- UCAS Code
- Penryn Campus
- 3 years full-time
- Direct line
- 01326 213730
Mile upon mile of coastline, sweeping landscapes and all sorts of different habitats – for aspiring marine and natural history photographers Falmouth is the place to be. Aided by this incredible environment, our course is aimed at those who want to enhance their creativity and expand their skills, ready for an exciting career behind the lens.
Inspiration is everywhere. On land you could wait in a hide for that elusive raptor to appear, explore the subtropical gardens of Cornwall, examine woodland life or reach for a microscope and delve into the world of diatoms. Our additional underwater photography option brings you closer to a wide range of sealife, from basking sharks to dolphins.
This is a unique programme of study; a natural history photography degree course covering both marine and terrestrial life, which will challenge you to extend your skills as a communicator using photographs, words and moving image. Blending craft skills, professional practice and theoretical knowledge, the course sets you up to develop a critical understanding of your work, to further your research skills and working methodologies – all vital when you begin your professional career.
Our staff are all practising photographers and scientists so, through their expert tuition, you’ll gain valuable insight and experience, whether it's drawing on their industry connections or benefiting from their understanding of key environmental and ecological debates. Altogether, it means we can ensure you're ready to hit the ground running when you graduate.
How is the course taught
You'll study habitats and species, and understand the scientific basis for the planet's diversity of life – all aided by field trips and our contacts with organisations, independent wildlife photographers and film-makers. Each of the practical photography modules is underpinned with historical, social, scientific and theoretical studies.
- Career as a film-maker, photographer or picture researcher
- Work producing images for television companies, publishers and picture libraries, the marine leisure industry, wildlife and environmental agencies and conservation groups
- Continuous assessment through verbal and written assignments
- Portfolio of photography or moving image work
- Final year dissertation and critical review
Experience you'll get
- Field trips
- Contact with AONB, Wildlife Trusts, National Maritime Museum, Oxford Scientific, Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, National Trust, RSPB, National Farmers Union, Shark Trust and independent wildlife photographers and film-makers
- Using traditional, electronic, still and moving image technologies
- Photomicrography, close-up, time lapse and film-making experience
By choosing to study for a degree in Marine & Natural History Photography at Falmouth you will:
- Benefit from being taught by staff who are all practising photographers and/or scientists.
- Develop your analytical, critical, problem-solving and practical skills.
- Engage with key environmental and ecological debates that will be vitally important to whichever profession you choose.
- Be based at our cutting-edge Photography Centre, which boasts a wide range of world-class facilities.
- Benefit from Falmouth and Cornwall's amazing natural environment, which features access to hundreds of miles of coast, sweeping landscapes and a variety of different habitats including the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Be part of a course that is a major sponsor of WildPhotos, the national conference for natural history photographers and filmmakers.
- Benefit from the course's unique educational partnership with Oxford Scientific, the UK's leading picture library specialising in natural history images.
Interview and selection process
We ask all applicants to submit a mini online portfolio of 25 photographic images and two short written pieces. These will be assessed by the course team.
If you are successful at this stage you will be invited to interview.
You'll need to bring your portfolio, sketchbooks and workbooks and an essay or report to your interview. Your portfolio should contain photography and any other artwork you might have, such as 3D work. We're looking for evidence of your passion for natural history photography and your visual awareness. Sketchbooks and workbooks should demonstrate your idea development. Your portfolio should be easy to view and self-explanatory, as it will be reviewed without you being present.
You will be interviewed individually by two members of the course team for around ten minutes. During the interview, you'll be given the opportunity to talk about your portfolio and what you hope to achieve from the course. The session will include a tour of the campus and facilities whilst your portfolio is being assessed. You'll have the opportunity to ask any questions to our staff and current students.
Interviews are currently taking place.
Location: Penryn Campus
What you'll do
In your first year, you'll engage with the fundamentals of photographic practice. We'll get you to start thinking critically about your work and your research methods, as well as studying biodiversity and habitat.
With a growing confidence, you'll continue to work on both your practical skills and your composition. You'll also begin preparation for your research project, as well as engaging with the theme of global conservation and how this informs your work.
Using both your technical skills and your ability to think conceptually, you'll be constructing the portfolio that will carry you into the industry. You'll also identify and complete your dissertation.