Photography BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: W640
International Code: AHU014

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Coventry is ranked 9th in the UK for Film Production and Photography (Guardian University Guide 2021) - it’s time for you to capture your moment with us.

  • Our course aims to help you understand the complexities of visual communication and produce graduates who stand out for their creativity, professionalism and critical understanding of photography.
  • Our continually evolving course is directly informed by input from the world’s leading photographers, editors and curators.
  • Through a dynamic programme of study, we will work with you to develop your individual creative ability, technical skills, critical knowledge and professional experience, to establish a career using photography as a tool for creative expression and visual communication.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

human silhouette teaching in front of a blackdoard

Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

Our highly-esteemed Photography degree is designed to create ‘next generation’ photographers – independent, creative, critical, adaptable and professional. This course provides you with the following opportunities:

  • We will work with you to help you to develop a high standard of technical and practical skills across a wide range of analogue and digital photography processes, and associated media equipment and platforms.
  • All of our current staff are experienced practitioners, who work across the industries of photography. They draw upon their knowledge, expertise and experience of working with photography in a variety of professional contexts, as editorial photographers, curators, writers, researchers, picture editors, archivist, and educators for organisations such as the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, IC Visual Lab, Barbican Art Gallery, British Museum, Offprint, Photoworks, Artangel, Photofusion, Channel 4, Time Inc. and Conde Nast. (Please note that staff are subject to change).
  • Using industry-standard equipment and software, you’ll be taught in open photography classes where you can take advantage of contributions from our network of photographic experts from across the globe. In the past, this has included workshops, lectures, collaborative projects and online international learning projects, for example, with the Universidad de Europa de Madrid, Spain and Universitatea Nationala De Arte, Bucharest.
  • On UK and international industry fieldtrips (subject to availability and additional costs), we will seek to introduce you to publishers, agencies, studios, galleries and museums, such as Belfast Exposed Photography, Museo del Prado Madrid, Museum of Modern Art New York, Source, Rope Press, Self-Publish Be Happy, Museum of London, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Law Magazine, Aperture, Paris Photo, GRAIN and International Centre of Photography New York.
  • We have excellent links within the industry, many of whom may provide employment, placements or professional guidance (subject to availability, application and additional costs), such as GRAIN, Photomonitor and Magnum Photos.
  • We have a well-stocked Media Loan Shop so you can borrow an extensive range of specialist, professional equipment, including digital medium format camera equipment, large format cameras, Bowens lighting, Canon and Nikon full frame digital SLRs and a full range of film cameras.
  • Our regular speakers programme features esteemed experts which in the past have included John Blakemore, Susan Bright, Pete Brook, Lewis Bush, Elinor Carruci, Bruno Ceschel, Emma Critchley, Elizabeth Edwards, Paul Gaffney, Patricia Holland, Tom Hunter, Lucy Levene, Sian Macfarlane, Rebecca McClelland, Kate McMillan, David Moore, Christiane Monarchi, Jennifer Pattinson, Martin Pover, Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, and Simon Terrill. (Speaker programme is subject to availability)
9th

in the UK for Film Production and Photography

Guardian University Guide, 2021

More than just a degree

The learning environment here is just fantastic, we have a whole area just for our course. Seeing first, second and third years all working on different projects is very moving. It's great to have a space where you can just come and unleash your creativity.

Georgia Bond, Photography BA (Hons) student, 2019
Student in the mac studio

What you'll study

The course is designed to be highly motivating – the teaching and learning activities are conceived to have clear relevance to your future career. We will focus on the development of problem solving, reflective practice, critical thinking, technical and practical skills related to photographic practice.

From the outset, we will provide you with the opportunity to develop your technical skills and teach you to understand what it is to situate yourself within a professional photographic environment. We’ll introduce you to wider thematic questions and encourage critical thinking about the medium to help to better equip you to think as an informed image-maker. You will be encouraged develop your understanding of visual communications within the context of different industries, ranging from fashion photography through to fine art.

Together, we will question and explore the latest developments in photography – recently this has included data mining, geotagging, gif making, glitching, distributed authorship, archives, hypertext navigation, collaborative photographic practices and much more.

Throughout the course, we invite the international photography community into our classroom (subject to availability), enabling you to engage directly with the industry. You’ll work on projects on location and in the studio, developing high levels of competence using industry-standard cameras, lenses, lighting equipment and editing software in the digital darkrooms.

In the first year of study we help you to demonstrate the technical, conceptual and professional skills to realise your ideas through a variety of photographic forms and with knowledge of how these outcomes operate in commercial and artistic contexts.

