Photography BA(Hons)

Penryn Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

Responsive and progressive, Photography at Falmouth has a stellar international reputation.

Each student is supported to develop their own individual way of seeing the world, whether you're interested in a career in commercial, gallery, fashion or editorial photography. Taught by a team of active photographic practitioners, students benefit directly from a rich and far-reaching professional network.

On this forward-thinking course we will equip you with technical, professional and critical skills to help you break boundaries and understand a diverse range of contexts. You'll be part of a lively and stimulating culture within our distinctive course community and will be taught by a range of high-profile professionals. Our facilities are recognised as some of the best in the world and our course has a reputation for attracting high-calibre students in the UK and abroad.

BA(Hons) Photography is designed to prepare you for multiple employment opportunities within photography. Some of our successful alumni have gone on to win the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, the Magenta Foundation Award, be shortlisted for the Guardian Student Photographer of the Year, and to work for high-profile clients such as Chanel, the New York Times and Channel 4.


  • Live briefs
  • Field trips to local, national and international galleries, studios and companies
  • Professional practice workshops
  • Inclusion in external exhibitions
  • International photography symposium
  • Self-funded New York study visit

How is the course taught

A practice-based course, your project work is supported by trips to local and national galleries, studios and companies. Core teaching involves an extensive programme of practical inductions, tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops and group activities. Through all this, you'll be encouraged to question and engage with photographic debates, and develop your professional practice, research, communication and presentation skills.

Course outline

We put emphasis on your individual interests, drawing out your unique potential so that your own practice can play a part in the changing landscape of professional photographic territories. The course challenges you to think beyond the predictable modes of representation while also supporting you, through regular contact time with your tutors and peers, to articulate and develop your own ideas.

In our multi-million-pound photographic resource you'll be able to develop skills ranging from the traditional analogue processes, including colour darkroom skills, to the cutting-edge applications of digital post-production.

Professional practice is a core element of the course, helping you to make all-important industry contacts and gain valuable first-hand insight. The Institute of Photography's picture agency provides a vibrant professional context and the Photography Gallery is available to you to showcase your work. Students benefit from portfolio reviews with highly connected visiting professionals such as Mike Trow, Picture Editor from Vogue, Laura Noble of LA Noble Photographers Gallery and Olivier Richon, artist and professor of photography at Royal College of Art.

All students are involved with placement opportunities, including study trips to London, Paris and New York. You'll also complete live briefs, attend our annual symposium and learn from high profile guest speakers such as Zed Nelson, Peter Fraser, Karen Knorr, David Campany and Anthony Luvera. We connect you with what's going on in photography today so you build up the know-how and confidence you need to launch your photographic career.

What you'll do

Year 1

In your first year you'll begin to develop your specialist photographic knowledge as we introduce you to a range of technologies and techniques. You'll examine critical photographic debates that are pertinent to your work. You will also take part in a collaborative exhibition project.

Semester 1

  • PHO110 Photographic Practice 1: Introductory Skills
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    A series of short projects and workshops in which you develop and consolidate a range of photographic technical skills. You produce a series of photographic sequences in which you apply the technical processes to the development of an idea.
  • PHO120 Ways of Seeing, Taking & Making
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module gives you an introduction to the history of photography, key themes and practitioners, and you develop skills of critical analysis, and oral and written communication.
  • PHO130 Photographic Practice 2
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    In this module you explore ways of presenting photography through work on a group exhibition and individual analysis of modes of presentation, eg photographic books, websites and blogs, as appropriate to your photography.

Semester 2

  • PHO160 Photographic Pracice 4: Technologies & Techniques
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    Technical workshops and hands-on experience enable you to gain skills and awareness of photographic technologies, the photo studio and processes that you apply within a series of projects.
  • PHO170 Photographic Practice: Inquiry, Theory & Practice
    (40 credits ECTS 20)
    In this module you progress your ability to communicate ideas within your individual photographic practice. You gain understanding of how research can be applied within your own photography as a way of generating ideas, and you produce a series of photographic practical projects and critical reviews in which you analyse your photography. Through seminars, lectures, tutorials and workshops you gain confidence in engaging with theory as a creative tool and inherent part of your photographic practice that can be applied to a spectrum of genres and themes.

Year 2

With the fundamentals now familiar you'll be encouraged to work with increasing independence as you begin to develop your own unique photographic voice. Live briefs and work placements support the development of your professional practice while increasing your level of technical skill.

