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Course summary

This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme. Why study at Buckinghamshire New University? With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career. The course is an accredited member of the Association of Photographers (AOP). The course meets the AOP’s criteria for the appropriate professional development of students during their studies. This accreditation also offers all students on the course their own free AOP membership for the duration of their studies, providing them with additional support and networking opportunities. As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring you develop your engagement and networking abilities, as you would in the real world. Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lecturers, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities. The course is an accredited member of the Association of Photographers (AOP). The course meets the AOP’s criteria for the appropriate professional development of students during their studies. This accreditation also offers all students on the course their own free AOP membership for the duration of their studies, providing them with additional support and networking opportunities. We’re proud of the many achievements our students and staff attain at BNU. Throughout your course you will have the opportunity to take part in competitions and exhibitions as well as the BNU Summer Show in your final year. We’re also only 30 minutes by train into London, enabling you to visit exhibitions, museums, and galleries, finding inspiration from one of the world’s most innovative capitals. What will I study? This course offers a contemporary curriculum that is engaged with social, technological, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives, enabling you to become a ‘thinking practitioner’ or a socially responsible entrepreneur. We’ll help you explore the concepts and contexts behind photography work, so you can find new ways to express yourself, and take your practice to a more dynamic level. You’ll also undertake research to develop a theoretical and critical underpinning of the subject, learning new ways of thinking and working, and pushing traditional boundaries of the medium. In addition to learning about commercial and design applications (such as in editorial and advertising photography), you also will develop your knowledge of photography through its interactions with other creative subjects; for example, working in 3D environments to produce Computer-Generated images (CGI), exploring wet printing and alternative print-making techniques or experimenting with moving image and sound as a means of personal expression or visual communication. You’ll learn how to best promote your photography and how to set yourself up as a freelancer, dealing with important aspects such as your own branding, marketing, to tax and finance. You’ll learn about the professional bodies that exist to protect photographers’ work and rights, such as the Association of Photographers. We’ll also look at how to develop your presence and present your work on different platforms, from the physical exhibition space to online websites, and how to evolve your practice to cater for different audiences.


Foundation year ​​​​​​​Preparing for Success: Knowledge and Creativity Preparing for Success: Self-development and Responsibility Photography, Design and Visual Communication Inquiry Based Learning Year one Core Modules Convergence: Moving Image in Photography Digital Realms and Virtual Spaces Photography: Issues in Representation Visual Narratives 1: Stock and Page Visual Narratives 2: Screen and Wall Opportunity Modules 2 x 10 credit year one Opportunity modules Year two Core Modules Exploratory Practices and Methods in Photography Photography for Design 1: Editorial Photography for Design 2: Publicity and Campaign Photography and Critical Theory Professional Studies in Photography Opportunity Modules 2 x 10 credit year two Opportunity modules Year three Core Modules Contextual Report on Practice Creative and Professional Development Professional Practice Research and Development Final Major Project

Assessment method

At the centre of this course is practice-based activity. You’ll spend a significant amount of time developing your skills either shooting on location or using the Photography facilities (lighting studios, Mac Suite, darkroom etc.), working on both individual study and group tuition. On the course you are pushed to explore your own style, which you’ll build into your own distinctive portfolio that demonstrates your unique strengths and interests for prospective work opportunities after graduation. During your time with us you'll study modules that encourage you to explore your own career aspirations and, through workshops from industry specialists, seminars and project critiques, we’ll also bring in guest lecturers through our dynamic visiting lecture programme to give you further insights on the diversity of the medium. You’ll hear from leading practitioners including artists, curators and professionals working across the industry.’ You’ll also be assessed though; 1:1 or small group tutorials, Portfolio and presentations, written assessments, sketchbooks, group critiques and self-directed study. You’ll also be assessed though individual or small group tutorials, portfolio submissions and presentations, written assignments, sketchbooks and group critiques. At the end of your course, you’ll exhibit your photography work as part of our popular Art and Design Summer Show. There’s also the opportunity to show your work at other exhibitions, such as, Free Range, the big annual graduate show in London. It’s a chance to showcase your talents outside the University, and potentially catch the attention of future employers and talent scouts.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • The Association of Photographers

How to apply

Application codes

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Buckinghamshire New University
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Additional entry requirements


Unistats information

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

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

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
EU £15000 Year 1
International £15000 Year 1

Additional fee information

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.
Photography with Foundation Year at Buckinghamshire New University - UCAS