For CCI access only

Photography BA (Hons)

Explore traditional and modern techniques on this Photography degree course to hone your skills and find inspiration.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section 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  


for film production and photography in the UK

(Guardian University Guide, 2024)


of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)

Profile image of a naked lady painted with different colours hiding herself with the background orange fabric

I wanted to study at Portsmouth because of its beautiful location and vibrant art community. The decision was made when I met the lecturers at my interview; I could see how excited they were about the course, and I instantly knew it was right for me.

Aurora Way, BA (Hons) Photography 2021 graduate

Read Aurora's story

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) Photography

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

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

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Photography creative portfolio guide.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer


17/05/2021.B-Roll - day 3 ..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

Photography studios and darkrooms

Our extensive photography facilities allow students to put learning into practice and get creative using high-end professional equipment.

CCI Facilities; June 2019

CCI Open Access Suite

Our open-plan space includes PCs and Macs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and other professional software.

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.

Placement year (optional)

After your second or third year, you can complete a work placement to gain professional industry experience and enhance your skills. Placements are an excellent way to increase your employability after graduation.

You can work for a company or organisation, or go independent by setting up and running your own business as a group or alone.

Whatever you choose, you can get full support from our Creative Careers team.

A woman with blue hair standing in front of artwork

Creative Careers

Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.

They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  • Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
  • Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
  • Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
  • Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route

The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.

Learn more about the Creative Careers team

Placement roles

Our students have done placements in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Photographer
  • Picture Editor
  • Junior Stylist
  • Studio Assistant
  • Archival Assistant

Placement destinations

Our students have either run their own businesses or worked with prominent companies, including:

  • Camera Work London
  • Miraculous Entertainment
  • Dimples & Daisies Photography
  • Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust
  • Hermione De Paola 


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

You'll master professional gear while learning everything from basic camera use to studio tricks and digital processes. Enhance your problem-solving skills and your creative response to project briefs. Team up with others to strengthen your industry skills. We’ll also show you how to manage your time and resources well.

You’ll finish with the technical know-how and flexibility for success in actual photography assignments.

You’ll dive into different photographic styles, techniques, and themes with practical activities. Build essential academic skills, including attending tutorials, giving presentations, and reflecting critically on your work. 

We’ll teach you research methods to enhance your photography. Learn how to use your time and resources effectively to achieve your objectives. Practice and polish your practical photography and presentation skills. Get constructive feedback to improve your work. Begin to find and develop your unique style and voice in photography through experimentation.

This module will give you the crucial knowledge and abilities you need to further your studies and grow as a photographer.

You’ll explore how to read photographs and their place in the world through lectures, discussions, and projects. Think about how images relate to society, history, and politics. Seasoned lecturers will help you improve your academic writing and research skills, all focused on photography and other lens-based work. Looking at diverse photos, art, and design will open your eyes to the impact an image can have.

By the end, you’ll be armed with the know-how, words, and techniques to thoughtfully look at and create photos that echo our culture, gearing you up for more advanced studies. This module will deepen your appreciation of the art of photography.

You’ll gain essential professional skills that are vital for industry success. Explore various career options in photography and understand the skills you need for each. Build your experience, portfolio, and connections. Learn to manage your time and resources well. You’ll also focus on important aspects like health and safety, ethics, and getting permissions. Use feedback to improve your techniques.

Get set with the knowledge and practical experience to shine on real photographic projects.

Core modules

You’ll use what you already know and learn advanced methods in photography and CGI software. By tackling practice tasks that mimic real-life situations, you’ll get better at coming up with ideas, working effectively, and using your technical skills.

You’ll discover new ways to approach both commercial and artistic projects.

This module encourages you to try out different software, take bold steps in your visual work, and come up with clever solutions to tricky problems.

By mastering professional digital tools, you’ll feel more confident in bringing fresh ideas to photography and CGI.

You’ll use what you already know to create work that looks at social, personal, and ethical aspects. By exploring current conversations in photography, you’ll improve your professional production and presentation methods. The best part is creating projects after doing thorough research and experimenting.

This module is key to achieving your photographic goals with more purpose and depth. It will make you more adaptable as a photographer and clearer as a visual storyteller, helping you advance your practice at a graduate level.

You’ll begin with a specific brief, planning and carrying out work that enhances your abilities. Working on your own, you’ll use organised approaches and let research shape your technical and artistic ideas.

