This is a top-up version of our Photography BA (Hons) degree. A top-up degree is the final year (Level 6) of an undergraduate degree course and is for those who have a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification, or those wishing to study the final year of their degree in London.
This innovative Photography BA (Top-up) is taught in the heart of London's art and media hub where you'll find inspiration all around you. You'll develop essential digital and analogue photography skills alongside moving image expertise, as well as learning about professional practice, exploring links with other art forms and discovering the history and aesthetics of photography through practice and theory.
London Met is ranked fourth in the UK for fine art and photography in The Guardian's university league table.
In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 Photography BA (Hons) graduates were in work or further study within six months.
This course will help you to develop an understanding of the diverse range of photographic practices and opportunities open to you. It is centred around each individual, allowing you to construct a unique and personal creative identity and develop an understanding of how to make the most of this within diverse professional contexts.
On this top-up degree, you'll develop your individual creative practice and portfolio and learn the transferable skills needed for a career as a professional photographer or in an associated profession.
The degree is taught at one of the UK’s few art schools to be equipped with both colour and black-and-white darkroom facilities.
The course not only enables you to build excellent industry standard photographic skills and theoretical knowledge to support and extend your creative vision, but also helps you apply these to moving image work. You’ll also explore more adventurous and experimental outcomes on the margins of traditional practice.
You’ll be supported by our team of experienced tutors, all of whom are active practitioners carrying out commissions or regularly showcasing their work nationally and internationally.
You’ll also have access, and the chance to contribute, to the East End Photography Archive at The Cass.
There are no exams on this course. Instead you'll be assessed through practical and written coursework at the end of each year and throughout the course you’ll be given valuable verbal and written feedback as your work progresses.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
If you live in the UK you will be invited to a portfolio interview. If you live outside of the UK you will be asked to submit a portfolio via email.
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 3 modules include:
Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) Level 6 results in an independent dissertation. It builds on two years of undergraduate study or previous experience that critically engages students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice.
Students undertake an enquiry into a topic of their own choice and, based on this enquiry, develop a sustained critical study in support of their practice, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years and previous experience. This study demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work in a methodical and organised way to develop a coherent argument. It affords a sophisticated instrument for interrogating, testing and presenting ideas, and encourages the student to deploy and develop a variety of skills to show how well they can conduct and present a critical investigation.
The module rewards criticality and innovation, and provides a platform for ambitious independent work. To this end, it offers individual supervision designed to support the student’s learning. The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical. In terms of format, the dissertation may be envisaged in different ways and can include visual, technical or other non-written material which may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole.
The dissertation may be practice-based and include field-work and primary research in its methodology; or it might be academic and theoretical in its outlook and draw predominantly on secondary sources. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.
FA6P01 Major Project marks the summation of the programme of studies in four undergraduate courses or on previous experience. The project comprises a major piece of independent study, produced under supervision and guidance. The purpose of the major project is to demonstrate the application and integration of the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course.
The module requires the student to frame appropriate questions for their project, followed by a period of research and development, culminating in the submission of a final body of work using ideas, techniques and processes at the forefront of art or photography, determined by the scope and character of the initial aims and objectives of the project. The module will be supported by a series of project planning workshops. On this basis, the module will require the student to frame the project in contemporary terms and be able to justify in a presentation the methods employed in its execution, including the conceptual and practical aims of the project and its intended audience or reception.
The FA6P01 Major Project module is shared by, serves and sustains the Honours awards in the BA Fine Art, BA Fashion Photography, BA Painting and BA Photography courses and is delivered in a seamless and integral relationship with the work of other core modules in the level. Students are expected to reflect upon and present the complexity of critical and creative relationships between and across the body of work undertaken in Level 6, including in the Critical and Contextual Studies dissertation.
The module aims to allow students to show they have acquired coherent and detailed knowledge at the forefront of fine art or photography, able to deploy critical thinking with accuracy by developing and sharing the context for their project, and able to write a substantial statement about their project in clear terms that a non-specialist audience will understand.
By planning and communicating to peers the framing of appropriate questions, method of enquiry and context for their project in advance, one of this module’s objectives is to enable students to have the solid background and clear information to make decisions about and solve for themselves complex and unpredictable problems encountered in a project they have initiated and executed themselves.
The module also aims to enable students to demonstrate skills in public reflection on and evaluation of their reasons for coming to university, their professional development over their time before university, during their time in Higher Education and what they envisage for their career after they leave university, all via a presentation to a specialist audience - their peers. The module aims to allow students to show how they can manage project time professionally, and so give themselves plenty of time to evaluate, edit and finesse their project as a result.
The FA6010 Methods and Enquiry 2 module supports intensive research and development towards the realisation of a major art or photographic project in the parallel module FA6XXX. The module involves students in presenting a plan for a major art or photographic project; establishing method of enquiry; research and testing approach to practice and project management.
