Blue plant photographed against white background

Photography BA(Hons)

Explore the world of contemporary photography and develop a unique body of work.

Key details
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Full-time / Placement year
UCAS code

Course overview

On this Photography degree, you’ll discover new and innovative ways of working, as well as engaging with traditional and alternative photographic processes. Operating at an industry level, with access to our state-of-the-art facilities, you’ll research, experiment and innovate to build a unique portfolio. Underpinning your practice will be a grounding in the history, theory, professional contexts and working practices of photography.

You will:

  • Explore and develop your ideas through workshop-based teaching, with sessions in our Learning Hub, around the campus and beyond
  • Access state-of-the-art photography facilities, including studios and darkrooms, and a range of digital and analogue cameras
  • Engage in creative collaborations and work experience with industry professionals and organisations, building your professionalism and expertise in creative enterprise
  • Shape your practice by working with tutors who are practising artists, photographers, curators, writers and thinkers
  • Have the chance to experiment with your work and produce unique outcomes
  • Exhibit your work throughout the Photography degree, gaining feedback along the way and testing new ways of audience engagement

The Integrated Foundation Year and placement year pathways for this course are new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation. 

Lead image by Millie Hammond.

Course details

On this Photography degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Photography BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year and/or placement year. 

This Photography degree will help you develop the skills for a broad range of careers in the creative industries. Modules encompass the specialisms of fine art, commercial, editorial, fashion, social documentary, architecture, and performance photography, through to associated career areas such as curating, publishing, and education.

As active practitioners with a wealth of industry experience, our teaching team is able to connect with and attract a vibrant network of professionals, who visit to deliver lectures and workshops, contribute to symposiums and offer placements or professional experience to our students. This rich connection with industry supports and nurtures a diversity of practice in the student body.

BA(Hons) Photography course video

Throughout your studies, you’ll benefit from a purpose-built, professional-standard photographic resource that enables engagement with the latest high-end digital technology alongside traditional analogue photography. A highly skilled team of technical instructors and technicians will build your confidence in technical areas, photo studios, darkrooms and digital print services.

The skills you’ll gain on the Photography BA fall into two categories: subject-specific skills that are directly related to the varied disciplines of photographic practice, and universal transferable skills that apply to a wide variety of contexts, such as research, contextual understanding, collaboration and communication.

During the first year of your Photography degree, you’ll explore the expressive, critical and technical potential of photography. This will help you to develop and consolidate photographic craft skills in the context of contemporary photographic practice. You’ll build your professional practice through an introduction to key industry issues, copyright and business practices, allowing you to develop a professional identity while researching and interrogating the importance of professional ethics. 


Elements of Photographic Practice & Context  

We’ll introduce you to a range of photographic approaches, techniques and skills, through a series of weekly thematic projects. Youll begin to explore the expressive, critical and technical potential of photography to develop craft in the context of contemporary practice. 

Professional Practice 

You’ll dive into key industry issues, copyright and business practices, allowing you to construct your professional identity while researching and interrogating the importance of professional ethics. Youll 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 Practice & Context  

You'll develop and consolidate your photographic craft, research, contextual knowledge and project development skills. Through technical inductions and workshops, you'll build your practical photographic skills, from working with professional studio equipment through to the use of moving image and colour darkroom printing. This module also introduces the relevance of historical and contemporary approaches in image making to enable you to contextualise and develop critical and reflective research skills.

Image in Context

You’ll explore methods of describing and analysing photographs within the contexts in which theyre placed, exploring key concepts in visual culture and media studies. This will enable you to better understand how photographs are used, the relationship between image and text, and the professional contexts in which your work can exist. 

We'll push you to work more independently as you develop your own style. Work placements and live collaborative projects will further develop your professional and technical abilities and knowledge of global themes and debates in photography.


Expanded Practice

This practice-based module aims to explore imaging in its broadest sense, encouraging experimental practice and a multidisciplinary approach. You'll explore expanded photographic practice in art-based and commercial contexts and will develop a new body of independent work.

Collaborative Project

Working within a small team, you’ll research and build a proposal for a collaborative project, which can be anything from a short film to a socially engaged/community project. Working together, youll 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. 

Global Positions 

This module introduces you to global themes and debates that are fundamental to the study of the image, ideas of looking and subjectivity, and the contexts and institutions within which we view the photographic image. You'll examine the production, dissemination and reception of contemporary photography, focusing on global cultural debates and diverse practices in the expanded field.