This project improves your skills in managing time and resources, as well as using modern techniques. You’ll explore and play with different processes, materials, and methods.

Feedback from tutorials will help you sharpen your ideas through thoughtful analysis. You’ll also learn to present your work professionally.

In the end, you’ll have gained practical experience and research abilities to help you with future photographic projects.

By working on simulated briefs, you’ll enhance your ability to be creative even under pressure and limitations. You’ll also learn important project management and business skills for on-location work, like conducting risk assessments and getting permissions.

Apply what you’ve learned in either a simulated or real freelance job. The work you produce can be added to your professional portfolio.

Learn how to effectively manage your time and resources, work independently, and choose the best solutions, all while following safety protocols.

This module will help you become proficient in processes, materials, and presenting your work to a professional level.

Optional modules

More information for this module will be available soon.

More information for this module will be available soon.

Analysing depictions and theories of the body, you will articulate critical perspectives rooted in textual analysis. With scholarly writing as key outcome, your engagement with academic sources and tutorial support will inform identification of coherent research strands. The module provides conceptual building blocks to anchor studies at the intersection of culture, identity and creative practice.

You’ll experience a new culture by exploring art, design, or performance at an international partner university. This adventure adds a global angle to your learning and helps you develop skills for jobs all over the world.

You’ll work by yourself, think deeply about what you’re learning, and see how it connects to your degree. When you return, you’ll have broadened your creative outlook and job opportunities.

Choosing this module lets you explore diverse approaches and build international connections.

Join a team of creative students and do a project together. Try new things and see how they can help you.

You’ll also grasp how to use your skills with others. Sometimes you’ll be a leader, sometimes a helper. Talk about your ideas and learn from them. You’ll make something to show what you learned and share it with others.

This module helps you gain new skills and understand other fields. You’ll be a smart and creative person, ready to solve real-world problems.

You’ll choose learning tasks that add up to 60 hours, like internships, volunteering, research, or remote study that match your career plans. Workshops will help you make meaningful goals and think about what you’ve accomplished. Through this, you’ll grow the knowledge, skills, and qualities you need to thrive in the workplace.

By looking at your growth through active participation and reading, you’ll become a perceptive, eager job-seeker who stands out.

In a team setting, you’ll engage in debates, workshops, and seminars focused on a theme that interests you. This collaborative effort will lead to an experimental output, such as a pop-up exhibit, a publication, or a pecha kucha presentation.

You’ll hone your skills in research methods, event planning, teamwork, and engaging with the public.

Efficiently managing your time and resources, you’ll sift through information to design an output that considers ethics and safety. You’ll present your work clearly and receive constructive feedback.

In the end, you’ll have hands-on experience in preparing research for public sharing.

As a team, you will embark on a journey of entrepreneurship, starting with ideation and ending with the launch of your product or service. You will analyse complex factors influencing a successful launch, conduct thorough research to assess feasibility and gain valuable insights into marketing, manufacturing, and sales strategies.

Working together on pitch presentations, you will discover your strengths as an entrepreneur or team member. This module provides transferable skills essential to thrive in creative industries, whether you plan to launch your own company or seek employment with top organisations. You will develop the mindset and abilities to spot opportunities and act on them, which will benefit your career.

Core modules

You’ll handle everything yourself, from coming up with the idea to presenting it professionally. Through detailed research and experimenting, you’ll create an impressive collection of photos. By looking at different methods and results, you’ll be able to explain your ideas and take on board what others say.

This module helps you learn how to use various techniques for creating powerful public displays. Be prepared for a career in photography by improving your skills in managing your time, working with others, and connecting with the industry.

Show what you know by discussing key concepts and assessing different viewpoints. We’ll guide you in using research in new ways, expressing the ideas behind your work through scholarly writing and exhibition projects. You’ll look closely at ethics, shaping your distinctive style through experimentation and feedback. Finish the module prepared to place your work in modern discussions with assurance.

You’ll use this module to hone your unique photographic style and focus, supported by critical thinking and academic prowess.

This module includes lectures, workshops and real business trips to help you discover various job opportunities that align with your skills and interests. We will assist you in identifying your strengths and creating an online portfolio to showcase your work.

The crux of this program is to help you develop a five-year plan for your career, based on what you learn about jobs that excite you. We will teach you about networking, how to apply for jobs, excel in interviews, and present yourself professionally.

