Photography BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

About the course

This course is designed for aspiring photographers with a creative eye, who want to enhance their practical skills and professional approach. Not only will you have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the role of a photographer in modern cultures and commercial practices, you'll also explore historical photography, as well as theory and genres. You'll be supported in developing your practical skills through individual project work, plus you'll have the chance to contribute to collaborative work and exhibitions through documentary, realist, staged, portraiture, landscape, fine art, architectural, fashion, advertising and editorial styles of photography.

This course is one of ten courses in the UK, and the only University degree course in the north of England, that is approved by the British Institute of Professional Photography, an internationally recognised organisation that qualifies and supports professional photographers. This marks the course within the top ten most respected photographic courses in the UK and gives you the opportunity to gain a BIPP professional qualification alongside your degree.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year

Course content

The course aims to develop your understanding of the role of the photographer in contemporary cultures. Through project work you'll explore digital photography in relation to historical and contemporary photographic practices, as well as other media, and reflect on the ways in which this interactivity affects photographic genre and practice.

To find out about what it's like to study photography at Huddersfield, take a look at final year Photography BA(Hons) student Sophie Abbott's video. As well as talking about living and studying in Huddersfield, Sophie describes the experience she gained during her placement year.

Inspirational field trips to destinations of educational and cultural significance are a component of the course and will be funded by the University. Study trips may include visits to galleries, museums, and exhibitions. Examples of recent trips include The National Media Museum, Bradford; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield; the Brighton Photo Bienniel, Brighton; and the Format Photography Festival, Derby.

Year 1

Core modules:

Photography Process and Workflow 1

This module will focus on the relationship between photography, electronic imaging, digital manipulation and professional practice. It is designed to provide you with the technical competences and visual analytical skills required to support your learning throughout all aspects of the degree course. You will be introduced a broad range of industry standard photographic equipment, photo-processing software and professional working practices. Your assessments will look into portfolio development, technical proficiency, and compilation of supporting technical and conceptual sketchbooks. (100%)

Photographic Theory and Practice

This module introduces you to the fundamental concept of Genre as a ‘type’ of cultural product. You will be asked to respond to briefs to advance your own technical and conceptual skills. The theoretical component of the module will introduce you to the notions of History and Theory, to elucidate their meaning, implications and application to photographic practices and modes of image analysis. You will be assessed on the production of a sketchbook, diverse coherent and consistent photographic portfolio, and one short academic essay.(100%)

Digital Media Design Foundation Studio Practice

This studio module is 100% portfolio work and it enables you to explore themes that are pertinent to contemporary digital media design. Using both analogue and digital processes you will have the opportunity to learn creative strategies for developing your individual practice. You will be encouraged to demonstrate the ability to create simple 2D and 3D forms, simple animations related to narrative tradition, simple typographic and image based forms, simple motion graphic works related to time-line traditions and simple designs and programmatic forms for screen based generative, interactive and mobile work.

Year 2

Core modules:

Digital Media Design Intermediate Studio

Delivered throughout your second year the Intermediate Studio requires you to produce works of increasing sophistication having successfully completed the Foundation Studio. The module encompasses diverse and interdependent areas of practice to expand and elaborate upon the exploration and communication of ideas, which were introduced in your first year. The approach taken in the second year is to consider Digital Art as an expanded area of practice and you will be supported in managing your studio practice. During this time you will have the chance to apply technical skills and critical awareness, and utilise equipment and workshops as well as industry standard hardware and software. You will be asked to present completed artefacts /environments supported by working prototypes, studies and documentation of exploratory processes in a portfolio presentation (100% of the module mark).

Audiences and Contexts

This module promotes a critical approach to commercial, fine art and academic practices. Through practical work and historical-theoretical investigation, you will be encouraged to develop and critically examine your own responses to assignments, communicating accumulated knowledge and your exploration of conceptual and commercial frameworks. Practice-based sessions will address contemporary curatorial practices to support your understanding of the relationship between concept development, photographic production, installation of work, and spectatorship. You will be assessed on the production of a consistent portfolio, writing up an installation/exhibition proposal clarifying your visual position and influences, the production of a sketchbook, and one short academic essay. (100%)

Photography Process and Workflow 2

The focus of this module is on professional standards and diversity of image making. Continuing on from year one, this practice-led module looks to extend and challenge your visual acknowledgement and technical understanding of commercial, advertising and fine art photographic practices. An emphasis will be placed on branding and market research, as well as on the development of bodies of work with legible identities living up to current professional and creative standards. You will be assessed on photographic portfolio development, technical proficiency, and compilation of supporting sketchbooks. (100%)

Year 3 - optional placement year

School of Art and Design Placement

You will normally spend a total of 48 weeks between the end of year two and the beginning of your final year in a managed work experience. You will be encouraged to obtain a placement activity relevant to your area of specialism, however a wide range of placements will be regarded as suitable. The placement will be monitored and you will be assessed on completion. (100%).

