Photography | BA (Hons) Degree (full-time course)
Why this course?
This course allows students to develop as photographic artists, documentary photographers and visual communicators.
We also offer a part-time Photography BA (Hons) degree programme. This is taught over 5 years.
- Photographic Arts training
- Professional studios with infinity wall, lighting and effects machines
- Digital production suites
- Visual communication skills
- Darkroom/alternative printing
Course Instagram: @GBMetPhoto
Course Facebook (Group) GBMet Photography
Validated by University of the Arts London (UAL)
This programme is validated by University of the Arts London (UAL). UAL is a leading education provider in the creative arts, ranked second in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022). They oversee the standards and quality of our curriculum, which enriches your overall learning experience.
See the full list of our creative arts degrees
alumni Views Marika AlgarThe course helped me to not only create but to develop my confidence. Working with clients and pitching was so rewarding! We were able to see how the work would be received in the professional world and that we what we were learning had real relevance.
alumni Views Dan EllyotI transferred from a major university and straight away I knew I was right to make the change. The staff were able to move me forward, motivate me and support my learning. I was able to pursue my own ideas and vision alongside developing my commercial skills.
alumni Views Hamish KilburnThe course taught me about professional working. I learned a lot about how to handle myself in the work place. Feedback was really important to me and it was great to be part of a group that were ambitious and driven. I enjoyed the course immensely.
Each application will be assessed individually, including a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.
Typical entry requirements are below but offers may vary:
- a relevant A-Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma
In exceptional circumstances, if you do not meet our entry requirements, your application may still be considered if you demonstrate additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:
- related academic or work experience
- the quality of the personal statement
Portfolio and interview
You will also be required to provide a portfolio and interview for this course. Please bring a small portfolio of your work to your interview, along with some written work which you feel is appropriate to the course.
Entry guide for more information about the range of qualifications we accept (including English language requirements for international students).
Year 1: The first year engages you in learning about the photographic medium through technical development and encourages that development of individual style and direction for each photographer.
Year 2: The second year develops further technical skills, whilst refining your photographer direction. This year allows you to experiment and to engage in a wide range of photographic practice. Direction is guided by staff, but is driven by innovation. Increasingly students in the second year are exploring areas such as cinemagraphs, moving images and holograms during the year.
Year 3: The third year encourages students to specialise in areas of photography that interest you, developing intellectual, innovative, creative and practical skills specific to their specialisms. You will engage with live projects, developing entrepreneurial skills and independent practice to achieve professional work and enriched contacts within industry.
You will work with visiting practitioners, as well as our academic staff who have specialist professional experience, to develop major photographic projects, work collaboratively and to create opportunities to develop as a photographer. The course allows for individual development, for a range of experimental, explorative projects that are then developed into a specialist portfolio and major exhibition.
You will develop strong technical skills, a broad range of photographic skills. The course is heavily practical, with opportunities for students to work in a range of photographic genres.
- Three professional studios
- Infinity studio
- The black portrait studio
- TV Studio (with product table for professional shots)
- Range of cameras including full frame digital, and a range of lenses from wide angle to telephoto
- Full digital post production capabilities, professional lighting and effects machines (wind machines etc)
- Dark rooms
Previous students have worked with:
- Andy Earl -British music photographer
- Heather Angel - Wildlife photographer
- Richard Grange - Press photographer
- Syd Shelton - Documentary photographer
- Malcolm Glover - Fine Art photographer.
Fundamentals of Photography (20 credits)
In this unit you will begin to develop your knowledge and understanding of photography, allowing you to learn to use the ways in which the photographic image is created, from analogue to digital.
You will begin to develop your skills in practical applications of photographic techniques and processes and your ability to apply critical and analytical approaches to a range of your photography.
Establishing Practice (20 credits)
This unit will build on the development of skills, experience and knowledge introduced in Fundamentals of Photography. It will encourage you to further develop your range of skills, and consolidate those learnt in the previous unit.
You will begin to consider what the photographer does, who they are, and the power of the photographic medium. The unit builds on the fundamentals to allow you to consider the ways in which photography can be used to communicate.
Cultural and Contextual Studies (20 credits)
This unit aims to encourage and develop your awareness of the historical, social and cultural context that underpins the contemporary practice of creatives in a professional and academic context.
You will be encouraged to develop critical and analytical approaches through the introduction of research skills, critical examination and investigation and how to connect this to your own practice.
Digital Editorial (20 credits)
Building on the Fundamental Skills unit, which gave you the skills to take photographs and the Establishing Practice unit, which allowed you to begin exploring your identity as a photographer, this unit begins to explore outlets for your photography.
