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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

Creative Skillset approved and recognised by the Association of Photographers, our BA (Hons) Photography degree course will establish you as a professional practitioner, ready for a successful career within the photographic industries.

You’ll develop a highly personal, unique and creatively aspirational practice, while perfecting the practical skills and understanding to apply your vision to a range of contexts within the creative industries. Whether you pursue a career in advertising, editorial, fashion, or another role in the creative industries, your style will be unmistakable.

Your photography skills

As you hone your craft you’ll learn how to commercialise your creative output, thinking about how to apply your approach to briefs and the needs of clients to produce aspirational work that has application in a range of industries.

Access to a wide range of industry-level photographic and lighting equipment throughout your degree will give you the tools to produce imaginative and original images to the highest possible standards. Pushing the boundaries of photographic practices, you’ll learn how to produce compelling photography using whatever technology is most suitable to support your creative vision.

Your photography future         

Reflecting the industry today by employing predominantly digital technology, this undergraduate photography course will see you actively engage in the rapidly developing nature of photography and exploring the possibilities of new and emerging technologies such as digital moving image and CGI.

With a visiting industry guest speaker featured almost every week and regular opportunities to receive feedback from current practitioners, business skills like self-promotion, networking and client management are front and centre throughout your degree, meaning you’ll graduate with momentum as you enter the industry.

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

Accredited by:

Creative Skillset Accredited Course

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.
#Disrupt
Convention

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. 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
Merit

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 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).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Photography degree portfolio guidance

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.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

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.

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.       

“We’re looking for an understanding of what applicants are trying to achieve and an engagement with the process. Photography should be part of your life.”

– James Smith, Course Leader

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 student.finance@nua.ac.uk

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.

2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status

Course

Fee

UK/EU nationality

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

£9,250

International (non-EU)

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

£13,700

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

International students

Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find 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 £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

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 £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 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 student.finance@nua.ac.uk

Scholarships

Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.

Bursaries

NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

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, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject.

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 
Pass

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 28 points

Students

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

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

portrait photo of alum Denisa Ilie looking off screen with long hair and rolled sleeve top

Denisa Ilie

"From cameras and computers to software and printers, everything we needed was there to facilitate a professional approach to our projects."

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

Lecturers

  • Andi Sapey

  • Sophie Lachowycz

  • 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

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 contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

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