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Photography BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:


  • Level:


  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with Foundation)
    4 years part time

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £13,000 Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.


Our Photography degree takes a practical approach to exploring the photograph within a range of contemporary practices and contexts. This will extend to a critical understanding of photography subjects and allows the scope for you to develop your creativity and professionalism.

During our undergraduate photography course, we will challenge you to consider traditional silver processes and digital technologies, evaluating photographic production and studying the still image in relation to both the moving image and newer interactive technologies.

Our students also benefit from our industry standard photography studio facilities, which you can explore via the virtual tours below.

We will support you to achieve your career and study ambitions, which is why if you complete our Employability Plus Gold programme or Changemaker Gold certificate alongside your studies and if you haven’t secured full-time employment 12 months after graduating* we will secure a three – six month paid internship for you, or support you into postgraduate study.

Photo Studio 1 Tour
Photo Studio 2 Tour
Dark Room Tour

Updated 12/07/2021


Our BA (Hons) Photography programme has been accredited by the Association of Photographers (AOP), and approved by the British Institute of Professional Photography, (BIPP) as one of the ‘most respected photography courses in the UK’.

You can receive FREE student membership of the AOP as part of your studies and a reduced student membership of the BIPP at £50* per year while studying (*Cost correct as of 2020/21). You’ll also be eligible to apply to gain a BIPP professional qualification alongside your course, at a discounted rate. Professional qualifications can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate and pursue a career in photography.

We also organise external exhibitions of our students work and in addition we regularly host Visiting Lecturers and Portfolio reviews.

You can now view the work of UON Photography students and graduates on Instagram by visiting @uon_photography.

HP Laptop and software included with this course, see Eligibility criteria and Terms and Conditions.

Take a look around our Waterside campus

If you’d like to see more of our Waterside campus, come and join us for a socially distanced CAMPUS TOUR.

Book a Campus Tour

Photography at UON

Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

    SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

    You will develop your understanding of contemporary photographic and video work within a diverse set of visual art, commercial and fashion contexts, to understand the impact that still and moving images can have and the change they can inspire. We encourage you to explore the photograph and moving image within art, editorial, product, fashion, and entertainment industries. You will develop skills independently, so that you can work to client and exhibition commissions and function as a professional following graduation in photography.

    We also organise annual trips for groups of around 30 students across the arts subjects. These are optional but have proved to be valuable for students’ academic and practical experience.

    Want to see some our of students’ work? Follow the University of Northampton’s BA Photography course on Instagram – @uon_photography.

    Local and Regional Exhibition Trips

    All photography students are encouraged to attend exhibition trips that are organized throughout the year. We usually cover the cost of journeys by coach, but you will be expected to pay for any additional journeys by rail. The cost will depend on how far in advance you book tickets, whether you use a student rail card or if underground travel is required. Some of the bigger exhibitions at established institutions will charge an entry fee, which will be reduced if you show your student card.

    External Exhibitions

    As well as your assessed coursework, we encourage you to present your work to the public. There will be additional costs included in contributing to and setting up exhibitions, such as gallery hire, printing, mounting/framing and transport. These will vary depending on the venue and the number of participants.

    Work Experience

    You will have the opportunity to do photography work experience, either paid and unpaid, alongside your studies. Recently, students have had internships and work-based learning with Northampton Council, NN Gallery, FrasierShot, Actium, Macmillan Cancer Charity and The Guardian.