Audience and Context

This module builds your self-directed practice through the production of a portfolio showing emerging personal iconography. You'll grow your independent practice while building your awareness of the professional context.
Research Project Preparation

Work Experience

We'll prepare you with the professional skills and experience to pursue a career through creative practice. Tutors will help to identify your personal strengths and interests and help you organise a work placement (typically two weeks' duration or equivalent).

You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your placement year 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

With improved confidence and a well-rounded skill set, you’ll be ready to complete your final portfolios and contextual research project to prepare you for a career in the creative industries. 


Development Portfolio

This module forms the inspirational and contextual backbone of the final year of study. Based on the interests youve developed in the previous two years, youll produce a portfolio that begins to define your individual practice with an emphasis on research and exploration toward the completion of your final major project. You’ll be supported in this process by intensive one-to-one tutorials, group workshops and seminars and peer assessments. 

Contextual Project

You’ll research, explore and develop your own interests, working independently (with supervision) to build a final piece of academic work. This will contextualise the area of specialism youre developing in your practice. This project may take the form of a written essay, a curatorial proposal or multimedia/moving image piece of work, to be negotiated with your supervisor. 

Final Project

During this final module, youll produce a professional portfolio and final exhibition presentation that will help you pave your chosen career path after universityThis final project should reflect your technical skill, creativity and individuality to industry standards. 

Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route? 

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree. 

What you'll study in your Foundation year

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs. 



You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.


You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.


You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.


You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.


You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject. 


If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme. 

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

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.

How you'll learn

You’ll tackle project work and undertake trips to local and national galleries, studios and companies. Regular learning will come from technical inductions, tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops and group activities. Practice-based photography workshops provide the means of developing practical skills, and allow opportunities to learn and develop conceptual frameworks and practical skills. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to take on national and international placements, exhibit your work, gain paid work with our in-house photo agency, have portfolio reviews from visiting professionals, and go on optional study trips to global centres for photography such as New York, and London or visit international photography festivals in Paris, Amsterdam, Brighton or Krakow. 

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll be assessed

100% of your assessment will be coursework. 

Assessment methods

  • Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
  • Continuous assessment of visual, verbal and written assignments
  • Live briefs throughout the course
  • Final-year portfolio

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You’ll learn from a team of practicing professionals, offering experience in fine art photography, documentary, advertising, publishing, writing and curating. As well as our network of visiting professionals offering extra teaching, portfolio review and placement opportunities.

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Anthony Prothero headshot

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  • Large professional studios.
  • Black & white and colour darkrooms and process areas.
  • Fully colour-managed digital suites.
  • Film and paper processing facilities.
  • Digital training area with Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Professional printing and mounting services.
  • Photography store containing a wide range of equipment for loan.

Take a virtual tour

Falmouth Photography lecturer using camera equipment in a studio
Photography lecturer using camera equipment

Photography Facilities

Housing dark rooms, post-production suites, full professional studios and gallery, our Institute of ...

Photography Facilities
Library interior with 'group study' written on large pillar and students reading
Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
Falmouth University Sports Centre building exterior with blue sky and a path
Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre


Our Photography graduates have worked as:

  • Internationally exhibiting artists
  • In-house photographers for global brands
  • Freelance fashion photographers for campaigns including Calvin Klein, Gucci and Stella McCartney
  • Award-winning filmmakers
  • Producers and creatives for social media

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Photography BA(Hons) three year degree W640
Photography BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year (new for entry year 2023) FY21
Photography BA(Hons) with placement year (new for entry year 2023) PY38

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.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with placement year 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

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 student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Shows creativity, visual awareness and communication skills.
  • Explores ideas through photography and other media.
  • Has a technical awareness.
  • Shows evidence of research and writing skills.
  • Engages with photography and is aware of practitioners.
  • Is interested in contemporary trends or histories of photography.
  • Knows about photographic genres and the professional photographic world, through reading or attending exhibitions.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

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. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • Basic digital camera and a standard lens (either DSLR or a Mirrorless System) capable of shooting in RAW and Moving image and it should have a fully manual mode. Approx £200-£900. (See Welcome Letter for more details.)
  • £100-£400 - Recurring annual costs
  • £1000 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, placements final portfolios or shows, etc)
  • £400-£1500 - Optional international study trips

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, 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.

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