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
    Work-based learning opportunities: Creative Professional Development Year (Level 5 diploma) available between years 2 & 3

    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 team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

    All courses run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning, and follow current UK government safety advice. Applicants and students will be notified directly if any changes need to be made.

    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

    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
    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 27 points

    NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, 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 application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

    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 international@nua.ac.uk 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 (that demonstrates your personal interests)
    • Film, animation or moving image work
    • Constructed/ staged images
    • Logbook extracts of development work and evaluations of images that grab your attention
    • 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.

    2022/23 University fees for new entrants

    NUA will assess students’ tuition fee status using the guidance provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs

    Students from the UK or Ireland and EU students with ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status will be charged ‘Home’ fees if they meet the relevant residency requirements.  They will usually be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning that they won’t have to pay NUA’s tuition fees up front.

    Students who do not meet the necessary residency requirements will usually be charged ‘Overseas’ fees and will not be eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan. Since 2021/22, this includes new entrants from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who do not have ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status, because the UK has now formally left the EU.

    Fee status Course Fee
    Home Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £9,250
    Overseas Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £17,500

    In subsequent years inflation may be applied to the fees of those who started in 2022/23, at no more than the Office for Students’ recommended measure based on forecast RPI-X.

    Financial support for UK students in 2022

    Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are usually available to UK and some EU students, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries based on family income. Find out more about applying for funding.

    Creative Professional Development (1 year, Level 5 Diploma)

    The Diploma in Creative Professional Development has been developed to offer undergraduate students the chance to spend a year, between the second and third year of their course, exploring their employability options through a structured programme of input sessions and work-based learning.

    Not just an ‘industry sandwich year’ —

    The Level 5 Diploma in Creative Professional Development is:

    • Designed around your needs as a creative student, particularly if your personal network does not currently reach creative industry.
    • Based on our award-winning Profile skills framework.
    • Co-delivered with industry partners who share our approach.
    • Supporting you with carefully planned interventions and activities before and after their placements, so that you are ready to undertake placement learning and then equipped to derive the maximum insight from the experience afterwards.
    • Opening a wide range of creative roles that you may not imagine you would be able to apply for after your study at NUA.

    It has been designed for:

    • Students who want to work in creative industry but have not yet decided the sort of role they would like.
    • Students who do have a clear sense of career direction but need to develop a structured plan to achieve it.
    • Students who do not have relevant work experience, and want to graduate with a fuller CV.
    • Students who think that business start-up or freelancing may be their preferred option and want to explore it further.

    Find out more about the Level 5 Diploma in Creative Professional Development

    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 
    Pass

    Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
    Pass

    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    A minimum of 24 points

    NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, 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 application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

    Students
    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

    Lecturers

    • 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

    • James Bell

    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.

    #WE
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    NUA

    Top 10 for
    Teaching Quality

    by the Times and Sunday Times 2022

    Top Two UK
    Creative Arts
    University

    by The Complete University Guide 2023

    Uni of
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    for Student Retention -
    The Times and Sunday Times 2020

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