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Level Location Length UCAS Fee Ask Apply
Higher Education Centre for Creative Industries, Victoria Yard This is a two-year, full-time programme. WW62 FdA/PDA Click here for info

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

This exciting practical and professional programme will enable you to explore photographic practice through the development of appropriate skills and the creation of original artwork using both traditional processes and digital technology. The programme aims to encourage creative decision making and critical thinking in preparation for future careers in the photographic industries. Photographic practice is continually changing, the programme adapts to these changes and the possibilities they hold and focuses on building the professional, technical, creative and intellectual skills needed for you to be successful in your chosen field.

The programme is modular and coursework based. Work will be assessed at key points during the year. A significant part of your time will be spent in the studios, photographic and digital workshops and lecture rooms. Practical teaching is underpinned by an integrated lecture programme, tutorial programme and a high level of pastoral support.

Click here for further information on Plymouth University's website. 

What topics will I study?

Year 1 Modules:

  • Photography in Context
    Research and Investigation
  • Introduction to Photographic Processes
    Sense of Place – Analogue and Alternative Processes – (Observed Image)
  • Specialist Photographic Processes
    Studio Based Thematic Project – (Constructed Image).
  • Collaborative Practice
    Seduced By Art
  • Professional Photographic Contexts
    Creating a Professional Identity
  • Creative Photographic Practice
    Process and Methodology – Self Initiated Project

Year 2 Modules:

  • Image Production and Interpretation
    Critical Theory and Interpretation
  • Advanced Photographic Practices
    In Sickness and In Health – Exhibition Project
  • Professional Development
    Establishing a Professional Identity
  • Specialist Photographic Contexts
    Book Project
  • Progression and Independent Practice
    Process and Methodology – Final Major Project

Click here to view the Programme Handbook for this course.

What experiences will I get?

  • International trips – Previous destinations include Berlin, Amsterdam and New York
  • Dartmoor residential
  • London gallery visits
  • Day trips to Cornwall
  • Close relationships with The Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre and Spacex Gallery
  • Master printing darkroom workshops
  • Close relationships with local and national press and editorial photographers
  • Opportunities to exhibit work in local galleries and institutions
  • Work with local industries on live briefs professional assignments and commissions
  • ‘Live News Days’
  • Access to resources at Plymouth University

Previous guest speakers and visiting photographers have included:

  • Susan Derges
  • Michelle Sank
  • Jem Southam
  • Tina Hillier
  • Darren Harvey-Regan
  • Robert Darch
  • Justin Quinnell
  • Heidi Morstang

What are the entry requirements?

You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points and GCSE Maths and English is required at grade C (or 4) or above (or equivalent O Level). All appropriately qualified applicants will also be required to attend a portfolio interview. 

What facilities are there?

The department has film processing facilities with darkrooms for colour and black and white printing. There are two purpose built studios which provide studio flash equipment and studio backdrops. Computer suites with Photoshop and Multimedia software. Learning Resource Centre with large selection of books and photographic journals. There is also access to fully functioning video media studios.

What can the course lead on to?

After completion of the course you can apply to progress on to the final year of the BA (Hons) Photography Plymouth University, apply to another institution or seek employment as a professional photographer. Past students have gone on to fulfil careers in freelance photographic practice, photojournalism, exhibiting, curating, publishing, teaching and research, as well as many other related professional careers. Please note there is a deadline for progression applications and places may be subject to availability.

Are there any additional costs?

Students will be expected to possess their own digital SLR camera, 35mm analogue SLR camera and tripod. Additional costs will include equipment fee, film, photo paper, digital storage devices as well as optional ancillary equipment.

What do our students think?

I feel that I have started to develop my own style of photography and feel confident to use these skills towards a career in photography, be it freelance or employed. Mostly, I feel that I now have the confidence to turn a photography project idea into a reality through planning, logical methodologies and time management applications - of course I also feel that my photography skills are improving with every project I complete…I have really enjoyed every aspect of the course.”

The course has helped me establish future contacts within photography, and given me experience in many different areas, an example was the commercial shoots organised by the college including photographing a charity fashion show to promotional work for a dairy farm, so there’s definitely variation! During my time at Exeter College I was highly encouraged to push my creativity and express myself through my work, this was challenging but essential to becoming a photographer and very rewarding. The course also gave me the chance to meet lots of great, knowledgeable people including my peers and tutors, who I wouldn’t have met otherwise."

One of my achievements would be learning how to use the studio equipment and a range of different cameras including medium format , large format and pinhole. The course has also massively increased my contextual knowledge of a wide variety of photographers, I can see a vast improvement of how in depth my research is now compared to the start of the course. However, one of my greatest achievements was noticing how much my confidence had grown after the two years by doing presentations in front of an audience and seeking commercial jobs. Also being published in the newspaper for a commercial job and having our images placed in the RD&E hospital were big achievements." 

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