Commercial Photography BA(Hons)
From creating photographs and films for high-end advertising and marketing campaigns to producing video content for cutting-edge advertorial, you'll develop a strong creative portfolio for a future in commercial photography.
|Course Duration||3 years|
This course is new for entry year 2020.
Gaining a solid understanding of advertising, marketing, branding, narrative and audience, you'll produce innovative photographic, video and multimedia content. You'll learn how to tell compelling, omni-channel stories and shoot real commissions with our in-house agency, building your professional network through work experience in the industry.
- Work on real industry challenges, building the skills to respond to client briefs, from concept through to pitch and delivery
- Collaborate with other Falmouth students on live campaigns and brand strategies
- Explore still life, food, product, portrait, beauty, fashion, location, lifestyle, documentary, interiors and architecture in both still and moving image
- Gain a thorough understanding of planning, project management and workflow, including pre- and post-production, design, layout and retouching
- Use the latest camera technology and professional lighting systems in our state-of-the-art studios and digital post-production suites
- Evolve valuable skills in creative problem solving, critical thinking, negotiation and collaboration, alongside budget management and legal and ethical considerations
What our students do
What our graduates do
Our graduates could go on to work as product, portrait, beauty, fashion, food, lifestyle and documentary photographers, content producers, creative directors, producers, art buyers, image retouchers and photo studio managers within this exciting and thriving industry.
What you'll learn
As part of our Commercial Photography degree, you'll gain a solid understanding of advertising, marketing, branding, narrative and audience. Using industry-standard technologies, equipment and processes, you'll produce innovative photographic, video and multimedia content.
From day one you'll develop specialist photographic skills and learn to market yourself as a professional visual content producer. You'll explore the contexts and histories of modern advertising and the fundamentals of marketing communications, and we'll introduce you to a range of commercial photography and moving image-making techniques and technologies.
Elements of Commercial Practice
You'll be introduced to the fundamentals of commercial photographic techniques and the contexts of practice, project development, research methodologies and health and safety. Through inductions and practical workshops, you'll develop the necessary digital photographic studio lighting skills.
You'll be introduced to key industry issues, copyright and business practices, allowing you to construct your professional identity while researching and interrogating the importance of professional ethics. You will design and construct your own website and business profile and build your social media presence while developing your CV through workshops, lectures and tutorials.
Developing Approaches to Commercial Practice
You'll take part in technical inductions and workshops to develop digital production skills, from working with professional studio equipment through to the use of moving image. Responding to a series of briefs, you'll create a portfolio of multi-channel digital content and build your understanding of advertising and visual marketing campaigns.
Image in Context
This module focuses on how the photographic image is disseminated within the creative industries. You will explore methods of describing and analysing photographs within the context in which they are placed, exploring key concepts in visual culture and media studies. This will help your understanding of the relationship between image and text, and the professional contexts in which photographic images function.
Through portfolio development, live briefs and work placements, you'll raise your level of technical ability, explore the commercial environment and build on your critical and collaborative working skills. You'll also begin to investigate using photography and moving image within multi-channel campaigns and use theories and concepts to critically reflect on the impact of emerging technologies.
Building Brand Narrative
This practice-based module will equip you with an understanding of brand narratives and digital storytelling. Through a series of lectures and workshops, you'll gain insight into how brands build communication strategies. From this, you'll go on to develop the project management and moving image production skills needed to produce content in line with brand identity.
Working within a small team, you'll research and build a proposal for a collaborative project. You'll have a choice of outputs to work on, which may include: a set build, publication, short film, socially engaged/community project, or a self-initiated collaborative entrepreneurial proposal. Working collaboratively, you will develop an awareness of a variety of roles within the photographic and creative industries, considering ethics, copyright law and other legal matters relating to professional practice.
In this module, you'll gain an understanding of commercial photographic industries and their working practices by honing your business acumen, your ability to interpret briefs and your understanding of industry terminology. You'll also develop your communication skills and pitching/presentation skills and undertake an industry case study.
Audience and Context
Working on a series of live briefs, you'll build your own self-directed practice through the production of a personalised portfolio. This module is designed to progress independent practice alongside building your awareness of the professional context in which your own practice is situated.
This module will prepare you with the professional skills and experience to pursue a career in creative practice. You will consider a range of career opportunities available within the photographic, environmental and conservation sectors. Tutors will help to identify your own particular strengths and interests, and support you in the initiation and organisation of a work placement (typically two weeks' duration or equivalent).
The final year of your Commercial Photography degree represents your chance to shape your professional and creative identity. Putting your skills to use, you'll showcase your unique photographic practice and critical mind through your final contextual project, portfolio and degree show.
Based on the interests you have developed in the previous two years, you'll produce a commercial portfolio that begins to define your individual practice. Emphasis will be on research and exploration towards the completion of your final major project.
Working independently, with supervision, you'll research, explore and develop your own interests to build a final piece of academic work. This will contextualise where your commercial practice fits within the industry. This project may take the form of a written essay, a curatorial proposal or a multimedia/moving image piece of work.
You'll produce a professional commercial portfolio and final exhibition presentation of your practice that will help you enter into your chosen career path after university. This final project should reflect your technical skill, creativity and individuality to industry-level standards.
The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details
How you'll learn
You'll build valuable technical, critical and business skills through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group 'crits', work placements and masterclasses from industry experts.
How you’ll spend your time
How you’ll be assessed
- Coursework assignments with no formal examinations.
- Portfolios, projects, exhibitions, journals, presentations and papers.
As well as our staff of experienced photography, advertising and branding practitioners, you’ll gain insights and placement opportunities from a network of inspiring visiting professionals.
- Hire stores housing a huge range of professional digital cameras, lenses and peripherals.
- Professional photographic studios and lighting.
- Location lighting kits.
- Digital post-production suites.
- In-house professional Photo Lab.
- Discounted student membership through our affiliation with the Association of Photographers.
- A range of creative workshops across the university through the Workshops Festival and Wednesday Open Workshops.
How to apply
Applying via UCAS
Ready to join us? If you're applying through UCAS Apply and Track, you'll need to reference the university and course codes below.
- University code: F33
- Course code: W643
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
As a guide our typical offer at undergraduate level is 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points, primarily from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard, which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
UK/EU applications: 15 January 2020 (for equal consideration)
Late applications will be considered if there are places available.
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
Interview information & application advice
Apply for Undergraduate Courses
There's still time to join our undergraduate community in 2020. Find out key dates and get application information and advice.
What is a portfolio and how do you make one? Read our guide.
Personal Statement Guide
How do you write a personal statement and what should you include? Read our advice.
Interview Information: Commercial Photography BA(Hons)
Find out what to expect from your Commercial Photography interview.
After You Apply
Find out what happens after you apply to Falmouth and what you'll need to do.
Fees, costs & funding
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
Typical course costs
- £200-300 per year for photographic materials
- £300-£1000 throughout degree for optional study visits and placement
- £300-£500 for degree show portfolio production in your final year
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page
Ask a student
What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?
From course details, our facilities and the local area to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.