• Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS codes:
    Institution Code: B20
    Course Code: WPQ3
    Campus Code: A
  • School: School of Art and Design
  • UK/EU Fees: Tuition fees are £9,000 per year.
  • International Fees: £11,300
  • Materials Contribution: Materials and study visits fees for 2014/15 are £135 per year (subject to yearly review).
  • Fees and Finance Information
  • Course length: 3 years full-time
  • Campus: Sion Hill
  • Course Handbook (PDF)

Find out more

Send me updates

Simply enter your details to receive information from Bath Spa University.
Your Information

The information you provide may be used by Bath Spa University to contact you about the University, courses and events which may be of interest to you. Please note your information will not be shared with other organisations apart from those acting as agents on behalf of Bath Spa University. Bath Spa University complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Bath Spa University’s Privacy Policy.

If you have any queries relating to Bath Spa University’s data protection practices please contact our Data Protection Officer:

How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

This course is designed for students looking for an experimental, creative and critical environment in which to engage with photography.

Lecturer critiquing a student's work

Modules cover broad contexts of photography including, but not limited to the following areas: fashion, landscape, and architecture, portraiture and editorial.

This course is committed to teaching the craft of photography. Analogue techniques are thoroughly explored and equip students to engage more proficiently with digital methods. We explore potential directions in which digital technological change impacts upon photography and fully utilise new technologies.

Why study Photography?

This course aims to be a space for active enquiry, challenging and defining the role of the photographic image. We offer our students an experimental, creative and critical environment in which to engage with these challenges.

The curriculum is broad and much emphasis is placed on practical learning. Content is delivered by a team of full time and visiting specialists who are active practitioners and researchers within the field.

Course structure

Year 1 looks at fundamental photographic principles and practice, and you will develop an awareness of photographic practice within the creative industries. You will gain practical and technical skills to enable you to apply tools and methods to a defined problem and will work with others as members of a group. You will learn to research visually and analytically and evaluate your work with tutor guidance. Modules cover darkroom, studio and basic principles of digital imaging.

As you progress to Year 2 you will develop a detailed knowledge of major theories relating to photographic practice, and a deeper awareness of social and ethical implications for the photographic industry. You will negotiate activities with tutors, and will be able to analyse, synthesise and evaluate work more independently.

Studio modules offer tutorial-led project work and incorporate professional workshop sessions led by industry practitioners. Visiting lecture and master class programme speakers have included: Ian Teh, Kathryn Faulkner, Neil Drabble, Simon Larbalestier and Andy Sewell. Production workshops explore materials and methods for photographic reproduction in both print and electronic forms of communication.

In Year 3 you will become more confident in identifying and defining complex visual solutions and have the freedom to define your own area of practice. You will apply appropriate knowledge and practical skills to produce your own body of work. You will be able to initiate, manage and critically evaluate your work and that of others, and demonstrate an informed knowledge of contemporary professional practice and the issues and debates that provide a context. The year ends with a public exhibition of portfolio work.


Level 4 (Year 1)

  • CX4151-20 Contextual Studies   
  • PD4003-20 Professional Contexts 1
  • PD4001-40 Photographic Practice 1
  • PD4002-40 Photographic Practice 2

Level 5 (Year 2)

  • CX5151-20 Contextual Studies
  • PD5003-20 Professional Contexts 2
  • PD5001-40 Photographic Practice 3
  • PD5002-40 Photographic Practice 4

Level 6 (Year 3)

  • CX6151-20 Contextual Studies Final Study
  • PD6002-20 Professional Contexts 3
  • PD6001-80    Individual Practice

Course assessment

Assessment is by portfolio submission, exhibition, written papers and live presentations. There are no written exams.

Throughout the course you will explore the subject’s contextual framework through Historical and Critical Studies modules and gain industry awareness through Professional Context modules.

The programme will engage with creative and industry partners to offer 'live' projects and open up opportunities to experience a professional working atmosphere in a safe environment.

You will benefit from links with local, regional as well as national and international creative industries and associations such as the Royal Photographic Society and Association of Photographers.

Teaching methods

Throughout the course you will explore the contextual framework of photography through Historical and Critical studies modules and you will gain industry awareness through Professional Practice Modules. The programme will engage with creative and industry partners to offer 'Live' projects and open up opportunities to experience a professional working atmosphere in a safe environment.

You will benefit from links with local, regional as well as national and international creative industries and associations.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For more information please contact Course Leader Kellie Hindmarch on

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design.  However if applying with A-Levels only, a total of 260 points (with a grade B in an Art and Design related subject) is expected, supported by a high quality portfolio.
Applicants applying with a BTEC Extended Diploma are expected to achieve an overall Merit grade (Merit, Merit, Merit)

For all applicants an offer of a place will be made following a successful portfolio review and interview

Career opportunities

Students graduating from this course can find employment and self employment in the following career paths:

  • photo journalism
  • fashion photography
  • product photography
  • portrait photography
  • photo editor
  • editorial design
  • advertising
  • moving image
  • curation
  • art direction
  • marketing
  • studio management
  • teaching

What students say...

Student profile:

“Studying Photography & Digital Media has massively widened my knowledge and understanding of photography and art in general. The lectures at Bath Spa University have supported and inspired me in my time here. I have made many friends for life along with industry connections. This has been an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget.”

“During my time on the course I have been given many opportunities to explore and develop my photography skills, with workshops held by the academic staff as well as many visiting professionals. The range of equipment on offer for students use allows us to explore what we can aspire to use as professionals once we leave the course and venture out on our own. The academic staff are extremely supportive in both the course remits and personal issues. The school itself is small and contained but has a warm welcoming feel to it and each course has the ability to mix and collaborate with each other. I have enjoyed my time on the course and have felt myself grow not only as a photographer but as an individual”.