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Photography - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This fascinating photography course is taught in the heart of London's art and media centre - where you'll find inspiration all around you. You'll develop essential digital and analogue photography skills, as well as learning about the industry, discovering links with other art forms and exploring the history of photography.

In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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On this cutting-edge photography course, you will develop the creative practice and portfolio needed to progress as a professional photographer. The course covers both digital and analogue photography, and this is one of the UK’s few art schools equipped with both colour and black-and-white darkroom facilities.

As well as gaining essential practical experience through studio and workshop sessions, you’ll study relevant theory and influential figures from the industry. You’ll learn about the ways photography crosses over with moving image and other art forms, and put your knowledge into practice through collaboration with students on other art-based courses. You’ll also discover how the industry works and learn about the advantages offered by digital and social media, as well as honing the writing skills you’ll need to create funding proposals, promotional copy and artist statements.

As you progress through the course, you’ll have the opportunity to focus your learning on your areas of interest. In Years 2 and 3, you’ll choose a studio theme that will inform your work for the year, and your classes will be held with other students who have made the same choice. This helps create a community around the shared theme, where you can network, discuss and explore ideas, and participate in relevant field trips and workshops. Year 3 will also include a self-directed project, which will culminate in a professional public exhibition.

Throughout the course you’ll be supported by our team of experienced tutors, all of whom are active practitioners who regularly show their work nationally and internationally. You’ll be encouraged to exhibit your own work through the local arts groups we work with, including Alternative Arts, Photomonth Festival, Four Corners Film and Photography and Uncertain States. You’ll also have access – and the chance to contribute – to the East End Photographic Archive.


There are no exams on this course - you'll be assessed through practical and written coursework at the end of each level, marked by percentage and graded by a standard band of passing grades. You'll also be involved in ‘formative assessment’ throughout your course, where you will be given valuable verbal and written feedback on proposals, works-in-progress and draft submissions.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you will normally be expected to obtain:

  • for entry in the 2016-17 academic year: 280 or more UCAS points from two or more A levels (or equivalent Level 3 qualification) in art or design subjects
  • for entry in the 2017-18 academic year: a minimum of grades CC in three A levels in art or design subjects (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma; or Advanced Diploma; or Progression Diploma; or Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits)
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Film, Photography and Media Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Art)
  • Studio Practice 1: Ways of Seeing
  • Studio Practice 2: Photography
  • Studio Practice 3

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Art)
  • Studio Practice 4: Themes
  • Studio Practice 5: Photography
  • Studio Practice 6

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Art)
  • Exhibition and Display
  • Final Project: Photography
  • Project Development

"This is an enjoyable and rewarding course which provides exciting engagement with current art practice. It allowed me to develop my own approach to the discipline, equipping me with a range of subject-specific and transferable skills. It also provided me with the experience and confidence to go on to my MA."

Elizabeth Vicary, former student

This course opens up a number of job roles in the creative industries, enabling you to pursue a career in magazines and newspapers, editorial and freelance photography, archives, photo libraries, education or local or national arts organisations.

Previous students have gone on to find work at a diverse range of companies such as Boscia Trott and Unilad, and have taken up roles such as art therapist, curator, photo journalist, web designer and videographer. Others have utilised the transferable skills they developed through this course to fulfil roles in local government, teaching and entrepreneurship.

Successful alumni from The Cass include artists Tracy Emin, Paddy Jolley, John Cecil Stephenson, Sam Taylor-Wood, Suky Best, Leticia Valverdes and Goldsmiths lecturer Professor Gerard Hemsworth.

This course is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

UK/EU students wishing to begin this course studying full-time in September 2016 should apply by calling the Clearing hotline on .

Applicants from outside the EU should refer to our guidance for international students during Clearing.

Part-time applicants should apply direct to the University online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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