Modules

  • Histories and Practices provides an introduction to key debates, themes and histories relating to the photographic medium. You will explore a broad range of concepts, issues and ideas that have shaped critical thinking about photography, historically and now. This module seeks to enable you to develop your analytical skills through written and oral presentations.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, presentation

  • This module will explore a number of traditions, approaches and genres of photography, through workshops, assignments and formative feedback reviews that focus on technical, methodological and conceptual ways of working.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This is a module that encourages responsive approaches to new technologies and explores the possibilities of old techniques. We’ll explore: multimedia, installation, moving image, the networked image, contemporary publishing forms, and other sites and modes of creation and dissemination.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • When creating depictions of the human form – whether this is the body of one’s self or other people – questions of power, difference, identity and context become particularly heightened. Representation and the image explores the encounters between a photographer and their subject, and the various aesthetic, technical, methodological and ethical issues this can involve.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • Professional Development aims to enable you to begin to develop awareness of the markets and opportunities to a range of professional photography practices and industries. You will work towards identifying your particular career ambitions and developing effective strategies for navigating the pressures, requirements and responsibilities that may shape your working life.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

In year two you will have the chance to increasingly work beyond the university with exhibitions and experience opportunities. Alongside this you will be supported in developing your own, unique practice which will be taken into your final year and beyond.

Modules

  • We will explore the genres, contexts and practices in which photographs are produced and consumed through a range of critical frameworks and themes such as: space and place; death and photography; photography and cinema; psychoanalysis; photography and gender; and photography and nationhood. Written and oral presentation skills are developed that seek to unpick the social, cultural and ideological function of photography.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, presentation

  • This module explores issues of representation, translation and context as a starting point for the research and production of an extended body of work that demonstrates critical appreciation of what it seeks to present. The role of photography in perpetuating, interpreting or questioning notions of community, culture and identity in order to produce ‘knowledge’ or manufacture ‘visual pleasure’ has been pervasive throughout the history of the medium.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module explores the production of narrative forms and structures in photographic practice. This module seeks to enable you to extend your ability to deconstruct the creation and function of narrative meaning in photographs and associated representational strategies, and apply this critical analysis in your own practice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This modules aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and to foster flexible and adaptable approaches towards employment and professional opportunities.

    Students will be encouraged to consider their professional careers and identify possible future pathways, which may combine different employment modes (self employed, contract, freelance and employed). Students will be encouraged to start their freelance photography practice as the first step towards their professional career after graduation. They will be offered support in this process and will learn about managing themselves as a business in a future that will require most of them to adopt portfolio careers.

    Students will develop their self-presentation skills using CVs, interview techniques and personal portfolios. They will learn about business start-ups in creative industries and will identify their preferred fields of practice. They will use their business as the basis for negotiating and completing relevant professional experience in that field. Students will learn to recognise their own abilities, utilise their capacity for independent critical thinking and address areas requiring further development.

    Compulsory

Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

Modules

  • Optional

  • Optional

By the final year of the degree, you should have the knowledge, confidence and expertise to be publishing and exhibiting your work on international platforms, and leveraging those forces that are changing the face of the photographic world.

Modules

  • Independent Research aims to enable you to conduct original sustained analytical research in your chosen area of practice and demonstrate critical awareness of issues around to your area of interest. You will apply the critical inquiry, written and presentation skills acquired during your programme of study towards a substantial research project in consultation with an individual tutor.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, presentation

  • This module aims to support your independent research and creative experimentation with the technical, theoretical and conceptual issues that inform the production of your work. Upon completion of this module it is intended that you will have created an extended body of work supported by a critical rationale.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • Independent Practice Realisation builds upon work undertaken in Independent Practice Exploration. You will be expected to be able to relate your practice to critical frameworks, discourses and debates, and be aware of your chosen community of practice. You will be expected to be researching, experimenting and producing to professional industry standards as your design may be presented in the Coventry University Degree Show.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • Professional Futures aims to enable you to critically reflect on your employability, experience, and the skills and portfolios you have built throughout the degree, in order to prepare and plan for career goals after graduation. This module provides opportunities for you to take part in surgeries, workshops, and skills-building sessions that focus on a range of employment-related resources, strategies and presentational issues.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Our teaching places an emphasis on experimentation, critical research, versatility and technical expertise. It is informed by staff practice and research in areas such as photobook publishing; documentary photography; collaborative photographic practices; socially-engaged practice, photography education; digital appropriation and expanded photography practices; the representation of death in contemporary culture; art and anthropology; the ethics and aesthetics of participation; photography and time; photography and cinema; community photography; the pedagogical turn of contemporary art; and photography and the archive.