      • Module code: PHO1001
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to support and encourage level 4 students in the exploration of practical skills and the development of visual concepts across a range of contemporary photographic approaches.
      • Module code: PHO1002
        Status: Compulsory
        This module introduces students to the transformative uses of photography. The digital environment has changed the boundaries of what is understood as still photography. In the context of digital creation storage and dissemination of mass-produced imagery the photograph is considered in relation to digital storytelling image libraries and social media.
      • Module code: PHO1003
        Status: Compulsory
        This theory-based module supports practical Level 4 modules. It provides the theoretical foundations and equips the student with skills for image-analysis research and writing. Students are introduced to different theoretical positions and questions concerning the social cultural political and philosophical impact of images from the perspective of producers and viewers.
      • Module code: PHO1004
        Status: Compulsory
        This module establishes a clear introduction to the range of environments contexts and spaces within which the photographic image can be accessed and experienced. It will provide students with opportunities to present and discuss their photographic practice within such contexts including a clear and analytical framework for such presentations.
      • Module code: PHO2001
        Status: Compulsory
        Students are encouraged to engage in a broad framework of art-related contemporary photography underpinned by historical/theoretical contexts. Practical methods are refined through examination of creative concepts and strategies. Investigation into diverse visual arts practices and image-making for arts audiences is supported in the development and delivery of an exhibition/display.
      • Module code: PHO2002
        Status: Compulsory
        This module offers practical experience and insight into a broad range of commercial applications for image making within editorial advertising and product photography including the opportunity to explore the promotional potential of social media and digital platforms. It encourages individuals to respond to contextualised briefs and evaluate client/audience expectations.
      • Module code: PHO2003
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to offer a study of photography as part of visual culture in relation to other Level 5 photography production modules. It provides a critical and theoretical framework within which students can consider the complex roles of the photographic image in historical and contemporary contexts.
      • Module code: PHO2008
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to gain an understanding and to evaluate the structures and organisations which collectively constitute photographic practice at a local regional national and international level. It develops knowledge and skills required to prepare for employment in the cultural and commercial creative industries.
      • Module code: PHO3003
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to develop visual and written presentation skills and strategies to support communication within a range of business and professional frameworks. It focuses on the knowledge and skills required to present a creative profile to support professional practice within the breadth of the photographic industry.
      • Module code: PHO4001
        Status: Compulsory
        This aims to facilitate development and consolidation of the student?s creative and theoretical interests as well as professional aspirations in the production of a new body of work for public exhibition. The module makes complex demands on the student from conceptualisation to dissemination of their work intended for particular audiences.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition, applicants are expected to have studied an Art, Design, Photography or related subject in an A-Level or BTEC level 3 Diploma (or equivalent) or a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

    Applicants for our photography undergraduate degree course are requested to send in a digital portfolio of their own work in Art and Design, which will then be reviewed by the Photography team. Receiving an offer may also be subject to qualifications and standard entry requirements.

    International students may also submit their portfolio electronically. Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    Additional Costs

    Study Trips Abroad

    We organise annual international trips for groups of around 30 students across the arts subjects. These are optional but have proved to be valuable for students’ academic and practical experience.

    There are usually one or two trips to Europe each year and at least one long haul trip further afield. Study trips to Europe cost approximately £300-350 while trips to America/Asia cost approximately £850-1000.

    Additional costs to be considered (prices can vary):

    • Own camera (cameras are available to loan from the University – with potential added cost for film, paper, external hard drive and SD/CF cards)
    • External hard drive
    • Producing a physical portfolio – both the case and the prints.
    • Printing photographs

    For more information please see the What you will need section.

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK and EU – Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    • UK and EU – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • Our BA (Hons) Photography programme has been approved by the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) as one of the ‘most respected photographic courses in the UK’.

    BIPP Approved Colleges

    Some of the most respected photographic courses in the UK offer their students the opportunity to gain a BIPP professional qualification alongside their academic achievements. If you are a student at a BIPP approved college you are able to receive a reduced membership at £50* per year (while studying).  (*Cost correct as of 2020/21)

    This means that you’re able to gain a BIPP professional qualification alongside your course, at a discounted rate. Professional qualifications can enhance your CV and help you to stand out from the crowd when you graduate.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • There will be opportunities for study trips and course visits to experience local and regional exhibitions (subject to current restrictions). All trips subject to national and local Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. See our situation updates page for more on the University’s response to Covid-19.

    When you study Photography at the University of Northampton, we will also support you to achieve your photography career and study ambitions. The Northampton Employment Promise means if you graduate with a 2:2 degree or higher and complete one of our employability programmes, we’ll secure you a three-six month internship or support you into postgraduate study if you haven’t secured full-time employment within 12 months.

  • We have a black and white darkroom in line with industry standards. Two large studios (one with daylight, and the other with artificial lighting) provide professional standard facilities for a wide range of studio-based photography using film or digital cameras.