Semester 1

  • PHO210 Portfolio Development 1
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    In this module you develop digital photographic assignments following themes that are self-initiated. You attend a weekly tutorial group in which you are supported to progress your ideas and research, apply photographic technologies and enhance your ability to control print quality as appropriate to your ideas.
  • PHO220 Ways of Seeing, Taking & Making 3
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module focuses on a series of key themes, complex ideas and theories that are current and inherent in contemporary photographic practice. You progress your skills of communication and critical analysis through writing assignments and attendance at lectures and seminars.
  • PHO230 Technologies, Techniques & Professional Practice 1
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    Teaching is delivered through professional practice lectures, technical workshops and tutorials. You participate in an ambitious group studio-based project alongside an individual studio-based assignment, and you fulfil a short professional practice assignment.

Semester 2

  • PHO240 Portfolio Development 2
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    You complete a major body of independent photographic practice, building on the shorter assignments you carried out in semester 1. You further progress your understanding of the photographic conventions and expectations of the context to which your work connects, and you produce a portfolio of prints using technologies and formats appropriate to your ideas.
  • PHO250 Research Project Preparation
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    You consolidate evaluative, critical and analytical skills that you apply within research and writing assignments. The assignments progress your ability to write about your own current portfolios (that you make in PHO240) and to better understand a key theme or investigation that is of particular interest to your ongoing photographic practice.
  • PHO260 Technologies, Techniques & Professional Practice 2
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module provides you with a critical understanding of the commercial environment in which the photographer operates. This encompasses study of a number of inter-related themes, including legal frameworks, ethical issues, running a business etc. Professional placement opportunities are encouraged and supported by the extensive networking and professional experience of tutors.

Year 3

With improved confidence, a well-rounded skill set and a host of exciting ideas you will be ready to undertake both your final photographic portfolios and your dissertation.

Semester 1

  • PHO310 Photographic Practice: Final Portfolio
    (60 credits ECTS 30)
    This is a module that takes place through semesters 1 and 2 and supports you to develop a professional standard photographic portfolio suited to your chosen area of specialism. In the early stages of the module you test out your ideas through a range of approaches, techniques, experimentation and innovation. As the module progresses you deepen and broaden your understanding of your preferred area of photography. You are supported to consolidate your ideas and technical control so that you resolve a highly creative and individualistic final portfolio of photography that is produced to a high standard.
  • PHO320 Dissertation
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module provides an opportunity for you to carry out in-depth research and critical analysis of a topic relevant to the direction and development of your practice. You engage with research and analysis into historical and professional concepts and theories that will help inform, develop and resolve your photographic practice. You submit a 5,000-6,000 word dissertation.

Semester 2

  • PHO330 Public Presentation
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module is designed to progress your awareness of how presentation modes influence the viewing of your photography and the potential you have to attract and engage an audience. You develop a presentation of your photography that will be showcased within the degree show exhibition. Within the spatial constraints of the group exhibition you are invited to consider modes of presentation spanning from a traditional gallery format through to a time-based or spatial investigation, a publication or online/web based or multimedia work.
  • PHO340 Photographic Practice in Context
    (20 credits ECTS 10)
    This module enables you to synthesise and reflect upon the critical, conceptual, technical and professional skills and understandings required in producing a professional photographic portfolio. You research and write two critical reviews of practice that are closely linked to the development of your own photographic work (developed in Module PHO310). The module enables you to demonstrate that your practice is underpinned by an informed position, and allows you to locate your photographic practice in a historical, cultural and professional context.


The industry-led Photography Centre has everything you need:

  • Well-equipped black and white and colour darkrooms and process areas
  • Large professional-standard studios
  • Film and paper processing machines
  • Fully colour-managed digital suites
  • Digital training area with Adobe Creative Suite
  • Professional quality film scanners and Adobe Photoshop software
  • Professional printing and mounting service equipped with laser and LED digital printers, and large format inkjet printers
  • Photography store containing a wide range of equipment for loan


You'll be taught by a team of practitioners who are active and well known across the interconnected professional worlds of fine art photography, documentary, advertising, publishing, writing and curating. You'll also benefit from our staff's reputations and the network of visiting professionals who contribute to teaching and host placements.


  • Continuous assessment of visual, verbal and written assignments
  • Live briefs throughout the course
  • Final year portfolio


  • Career as a freelance photographer and image-maker in the commercial and fine art fields
  • Work in media production, editorial, printing, curating, art administration, picture research and book/journal publication

Graduate destinations

  • Photographer: Cadbury, Big Sky Studios, White Lodge Agency
  • Curator: Midlands Art Centre
  • Digital retoucher
  • Picture editor
  • Freelancer: Rankin, Ray Massey, Sam Hofman
  • Sub-editor, Monocle Magazine, London

Student Mentor Scheme

Falmouth's Student Mentor Scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet. Our student mentors are now on Facebook. To chat to a mentor about the course, living in Cornwall or what to expect at Falmouth, check out the Photography group. You'll need to join the group before you can post.

If you don't have access to Facebook please email your name and proposed course to:

For more information about the application process, portfolios, interviews and selection days, please contact our admissions team using our enquiry form