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BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

BA (Hons) Photography
Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Campus or location
Locksbrook Campus and Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
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. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

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.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#6 in the UK

for Continuation in Film Production and Photography (Guardian University Guide, 2024)

#14 in the UK

and #2 in the South West for Continuation in Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2024)

#21 in the UK

and #2 in the South West for Graduate Prospects "On Track" in Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2024)

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

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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.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

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 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
  • How Did We Get Here?: Contexts of 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
  • We Are Here: Photography in the 21st Century
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Individual Practice: Portfolio 1
  • Individual Practice: Portfolio 2
  • Individual Practice: Major Project
  • Professional Contexts 3
  • Situating Practice: Final Project


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


From year one to three, you’ll have opportunities to participate in local and international fieldwork opportunities across the BA (Hons) Photography modules. Please note that you’ll have to pay for international study visits. Recent international fieldwork 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:

  • photojournalism
  • 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.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a BA Photography student you’ll benefit from access to comprehensive digital workshops and specialist art and design facilities, including:

  • Our student service point at Locksbrook where you can purchase subsidised art and design materials, hire out equipment for free and collect Library resources
  • Access to our well-stocked Library at Newton Park
  • Specialist technical workshops across all of art and design
  • Access to studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice.

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.

Locksbrook campus

Locksbrook Campus is a Grade II listed building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976. It has now been transformed into an innovative, open plan space, redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, with technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas.

Locksbrook has received both a RIBA South West Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021, recognising and celebrating what an amazingly inspirational space it is to come together to design, make, do, create and learn in.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £9,250
International full time £17,585

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,517

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 organised, 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 BBB-BCC preferred including a Grade B in Photography or related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject, or evidence of experience in Art or Photography.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 32 points are required in addition to a HL Photography/Art subject at grade 5.
  • 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, at Merit or higher) together with evidence of experience in Photography.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

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 and will be required to bring a high quality portfolio in support of their application. Portfolios should demonstrate your passion and motivation. We recommend that you present an edited selection 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.

Course leader: Stephen Vaughan

Three year course
With placement year
With foundation year

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