This unit aims to develop your knowledge of the role of editorial in photography. Rather than limiting the unit to an exploration of the documentary there will be consideration of subversion, manipulation and the idea of the ‘real’. You will gain a broad understanding of editorial outputs, and develops skills in preparing your work for them. This will include file handling, data tagging, digital touching up, or not touching up, and when/why they would be used.
Minor Project (40 credits)
This unit aims to provide you with the opportunity to produce self-initiated work, informed by the development of your skills, knowledge and experience of production processes and techniques, digital technology and software applications from the previous units.
You will be encouraged to submit a proposal for an individual project, with evidence of planning, development of ideas and proposed application of appropriate techniques, technology and software, which will be agreed with staff.
Photographic Manifesto (40 credits)
This unit will develop your understanding of visual communication, and how as a photographer this can be used to make a statement. That statement can be political, social or antisocial, environmental, humanitarian, personal or cultural. Building on the establishing practice at Level 4 this unit aims to define and develop what you want to say with your imagery.
Advanced Cultural and Contextual Studies (20 credits)
This unit aims to continue to develop your understanding of the historical, social and cultural environment in relation to your practice. You will continue to develop your critical and research skills through your examination of a topic, and develop your communication style in the presentation of the results of this investigation in an academic format.
Professional Practice (20 credits)
In this unit you will develop your knowledge and understanding of working in the photographic sector and gain experience of working to the requirements of an external practitioner, which also includes the experience of presenting your work in the form of a pitch.
You will continue to develop your understanding of cultural, legal, ethical and practical considerations in your response to the ‘live’ brief and develop your transferable skills through the experience of working and presenting in an industry context.
Independent Project (40 credits)
A series of workshops, where you will design your own learning, to support a self-initiated photographic response to a negotiated brief.
You will be encouraged to demonstrate your ability and motivation to engage with increasingly creative and complex ideas, problem solve and experiment through a sophisticated use of techniques and processes and identify specialist areas of practice to develop.
Specialist Practice (20 credits)
In this unit you will be encouraged to continue the process of defining your specialist photographic practice.
The unit will be delivered in two parts. In the first part you will be introduced to a different pace of working through developing creative responses to five weekly topics. In the second part of the unit you will develop a self-initiated response for a photographic outcome, informed by the diagnostic phase.
Collaborative Project (20 credits)
In this unit you will be introduced to collaborative working. The unit will be delivered in two parts. In the first part you will be introduced to group working which will allow you to explore, and reflect on, your relationship and approach to collaborative working.
In the second part of the unit you will work on a brief set by an external participant. This could be a company, a charity, or other external organisation.
Creative and Critical Research Project (20 credits)
You will complete a self-directed, detailed research examination of a topic, which can either take the form of a critical investigation or a practice-based research project.
An initial series of sessions will support you in your proposed choice of topic, which is then presented in the form of a proposal and includes an overview of research sources and resources that have informed your choice of research activity.
Exit Portfolio (60 credits)
This unit enables you to create a significant piece of work that should fully reflect the development of your photographic practice and an exit portfolio to allow you to launch your photographic career.
The final work will be part of a curated show and you will need to include your plans for presentation at this.
Contact time and study hours
A full-time student can expect to have around 2 days of timetabled teaching contact per week. You will have approximately 40 hours of timetabled teaching contact for each 20 credit module. This is supported by independent self-guided study.
Teaching and assessment methods
We use a variety of teaching methods, including:
- practical workshops
- group study/peer reviews
- self-directed study
Assessment methods vary between units but could include:
- photographic portfolios
- project work
- research proposal
- written assignments
Work by our students was recently chosen to dress the outside of Brighton’s iconic i360 attraction
Video tour of our campus
See students from different courses using the facilities at our creative arts specialist campus
- Photographer's assistant
- Freelance photographer
- Portrait photographer
- Specialist photographer (sports, music, fashion, editorial, events, travel, food, architecture, wildlife, forensics)
- Picture desk
- Photo editor
- Press photographer
- Digital design
Students have worked commercially for photographers, magazines and taken on commission work. Several students have become freelance photographers, with some working in partnerships formed during the course.
Some of our recent alumni success stories
- Alumnus Hamish Kilburn is Editor of Hotel Magazine.
- Alumnus' Charles Shepherd and Ben Denton run a successful photographic and filmmaking business called Room C.
- Alumnus Gemma Clarke is a successful dance photographer - gemmaclark.co.uk