Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons)

Marine & Natural History Photography_Main
Penryn Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 254350

Enjoy the rare opportunity to engage with natural history image making, conservation and the environment. You'll have access to hundreds of miles of coast, sweeping landscapes and a variety of different habitats.

You'll receive expert tuition from staff who are practicing photographers and scientists. We're also one of the only photography courses to offer complementary skills training to help you capture great images. This includes an optional underwater programme with dive tuition. Throughout the course you'll take part in frequent off-site practical visits, with recent destinations including photo shoots in the wilds of Cornwall, diving expeditions in the Red Sea, and field trips to Iceland and Borneo.


  • National and international placements
  • Extensive connections to agencies and conservation/wildlife trusts
  • Professional facilities and equipment free to loan
  • Syndication opportunities with picture agency Rex Features
  • Paid opportunities at our in house photo agency
  • Optional expeditions to destinations such as Iceland, Borneo and the Red Sea

How the course is taught

You’ll be taught by practising photographers and scientists through a combination of field trips, technical workshops, photography and scientific excursions, lectures, seminars and tutorials. This includes an optional underwater program with dive tuition and regional photo shoots to key international destinations.

Course outline

BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography challenges you to extend your skills as a communicator using photography, words and moving image. Blending professional practice with theoretical knowledge, the course enables you to develop a critical understanding of two allied spheres that offer fascinating career opportunities.

Practical exposure and skills tuition play a figurative role in the course, while our dedicated staff encourage you to harness placement and project opportunities. In recent years these have seen students assist documenting climate change in Norwegian glaciers and spend three months in the Ecuadorian rainforest conducting research with American scientists.

What you'll do

Year one

In your first year you'll focus on photographic practice, research, critical thinking, biodiversity and habitat, including photographic and scientific enquiry.

  • Photographic practice
  • Informing contexts: research & critical thinking
  • Biodiversity & habitat: photographic & scientific enquiry

Year two

n your second year you'll develop your studies in photographic practice, both moving image and stills, research and critical thinking, while exploring global conservation. You'll also prepare for your own research project.

  • Photographic practice
  • Informing contexts: professional practice & critical awareness
  • Global conservation: photographic & scientific enquiry
  • Research project preparation

Year three

In your final year you'll look at photographic practice in context and focus on your final photography portfolio and dissertation.

  • Dissertation
  • Final major project: portfolio
  • Critical review of photographic practice


The multi-million-pound Institute of Photography offers professional facilities including:

  • Multiple studios, darkrooms and print suites
  • Photography store containing a wide range of professional equipment for loan
  • Digital suite with Adobe software
  • Macro and long lenses, macro flash, infrared triggers and time-lapse and underwater cameras
  • Photo-microscopy laboratory
  • Digital and traditional processing facilities
  • Walled garden with fully equipped hide for nature study, photography and filming


Our staff are practising photographers and scientists. They have worked and exhibited internationally, with clients including Pepsi, BT, Audi, Barclays, British Marine Industries Federation and the Eden Project. Many are involved in national photography institutes and societies at the forefront of marine and natural history photography.



  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • Portfolios, presentations and essays
  • End of year project and exhibition


  • Wildlife Photographer
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Researcher
  • Conservationist
  • Cameraman
  • Filmmaker

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 mentors can be reached on the Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) Facebook group

They'll help with topics like living in Cornwall, what to expect at Falmouth, and the course itself.

Also worth a look are additional groups that offer assistance for disabled students, LGBTQ+ studentsmature studentsinternational students, and Cornish locals

You'll need to join the groups before you can post. If you don't have access to Facebook, please email your name and proposed course to