Students successfully completing the first two years of the course can opt to take a Professional or International Enhancement module, spending a year out between the second and third years on placement or study abroad (subject to availability, competitive application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs).

Your personal tutor, who will be a member of the photography team, will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include practical or project work, coursework, essay, reports and presentations.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


Job ready

On successful completion, you will be equipped with the skills to:

  • Demonstrate technical skills relating to a wide range of analogue and digital photography, and associated media equipment, platforms and processes.
  • Apply your photography skills creatively to a brief to a high standard of aptitude, demonstrating the appropriate breadth and depth of conceptual development.
  • Apply creative solutions to a brief, using technical means and appropriate application of materials, processes and technologies to develop a coherent body of work that reflects the particular characteristics of your own creative perspective.
  • Communicate themes and ideas about lens-based media clearly, analytically and comprehensively in visual, oral and written forms.
  • Apply critically informed knowledge of professional practice in photography, and the wider visual arts and media related fields.
  • Effectively organise and manage independent and collaborative projects and apply entrepreneurial skills in dealing with audiences, clients, consumers, finances, markets, sources and/or users.

International experience opportunities

Our sandwich degree option allows a full-year placement, which can be taken abroad. In the past, photography students have studied abroad at places such as International Centre of Photography, New York, USA; Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain; Karlstad University, Sweden; Hanze University, Groningen, Netherlands; and Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. The University also runs a number of schemes to allow students short periods of overseas study, places include: China, USA, South America and parts of Europe. 

Throughout the course, Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects are facilitated in collaboration with universities overseas, enhancing your global experience and international networks. Recent OIL projects have taken place with partners in the Universidad de Europa de Madrid, Spain, and Universitatea Nationala De Arte, Bucharest.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

Studying photography at Coventry University was an amazing experience for me. With an incredible team of lecturers from a wide range of specialist fields, I really feel the course has prepared me for my future in the photographic field. The advice and knowledge I received not only benefited my coursework, but also my practice, and gave me insight into the professional world of photography. The course encourages students to produce their own work, not work that is a carbon copy of another. It pushes you to be a better photographer and to think outside the box, especially with the introduction of digital media modules, as being up-to-date with the latest technology is so important in photography today.

Steve Hird, Photography BA (Hons) graduate of 2018, now a freelance photographer
Student in campus cinema

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSE's graded 9-4 / A* - C including English
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 31 points

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

Fair Access Scheme

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall

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

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

Chat with International admissions


Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £18,050 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

Coventry University is home to superb facilities and our new Arts and Humanities building is set to open in 2022. We also have a well-stocked Media Loan Shop so you can borrow an extensive range of specialist, professional equipment, including digital medium format camera equipment, large format cameras, Bowens lighting, Canon and Nikon full frame digital SLRs and a full range of film cameras.

television studio

Television Studio

On select courses, you’ll have access to our on-campus TV studio The Tank, with its specialist TV studio equipment, including large cameras, mixing facilities and fibre-optic wiring throughout.
 

photography suite

The Photography Suite

The photography suite is a superb facility that includes virtual drum scanning, photography studios, black and white print darkrooms, free black and white film processing, and a digital print bureau.
 

recording equipment

Media Loan Shop

As a student, you’ll have access to Coventry University’s specialist Media Loan Shop. This well-stocked facility offers an extensive range of specialist, professional photography and film equipment.


Careers and opportunities

Like all of our creative courses, Photography is very much practice-led and informed by research and critical thinking. Throughout your course, you will be encouraged to develop projects that enable you to determine which fields you wish to specialise in, while at the same time building a portfolio of work which will stand out from the crowd.

To celebrate your works of art, we produce a Degree Show exhibition every year. This is an important platform for graduates as professionals from across the industries of photography are invited to view the exhibition and receive copies of its accompanying catalogue. The Degree Show is also an important opportunity to host portfolio reviews with high profile industry experts, picture editors, curators, and commissioners. In the past, we have invited experts from a vast array of organisations, including: Magnum, Photofusion, 1000 Words, Victoria and Albert Museum, Photocaptionist and more.

Where our graduates work

Graduates from this course have gone on to work as freelance photographers, visual artists, picture editors, curators, archivists, researchers, writers, gallery and museum educators, art therapists, and teachers.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Photography MA. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply


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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).