BA (Hons) Photography - Bath Spa University


BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Photography
Bath School of Art
Campus or location
Sion Hill and Locksbrook
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WPQ3; or WPQ4; or WPQ5
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC with a grade C in Photography or a related subject.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Engage with photography in an experimental, creative and critical environment.

  • Hands-on, experiential approach with the emphasis on developing your individual interests and ability.
  • Opportunities to work on live briefs and a range of professional workshops with our industry partners.
  • Great links including the Royal Photographic Society and Association of Photographers.

Photography at Bath Spa University gives you space to explore, actively enquire, challenge and define the role of the photographic image.

We’re committed to teaching the craft of photography. Analogue techniques are thoroughly explored and equip you to engage more proficiently with digital methods. We explore the ways in which digital technological change impacts on photography, and we also fully utilise new technologies.

The curriculum is broad, with an emphasis on practical learning. Content is delivered by a team of full-time and visiting specialists who are active practitioners and researchers in the field.

Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

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Study options

Integrated Foundation Year (UCAS code: WPQ5)

The preliminary and intensive Integrated Foundation in Art and Design is designed to develop your ideas, skills and confidence in readiness for progressing to year one of your degree programme.

Professional Placement Year (UCAS code: WPQ4)

This year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement, for assessment.

“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.”

Photography student

What you'll learn


You’ll develop your creative ability and technical skills through a range of set and self-directed projects. Modules cover broad contexts of photography including fashion, documentary, landscape, portraiture and editorial.

Course structure

Year One
You’ll look at fundamental photographic principles and practice, and develop an awareness of photographic practice within the creative industries. You’ll gain practical and technical skills. You’ll learn to research visually and analytically and evaluate your work with tutor guidance. Modules cover darkroom, studio and portable lighting as well as a wide range of digital darkroom techniques.

Year Two
You’ll develop detailed knowledge of major theories relating to photographic practice, and a deeper awareness of social and ethical implications for the photographic industry. You’ll 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 masterclass speakers have included: Ian Teh, Jem Southam and Andy Sewell, Nick Wapling, Celine Marchbank, Jack Latham and many more.

Year Three
You’ll become more confident in identifying and defining complex visual solutions and have the freedom to define your own area of practice. You’ll apply appropriate knowledge and practical skills to produce your own body of work. You’ll 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.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is entirely by coursework.

How will I be taught?

Teaching takes place through critiques, tutorials, presentations, lectures, self-directed learning and peer review.

Throughout the course you’ll develop your craft and individual photographic interests through practical project work. You’ll explore the contextual framework of photography through Historical and Critical Studies modules and gain industry awareness through Professional Practice modules.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Modules for the integrated Foundation year option are listed on the Integrated Foundation Year for Art and Design page.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Photographic Practice 1: The Photographic Image
  • Photographic Practice 2: Identity and the Camera
  • Photographic Practice 3: Image and Context
  • Photographic Practice 4: Perception of Place
  • Professional Contexts 1
  • Introduction to Visual and Material Culture: Art and Photography

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Photographic Practice 5: Narrative: Fact
  • Photographic Practice 6: Narrative: Fiction
  • Photographic Practice 7: Object, Figure, Space
  • Professional Contexts 2
  • Photography: Contemporary Issues and Practice
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Individual Practice: Portfolio 1
  • Individual Practice: Portfolio 2
  • Individual Practice: Major Project
  • Professional Contexts 3
  • Visual and Material Culture: Final Study


Study abroad

Students within the programme have recently studied in Chicago and Madrid. Our Study Abroad and Erasmus exchange programmes offer opportunities to study in the USA, China, Norway, Spain, Italy and beyond.

Field trips

From year one to three, you’ll have opportunities to participate in local and international field trips across the BA (Hons) Photography modules. Please note that you’ll have to pay for international study visits. Recent international field trip destinations have included New York and Iceland.

Work placements, industry links and internships

The course works closely with a variety of industry partners and associations such as the Royal Photographic Society and Fox Talbot Museum. There are opportunities to work on live project briefs, participate in work experience, and collaborate with a wide range of industry practitioners.


Graduates of Photography at Bath Spa University have entered careers in:

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

Competitions and awards

You can apply for The Porthleven Prize: an opportunity for Bath Spa University students to take part in a fully-funded ten day residency based in a Cornish Studio, with travel, accommodation and other expenses included.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our Art and Design courses are based at our Locksbrook Road (2019) and Sion Hill campuses.

You’ll benefit from access to:


BA (Hons) Photography students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We have excellent studio spaces and workshop facilities in specialist craft areas, such as darkrooms, lighting studio’s, photo etching, photo publishing and digital print.

Your new campus

Our new Locksbrook Campus is truly a unique and inspirational space, providing a state-of-the-art learning environment for you to flourish. Located next to the River Avon in Bath city centre, the open-plan building has technical workshops surrounded by open, flexible studio spaces, as well as large, open social areas.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £15,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for highly motivated individuals who have a deep sense of curiosity and willingness to learn. You should be organized, self motivated and disciplined.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A-level - Grades CCC including grade C in Photography or a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art or Photography
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 26 points will be required in addition to a HL Art subject at grade 6 and evidence of further experience in Art and Design or Photography
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher)  in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art or Photography.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Applicants will be invited by email to interview at our Sion Hill campus and will be required to bring high quality portfolio in support of their application. Portfolios should demonstrate your passion and motivation. We recommend that you present an edited selection of 8 to 12 of your most successful photographic work at interview. Print presentation is recommended and should be accompanied by evidence of your research and working methods, for example, process journals and research folders.

Get ahead

We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in addition to the above qualifications but will consider applications without this.

Admissions service:
Course leader: Martin Thomas

Three year course
With foundation year
Locksbrook Campus image credits: Chris Wakefield, Crescent Photography

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