    There is a digital Mac suite, which is a dedicated digital photography training room. You will have access to a range of film and flatbed scanners (including the Hasselblad Flextight Scanner), and fully colour managed computers which are linked to the digital print room. You will also have access to a video editing suite, with industry standard software.

    An in-house exhibition-standard printing and mounting service is also available.

  • Starting your Level 4 (First Full Year Stage One)

    In the summer before you start studying with us, you will be sent a list of necessities for the course, with recommendations of where to buy the products at a reasonable price. These include external hard drives, SD cards, portfolio boxes, sketchbooks, stationery etc., costing a total of approximately £100-150.

    We have our own Art shop on the Waterside campus, where you will be able to purchase many of these items.

    Photography Equipment

    While students are not expected to arrive with their own high-end cameras, many students do choose to buy their own DSLR by the end of their Level 5 (Stage 2/second year). A range of photography equipment is available to loan, subject to availability. Please be aware that our stocks of digital cameras are Nikon and we have a range of lenses that will fit this make. We also have some Canon lenses to hire. Our equipment can be loaned for longer periods – for example over the summer vacation. However, we do ask that it’s insured for this purpose.

    N.B. There is no cost to hire kit, and costs for this insurance  are quite reasonable.

    For independent work off-campus, you may need to provide your own hardware equipment such as laptops (not if you take up the free laptop offer) or MacBooks and printers. Digital imaging software such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro or Adobe Creative Cloud is provided for all Photography students on and off campus.

    On campus, there are digital workstations (Mac and PC) available for you to use as well as a networked top-up card printing facility (including colour) that you would pay per print for. There is also 24-hour Mac Suite access should you need it after hours.


    You can choose to shoot on film (35mm, medium or large format) or other media such as polaroid. However you’ll need to purchase your own film unless it is part of a Level 4 (First year or Stage One) workshop. Black and white film processing and dish tray printing facilities are available for you to use free of charge. In your first year you will be given two rolls of 35mm b/w film and one roll of colour film for their technical workshops.


    Other costs may involve the production of a self-published book as part of a portfolio, project or exhibition and is usually produced and ordered through an online company.


    Some projects will make use of screen-based images or projections, with no additional cost, however you will be required to print your photographs from other projects which will incur a cost. This will be dependent on scale, paper type and so on. We have an in-house printing and mounting service, offering reasonable prices for print orders. Alternatively, you can use professional labs for high-quality exhibition prints and finishing. For exhibition-based modules (in stage two and three), there are additional costs to consider regarding the display & presentation of work such as print mounting and framing. You will be able to use our scanner for colour film and our black and white darkroom facilities to dish tray print B& W film-based images, but you will need to provide your own paper, unless the printing is part of a taught workshop.

  • What jobs can I get with a photography degree?

    With the skills and knowledge developed on our photography undergraduate programs, our graduates have gone on to pursue a wide variety of different photography careers. Opportunities in the field of photography include, but are not limited to;

    • Photographer (event/press/product/etc.)
    • TV camera operator
    • Graphic designer / web designer
    • Video editor
    • Advertising art director
    • Multimedia specialist
    • Museum/gallery curator
    Do you need a degree for photography?

    By studying photography at university, you will build and develop your skills, creativity and technical abilities – which are essential elements to success. You will also have the benefit of accessing our studio facilities, building a portfolio, and participating in external exhibitions to prepare you for your professional career.

    How will I be taught on BA (Hons) Photography?

    We take a range of approaches to your learning, including lectures, seminars, practical workshops, individual tutorials and group critiques, to facilitate critical discussion and analysis. Click to download a helpful PDF of all the equipment you will need in your first year of study.

    How will I be assessed?

    Theory is assessed through essays, a contextual report and presentations. Practical work is judged through portfolio presentations and exhibitions, and aligned with individual module criteria.

Upcoming Open Days

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.


Careers and Employability

Our Photography degree is excellent preparation for a range of careers in fields such as the commercial and public sectors, marketing, public relations and specialised fields.

You could develop your practice as an independent artist and pursue collaborations, commissions, publication and exhibition opportunities. You would also be well positioned for postgraduate study.

Follow us on Instagram

See the work of UON Photography students and Graduates on Instagram