Final Year

Core modules:

Research and Development for Photography

This module aims to establish and inform your major project. Within it you will be asked to identify a theme/subject/issue relevant to your practice. The module will re-emphasise the importance of in-depth research, within which you will be encouraged to demonstrate originality, pro-activity and innovation. You’ll have the opportunity to define the context and parameters of this module through negotiation and ongoing dialogue with your tutors. 100% research portfolio.

Theory for Photography

The module is specifically designed to unfold throughout the final year reflecting theoretical, technical and professional issues appropriate to your practice. The module is intended to be a critical and diagnostic tool with which to examine your work. It can be made up of a series of outputs and will help you to determine and contextualise the direction of our practice-based modules.

The process of reflection, research and critical analysis is vital to the module. It will help you to identify connections between concept, method, realisation and mediation of your major project. It will allow you to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and insight into your specialism, enabling you to make informed decisions/judgements related to your practical outputs. 20% verbal presentation / 80% project work.

Major Project Photography

You will have the opportunity to build upon and test research developed in the Research and Development for Photography module. You’ll be supported in channeling your creative and intellectual skills, either as an individual or as part of a collaboration or interdisciplinary team, to create innovative, original or highly professional proposition(s) appropriate to your discipline. This will be through sketchbooks, worksheets or creative outputs for example. You’ll be supported in realising the potential of your major project in a form appropriate to your intentions, and asked to produce artefacts that act as a group of coherent summative statements. 100% portfolio.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers an optional one-year (48 weeks) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Students on the course have recently taken up placement opportunities with companies including: Wild Ginger Photography - Manchester; Jackpot Photo - Whistler, Canada; Flawless Photography Studios - Manchester; and Chique Photography - Huddersfield.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University's Enterprise Team. You'll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

You can find out more information on placements here.

Career opportunities

90% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating. This course aims to help you develop the skills needed to go in to roles such as freelance photographer, studio photographer, art director, visual stylist and image maker or manipulator. This is also a suitable first degree for entry into teacher training. In addition there is support for students in setting up their own companies.

Professional links and accreditations

This course is approved and accredited by the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), giving you the opportunity to gain a BIPP professional qualification alongside your degree. Visit for further information.

During this course you can benefit from the opportunity to gain the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) accreditation in addition to your degree, at no extra cost. This is a globally recognised accreditation awarded by one of the leading software package providers to the creative industries, so could be valuable in your professional career. This accreditation is attractive to a number of employers and so it could give you a competitive edge in the job market. To be awarded the ACA accreditation, you'll need to pass an online test.

Teaching and assessment

45.7% of the study time on this course is spent in tutorials, lectures, seminars, workshops etc.

You'll have the opportunity to learn through lectures, studio-based projects, workshop demonstrations and practical sessions. An optional supervised fieldwork visit to a major overseas location normally takes place in Year 2.

We support you and monitor your progress throughout the course, and your assessment will include production of photographic images in the studio, developmental studio work, exhibition and presentation of your work, as well as written assignments. Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only University where all our permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

You'll be taught by staff who are highly experienced and regarded within their fields and who, alongside their academic qualifications, hold prestigious professional qualifications including Associateship Level Member of the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), Accredited Phase One Certified Professional (POCP) and Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP).

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


You'll have access to our modern and well-equipped photography studios along with professional industry-standard equipment through our photography loans store, which offers a free-of-charge equipment hire service to students on the course. The studio also offers you access to computers with the latest software for capturing and editing images, and there's a technical support team who are able to give you expert advice, alongside the course tutors.

In addition to having full access to the facilities during University opening hours, you'll also be able to access some of the specialist software licensed to the University from your own computer, whilst away from the campus out of studio opening hours. This means you won't have to invest in expensive software packages during the course.

The university also has a digital negatives scanner, which there are very few of in the industry and enables you to convert analogue photographic negatives into high quality digital image files. You'll have access to this should you wish to use it in your work.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


You'll need to cover the costs of printing and presenting your work during the course. These costs may vary based on the materials and quality you choose and there is no limit on the amount you may wish to spend. As a guide, the total cost of this in recent years has been approximately £70 to £100 in the first year, £150 to £200 in the second year and £500 to £1000 in the final year per student. Many students opt to undertake fundraising activities to support the costs in the final year.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

© 2017 University of Huddersfield - All rights reserved

VAT registration number 516 3101 90