Arts University Plymouth is an arts university for the 21st century, preparing students who are uniquely placed to provide creative solutions to the complex global challenges of a changing world. Formerly known as Plymouth College of Art, we were granted full university title in Spring 2022. We are now the city of Plymouth’s first and only specialist arts university, allowing us to offer our students a dynamic and unique learning experience. If you want to pursue a creative degree at Arts University Plymouth but feel you have yet to acquire the experience and range of skills necessary, our Extended BA course will prepare you for entry to one of our BA (Hons) undergraduate courses. This four-year route offers an exploratory year, developing your insight into a range of art, design and media skills and approaches, before focusing on your Commercial Photography degree. From lighting and framing a dramatic fashion shot to visualising concepts for advertising campaigns, commercial photography has the power to influence and inspire. Our BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course will help you succeed in today’s dynamic and competitive photographic industry, providing you with the knowledge and skills to flourish, combining visual awareness and innovation with technical excellence, professional understanding and business competencies. This course will equip you with advanced technical skills in studio and location lighting, digital capture and post-production techniques. This is an integrated programme of study with industry-oriented assignments, hands-on workshops and expert tuition, using sophisticated camera and lighting equipment. You will also develop your industry knowledge and professional skills to enable you to find work in high-end commercial photographic practice. Our curriculum is geared towards employability and enterprise. We develop photographers who are technically proficient, visually sophisticated and professionally astute – who understand trends in the industry and how to pitch for business, and who graduate with a broad range of transferable skills that enable them to succeed in the creative industries. Working both individually and in interdisciplinary groups and with real-world mentors, you’ll gain vocational experience to be able flourish both academically and professionally. You will acquire a broad range of entrepreneurial abilities in marketing, self-promotion and business development, enabling you to develop a financially sustainable practice, fundamental to your success in the industry. 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. In your second year, you’ll work with real industry clients to build a professional portfolio. You’ll also benefit from our affiliation with the prestigious Association of Photographers (AOP). Our curriculum includes a rich schedule of visiting lecturers and photographers, and we are regularly visited by talented photography alumni, including industry professionals such as Harry Borden, Suki Dhanda, Tom Oldham and Candice Farmer. Many alumni also provide work placement and assisting opportunities. You’ll also be encouraged to enter graduate showcases and awards; one of our recent graduates won Best in Show – first runner-up, at Free Range 2019. We create an environment in which commercial photographers can develop their professional practice and gain a wide range of skills and knowledge, enabling them to shape their futures and make a positive impact in the photographic industries.
The first year of an Extended Degree is not a qualification in its own right, but when you successfully complete it you are guaranteed a place on our full undergraduate programme. You’ll develop confidence in your use of drawing, visual research, contextual studies, digital imaging and design methods, and you’ll have the chance to experiment with a range of materials, equipment, processes and software.
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:
Plymouth is the largest city in the county of Devon, and the safest big city in south-west England, listed in the top ten safest cities in the UK. The city has excellent travel links via car, train and ferry, with direct train services to London Paddington and the rest of the country and easy access to three nearby airports (Bristol, Newquay and Exeter). Plymouth is the gateway to the South West of England and is approximately 3 hours from London by train. The best airport to fly into is London Heathrow, which has a direct rail line to Paddington station. Our dedicated international team will be able to support you throughout your application and enrolment with us, giving you expert advice and guidance on everything you need, from accommodation to what to do once you arrive in the UK.
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 need to find out about your creative potential, your abilities and idiosyncrasies, so we will invite you to talk about your work with a member of our HE academic team. You can tell us about your aspirations, and why you want to study at the university. It is also a good moment to find out what we can offer you. We encourage you to visit the university, 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
If your application meets our entry requirements, we’ll invite you to submit your portfolio, so that we can review your work and find out more about your creative potential. You will have the opportunity to submit your portfolio digitally, or in person at one of our Applicant Experience Days. At an Applicant Experience Day, you'll also get the chance to discuss your portfolio with a member of our academic team.
English language requirements
|IELTS (Level B2):overall score of 6.0 with minimum scores Listening: 5.5, Speaking: 5.5, Reading: 5.5, Writing: 5.5
|Integrated Skills in English II (Level B2), minimum grades required: Reading: Pass Listening: Pass
|PTE Academic (Level B2), minimum grade required: Listening: 50, Reading: 50, Writing: 50, Speaking: 50
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