Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Photography - BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2020 Duration: 3 Years

This course is for students who want to pursue a career in the varied and exciting world of photography. The course embeds industry practice along with a creative professional approach to photography.

Key features

  • Creative commercial work
  • Professional studios with infinity wall, lighting and effect machines
  • Digital production suites and darkroom lab
  • Client-based projects and work with top professionals
  • Shooting for major organisations

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Validated by University of Brighton until the end of 2019-20. Validation by University of the Arts London (UAL) from September 2020: Please note that BA (Hons) Photography is ‘subject to validation’. ‘Validation’ is the process by which UAL and the College develops courses. It is developmental in nature and makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Course requirements

Portfolio and interview.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.


Please bring a small portfolio of your work to your interview, along with some written work which you feel is appropriate to the course.

Cross-college entry guide

(including English requirements for international students) -

Click here for our cross-college entry guide

Year 1: The first year is concerned with gaining skills, ideas and the creative process. It aims to encourage creativity, and the development of individual style and direction for each photographer.

Year 2: The second year focuses on industry led client briefs and professional skills. Creative abilities combine with client handling to ensure students are prepared for working in the photographic industry. Students gain experience of working with professional photographers on site and on location. Throughout the course, students are supported with feedback from course staff and professional photographers.

Year 3: The third year encourages students to specialise in areas of photography that interest them, developing intellectual, innovative, creative and practical skills specific to their specialisms. Students 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 for entering the photographic industry. The third year of the course allows for individual development, for a range of experimental, explorative projects that are then developed into a specialist portfolio and major exhibition.

Students develop strong technical skills, a broad range of photographic experience, realistic client handling skills, pitching skills and have the ability to approach any photographic assignment with a creative and broad range of approaches. The course is heavily practical, with opportunities for students to work in a range of photographic genres, from editorial, documentary and fashion to landscape, wildlife, fine art etc.

Facilities include three professional studios, the infinity studio, the black portrait studio and the TV studio, which also has a product table for professional shots. We have a range of cameras including full frame, a range of lenses from wide angle to telephoto. We also have darkrooms plus full digital post production capabilities and a range of professional lighting, and effects machines (wind machine etc).

Students have worked with:
Andy Earl – Top British music photographer
Heather Angel – Wildlife photographer
Valtech – Top 5 global creative consultancy
Richard Grange – Press photographer
Syd Shelton – Documentary photographer
Malcolm Glover – Fine art photographer
Vince Starr – Sports photographer
FrontRow Fashion
London Fashion Weekend/Canon
Sussex Police

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

(5-minute video)

Potential careers

  • Photographer's assistant
  • Freelance photographer
  • Photographer
  • Portrait photographer
  • Specialist photographer (sports, music, fashion, editorial, events, travel, food, architecture, wildlife, forensics)
  • Picture desk
  • Photo editor
  • Press photographer
  • Curator/exhibition
  • Post-production/editing
  • 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 James Streeter was profiled in Practical Photographer magazine
    • Alumnus and portrait photographer Paul Stuart was interviewed by the National Portrait Gallery
    • Alumnus Gemma Clarke is a successful dance photographer -

  • alumni Views Hamish Kilburn

    “The 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.”

  • alumni Views Marika Algar FdA Photography

    “The 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 Ellyot

    “I 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.”

  • Student photogrpahy 1
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  • Student photogrpahy 7
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