Plymouth College of Art has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth, following approval by the Privy Council. This makes us the City of Plymouth’s first specialist arts university. The title of Arts University Plymouth signifies a change to the way that the world will see us, our position within the sector and the mobility of our graduates; but not a change in the way that we see ourselves or what we do. Arts University Plymouth will build upon the existing strength of our unique culture and incredible community; we have no plans to change the specialist focus of the work we do together. The name Arts University Plymouth will appear on our qualifications, making it easier for employers and peers to recognise that our students were taught at a leading specialist arts university. In May 2022 we were awarded the Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards, coming top in a list of well-respected specialist UK universities, based on unbiased and honest reviews from students across the UK, in a category that highlights the quality of our provision as a specialist creative university. From lighting and framing a dramatic fashion shot to visualising concepts for retail, commercial photography has the power to influence and inspire. The course will help you succeed in today’s competitive photographic industry, and give you the broad range of skills that you’ll need, combining technical excellence with visual awareness, innovation, business acumen and enterprise. This course will equip you with advanced technical skills in studio and location, lighting, digital capture and post-production techniques. Industry-oriented assignments, supported by hands-on workshops using sophisticated camera and lighting equipment, will also develop your technical skills. With support from our teaching and technical team, as well as practitioners from industry, you’ll develop your confidence in responding to client briefs while demonstrating creative problem-solving and conceptualisation skills. Then, in your second year, you’ll work with real industry clients to build a professional portfolio. Recent contributors include Getty Images, Met Office, Mercedes-Benz, and Pro-Direct Sport. You’ll acquire a broad range of entrepreneurial abilities in marketing, self-promotion and business development, and develop financially sustainable practices, fundamental to your success in the industry. You’ll also benefit from our affiliation with the prestigious Association of Photographers (AOP). Our photographic resources include industry-standard studios, one of which provides an infinity cove to create seamless backdrops for shoots. We also provide access to lighting and high-end digital camera equipment, large-format scanners, post-production suites and 6000 pieces of kit that are free to hire from our Equipment Resource Centre. Our students attend world-class events including the annual Visual Culture Symposium in London, where speakers have included picture editors from The Telegraph and The Guardian, amongst acclaimed international photographers. You’ll also be encouraged to enter graduate showcases and awards, with one of our recent graduates winning Best in Show - first runner up, at Free Range 2019. Our curriculum includes a rich schedule of visiting lecturers and photographers, many of whom also take an active role in running practical workshops, contributing to group critiques and seminar discussions, and providing portfolio review sessions. And we are regularly visited by talented photography alumni, including industry professional Harry Borden, Suki Dhanda, Tom Oldham and Candice Farmer. Many also provide work placement and assisting opportunities. Graduates can become:
- Commercial photographers
- Fashion photographers
- Advertising photographers
- Digital retouchers
- Digital editors
- Picture editors
We provide a distinctive and contemporary programme of study in a learning environment where students with a range of aspirations can flourish creatively, academically and professionally. We help students to acquire a broad range of entrepreneurial abilities in marketing, self promotion and business development, enabling them to develop financially sustainable practices, and the ability to thrive in the industry. We also help students acquire the skills, attitudes and behaviours that enable them to apply their learning confidently in different situations, both within the field of photographic practice and in wider creative, professional and collaborative contexts.
How to apply
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available
Your application will tell us about your qualifications and previous experience, but studying the arts is about more than can be captured on forms. We encourage you to visit the college, so that you can see our facilities, meet our teaching and technical staff, and discuss any other queries you may have; however we appreciate this may not be possible, and are happy to talk to you via an online platform (such as Google Meet or similar). We accept a range of international qualifications and will look at each application individually.
Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course
Additional entry requirements
We will ask you to upload a digital portfolio, and may also invite you for a discussion with one of our academic staff if needed, which will help us make a decision about your application.
English language requirements
|IELTS (Academic)||6||IELTS (Level B2):overall score of 6.0 with minimum scores Listening: 5.5, Speaking: 5.5, Reading: 5.5, Writing: 5.5|
|Trinity ISE||Pass||Integrated Skills in English II (Level B2), minimum grades required: Reading: Pass Listening: Pass|
Click here to find out the most up-to-date information on our English Language requirements
The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.
Fees and funding
|Republic of Ireland||£9250||Year 1|
|Channel Islands||£9250||Year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£9250||Year 1|
Additional fee information
Arts University Plymouth
Course contact detailsVisit our course page