During the module, students test out working methods, clarify their intentions, and frame their project in a contemporary context. The module involves an extensive period of independent research practice and development, to be documented and reflected on at fixed intervals before a final evaluation.
The FA6010 Methods and Enquiry 2 module is shared by, serves and sustains the Honours awards in the BA Fine Art, BA Fashion Photography, BA Painting and BA Photography courses, delivered in a seamless and integral relationship with the work of other core modules in the level. Students are expected to reflect upon and represent the complexity of critical and creative relationships between and across the body of work undertaken in Level 6, including in the Critical and Contextual Studies dissertation.
The module aims to allow students to show they have acquired coherent and detailed knowledge at the forefront of art or photography, able to deploy critical thinking with accuracy by developing and sharing method of enquiry over the course of a major project.
By planning and communicating method of enquiry to peers in advance, one of this module’s objectives is to enable students to make decisions about and solve complex and unpredictable problems encountered in a project they have initiated and executed themselves.
The module also aims to enable students to demonstrate skills in reflection on and evaluation of concepts used in method of enquiry and judgements made over materials and techniques in project, via a public dialogue with a specialist audience - their peers.
FA6007 Professional Practice 2: Photography is a subject-specific module supporting students to further develop their professional and academic skills, including their practical and conceptual understanding of the codes, conventions and issues associated with display and presentation. Students are expected to synthesise the experience and knowledge gained over the course or through previous experience, and employ a range of transferable skills in communication, negotiation, analysis, project planning and project management.
The module includes lectures and workshops to support photography students to present to their peers a proposal for a final display, a working document that they will continue to develop, test and revise over the course of the year. A schedule of tutorials, supervision, technical input and workshops, as appropriate are available to enable students to realise their plans in either the form of display spreads in a publication designed by the student (magazine feature, photography book, catalogue, brochure) or a mounted and framed display at an assessed exhibition at the end of the module.
The FA6007 Professional Practice 2: Photography module serves and sustains an award on the BA Photography course only, delivered in a seamless and integral relationship with the work of other core studio practice modules on Level 6. Students are expected to investigate and develop critical and aesthetic working relationships between and across the Level 6 modules.
The module aims to let students show they have acquired coherent and detailed knowledge of specific skills in photography display and are able to deploy critical thinking with accuracy in developing and obtaining a wider, non-specialist audience from outside the art school for their photography, as shown in both physical and virtual spaces.
The module also aims to provide students with work-related learning about social media platforms and websites to develop wider public and new audiences for their photography, with a view to creating and updating a sustainable legacy of photography career assets to aid employability.
"This is an enjoyable and rewarding course which provides an exciting engagement with current photography 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, photography graduate
The Photography BA (Top-up) course opens up a number of job roles in the photography and creative industries, enabling you to pursue a career in magazines or newspapers, editorial or freelance photography, archive work, photo libraries, education or local or national arts organisations.
Previous students have gone on to find work at a diverse range of companies and have taken up roles such as photographer, curator, photo journalist, web designer and videographer. Others have used the transferable skills they developed through this course to fulfil roles in local government, teaching and entrepreneurship.
Successful artists who have attended The Cass include Paddy Jolley, Sam Taylor-Wood, Suky Best and Leticia Valverdes.
This degree is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study.
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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If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.
Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.
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.
Please select when you would like to start:
Thursday 12 December 2019, 5pm to 8pm
Festive fine art open studio at Aldgate Bauhaus promises a feast of student creativity- and charity fundraiser auction.
Thursday 21 November 6.30pm
Leading photographer Laura Pannack will speak about her personal projects at an event organised with London Independent Photographers.
Cass lecturer Nick Haeffner retires from University to resume life as a cult recording artist over 30 years since his acclaimed debut album.
Heather McDonough and Fiona Yaron-Field's work selected as part of an exhibition that celebrates diversity in Great Britain.
27 Aug-1 Sep
Postgraduate student exhibits at new group show in the East End
As well as claiming the prize as part of The Cass collective student Angela Blažanović claims top individual prize.
1 July - 2 December 2019
Cass lecturer curates exhibition in Italy exploring themes of identity and social change, and featuring work by several photographers who teach at The Cass.
Angela Blažanović’s, which piece reimagines the lost stories of discarded objects found along the River Thames, is part of Free Range 2019.
20-23 June 2019
Cass tutors among exhibiting artists at Battersea Dog fundraising exhibition.
23 May 2019
Cass Fine Art tutor co-curates avant garde alternative to Eurovision Song Contest.
Fine Art student awarded a fellowship and will be spending a month in Venice conducting research.
15 - 17 May 2019, 3-6pm
Open Field Artist in Residence Programme. Private View: 9 May, 5-8pm.
Students from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design showcase their talent with a season of summer events.
29 April 2019, 6pm
Cass hosts in conversation event for Association of Photographers (AOP).