Photography at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

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Course summary

This is a connected degree Portsmouth is the only University in the UK with the flexibility to choose when to do an optional paid placement or self-employed year. Either take a placement in your third year, or finish your studies first and complete a placement in your fourth year. You can decide if and when to take a placement after you've started your course. Overview Discover and develop your photographic vision on this BA (Hons) Photography degree. Through research, industry, and professional practices, you'll master advanced analogue and digital photography techniques and engage with multidimensional technologies – such as computer-generated imagery (CGI), photogrammetry, virtual reality (VR), and 3D printing. Our distinctive mix of traditional and modern approaches will empower you to be innovative and shine among others in the competitive creative industries. After you graduate, you’ll have many career options at your fingertips. Want to work for a business or by yourself on client projects? Planning to pursue a postgraduate degree? Join the 90% of our graduates who have taken these paths (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2019). Course highlights

  • Advance your skills in industry-level equipment and image-processing software that professionals use – including digital media format cameras and DSLRs, Adobe Suite, Capture One, and Cinema4d
  • Produce stand-out work by using our excellent facilities – from traditional dark rooms to photographic studios
  • Gain valuable professional experience and boost your CV by doing an optional one-year placement – either with a company or by setting up your own
  • Broaden your craft and collaborative skills by working with fellow students on other courses in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Promote yourself to potential employers by showcasing your work at self-produced exhibitions, industry portfolio reviews, and our annual Graduate Show
  • Be in the know of historic and modern photography forms by visiting galleries and festivals in major cities like Berlin, Paris and London
  • Build your professional contacts by attending guest lectures and meeting eminent speakers – past ones include Faisal Abdu'allah, Sunil Gupta and Brian Griffin
  • 90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)
  • 91% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2021)
Careers and opportunities When you finish the course, you'll have a range of options within the creative industries to start your career. You can also continue your studies to postgraduate level. Graduate roles Previous students have gone on to work as:
  • studio photographers
  • video directors
  • picture editors
  • retouchers
  • photojournalists
  • curators
  • artists
  • fashion photographers
  • teachers/lecturers
Ongoing careers support Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team. Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.


Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Creative and Industry Skills (40 credits)
  • Introduction to Photographic Practices and Research (40 credits)
  • Introduction to Visual Culture (Photography) (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience (20 credits)
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year include:
  • Advanced Skills and Innovation (20 credits)
  • Photographic Critical Practices and Research (20 credits)
  • Photographic Practice and Project Development (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice and Freelance Experience (20 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice (20 credits)
  • Professional Experience (20 credits)
  • Research in the Public Sphere (20 credits)
  • Student Enterprise (20 credits)
  • The Hidden Lives of Things: Material Culture in the Early Modern World (20 credits)
  • Visions of the Past: the Artist/Designer As Historian (20 credits)
  • Visual Culture: Issues of Representation (20 credits)
  • Visual Culture: the Body in Practice (20 credits)
Year 3 Core modules in this year include:
  • Advanced Practice Research (20 credits)
  • Major Projects in Photography (40 credits)
  • Professional Practice and Graduate Employability (20 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Advanced Digital Process (20 credits)
  • Blogs, Grants and Catalogues: Writing Visual Culture for the Public (20 credits)
  • Visual Culture: Dissertation (20 credits)
  • Visual Culture: Research Project (20 credits)
Placement year (optional) On this course, you can do an optional work placement year after your 2nd or 3rd year to get valuable experience working in industry. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through:

  • photography assignments projects
  • industry and innovative projects
  • professional practice, work and freelance experience projects
  • research and development reports and journals
  • essays and presentations
  • portfolios and artist books
  • screen-based and moving image work
  • exhibition projects
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future. The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • Year 1 students: 13% practical exams and 87% coursework
  • Year 2 students: 23% practical exams and 77% coursework
- Year 3 students: 7% practical exams and 93% coursework

How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


All applicants will be asked to provide a digital portfolio of work.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

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

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £17200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 EU – £1,385 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £2,875. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to
Photography at University of Portsmouth - UCAS