Upon completion of this module, you will have gained more knowledge, a sense of confidence, and valuable contacts to assist you in kickstarting your creative career after graduation.

Optional modules

With the guidance of your tutors, you get to select a theme for an extensive research project, commonly known as a dissertation. Your project will showcase your in-depth research and analysis, which will be based on both original and secondary sources.

You will meticulously examine your sources, conduct your own research, and learn the best practices for writing a compelling academic paper. This dissertation project will enhance your ability to formulate research questions, consolidate information, make persuasive arguments, and present your ideas clearly.

Once you complete the project, you will have conducted an in-depth and thorough study. It will demonstrate your profound understanding and interest in a particular aspect of visual culture.

Critically analysing cultural artefacts and debates to formulate a response, you'll engage theory, historical contexts and academic conventions. You'll carry out practice-based research through prototyping and visual studies.

This will culminate in a scholarly body of work and a reflective portfolio that will showcase research mastery and creative thinking.

You’ll look at modern settings and come up with creative ideas and professional ways of working. By experimenting, you’ll produce eye-catching photos that meet industry standards.

After this module, you’ll have a wide range of technical skills. Harness the power of the newest digital techniques to create powerful images for professional use.

You’ll explore different writing, including exhibition texts, press releases, blogs, and reviews. You’ll learn how to keep readers interested and explain complex ideas clearly.

You'll practice expressing visual culture, writing for online platforms, and applying your skills in real-life situations like grant applications.

You’ll also learn to describe your own art in a way that non-specialist people can understand, using historical and cultural contexts.

This module will teach you to write effectively in various situations, helping you succeed in many jobs in the creative industries.

Complete relevant tasks demonstrating your specialized skills and independence. Gain global perspective, reflect deeply on personal growth, and build valued transferable abilities for professional life after university. Return home with experiences that inspire your practice and understanding of art’s global connectivity.

During this module, you'll spend 6 months working on your own business venture, then 3 months gaining industry experience. This opportunity allows you to apply what you've learned in a practical setting while exploring different career options. You'll also have the chance to develop professional relationships and expand your network.

Assess your personal strengths and weaknesses to set goals for the future. Throughout the module, you'll demonstrate increasing independence while still valuing the support of others. Gain a broader understanding of the world through real-world experiences and insights. Additionally, you'll earn valuable credits for your CV and enhance your skill set.

By the end of this module, you'll graduate with the practical experience that employers are seeking.

This experience lets you learn firsthand how to set up and run a small business. You’ll absorb professional practices and business situations that matter to your entrepreneurial goals. Make important connections while working independently within set rules. Think deeply about your strengths, weaknesses, criteria for success, and future plans.

This opportunity is useful for your career. It lets you use what you’ve learnt in your degree in the real world and helps you understand your capabilities.

After finishing this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get more credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable step in developing an entrepreneurial way of thinking.

You’ll spend 24–48 weeks at a chosen company, learning from professionals and helping out with actual projects. Gain confidence, knowledge, and skills by taking on more responsibility with gradually less help. As you progress, you’ll make professional connections and think about how you’re doing. Take in what you learn about how industries and businesses work.

This placement is an ideal chance to grow in your career. By using what you’ve learnt in a workplace, you’ll understand more about your own strengths, what you need to work on, and your plans after you graduate.

After this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get extra credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable part of your education.

Evaluating international contexts, you'll critically relate on-site activities to your disciplinary knowledge, gaining global creative insights. Working independently abroad, you'll complete relevant assignments, honing skills transferable to your future creative career.

Upon returning, thoughtful reflection will reveal your personal growth as you process new worldviews and cross-cultural competencies. This invaluable opportunity provides a chance to expand your creative knowledge while developing adaptability as a global citizen.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

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.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • lectures
  • project
  • seminars
  • individual tutorials

Teaching on this course has a practical focus.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, tutorials, fieldwork, project supervision, external visits and supervised time in studio or workshop for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase) 

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.


If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.



You may have to cover the cost of professional finishing of prints and portfolios in your final year. The estimated cost is £250–£1,200.



You will incur extra printing costs on portfolio work of around £100–£600.

Material and production costs vary from around £300–£800 per year.

All study trips are optional and you'll need to cover the full cost of these.

Optional study trips abroad cost around £200–£800. Optional UK trips cost £50–£150.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W640
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.