of alum Charlotte Simpson smiling and looking off camera with long hair and a rolled sleeve top against wooden wall background

Charlotte Simpson

"Throughout my course I’ve seen my work improve both technically and visually. I feel really aware of the industry."

BA (Hons) Photography


  • Andi Sapey

  • Andy Earl (Visiting Lecturer)

    Music Photographer and NUA Visiting Professor
  • Fiona Yaron-Field (Visiting Lecturer)

    Co-founder and co-editor of ‘Uncertain States’
  • Robert Wilson (Visiting Lecturer)

    Internationally renowned commercial photographer
  • Jasper White

  • Mikaela Rackham

  • Jeanette Bolton-Martin

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please give us a call.