Jake Lynch Nike Heroshot Commericialphotography 1

BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial

Course Duration

3 years; full-time

UCAS Code

Course: COFJ
Institution: P65

Launch Date

Jan 2021
Subject to Validation

Our January entry (Spring term) BA (Hons) degrees allow students to study flexibly at home, in the studio or at our dedicated international host institution. You'll complete your first year of study by the beginning of August, progressing straight into your second year in September 2021 after a summer break.

Lorna Crockett Chinomso Commercial Photography 1

Lorna Crockett, Chinomso, 2020.

How it works

We are excited to offer a selection of BA (Hons) creative courses through our new distance learning provision, starting in January 2021. Our vision for excellence in art and design distance learning, under the banner of our Connected Campus, affords students flexibility in their studies whilst being a valued part of our community.

These three-year courses all share a common distance-learning first year, while specialising in a chosen subject, then progressing into named awards in year two and three. The first year of your January entry BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course can be studied at home, in your own studio space, or at our dedicated international host institution. You will begin in January 2021, and your studies will finish in July 2021, allowing you to immediately progress on to your second year of study in person at Plymouth College of Art, in September 2021.

What will I study?

Our BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course will equip you with advanced technical skills in studio and location lighting, digital capture and post-production techniques. This is an integrated programme of study with industry-oriented assignment, hands-on workshops and expert tuition. You will also develop your industry knowledge and professional skills to enable you to find work in high-end commercial photographic practice.

Our curriculum is geared towards employability and enterprise. We develop photographers who are technically proficient, visually sophisticated and professionally astute – who understand trends in the industry, how to pitch for business, and who graduate with a broad range of transferable skills that enable them to succeed in the creative industries.

Working both individually and with real-world mentors, you’ll gain vocational experience to be able to flourish both academically and professionally. You will acquire a broad range of entrepreneurial abilities in marketing, self- promotion and business development, enabling you to develop a financially sustainable practice, fundamental to your success in the industry.

Mark Ronson for NME by award winning graduate Andy Ford

Mark Ronson for NME Magazine, Andy Ford.

Our curriculum includes a rich schedule of visiting lecturers and photographers, many of whom also take an active role in running practical workshops, contributing to group critiques and seminar discussions, and providing portfolio review sessions. And we are regularly visited by talented photography alumni, with graduates including Harry Borden, Suki Dhanda, Tom Oldham and Candice Farmer. Some also provide work placement and assisting opportunities. Sessions by visitors are recorded wherever possible and shared with the college community.

Our students attend world-class events including the annual Visual Culture Symposium in London, where speakers have included picture editors from The Telegraph and The Guardian, amongst acclaimed international photographers. You’ll also be encouraged to enter graduate showcases and awards, with one of our recent graduates winning Best in Show - first runner up, at Free Range 2019.

How will I learn?

Beginning in January 2021, your accelerated first-year will take place online, learning remotely with the support of our teaching and technical team, as well as industry practitioners. You’ll develop your confidence in responding to client briefs while demonstrating creative problem-solving and conceptualisation skills.

Our Commercial Photography course also benefits from a strong connection with the prestigious Association of Photographers (AOP), with UK students offered free membership.

In the second year, you’ll be able to learn face-to-face with real industry clients and build a professional portfolio using our state-of-the-art facilities. Recent course contributors include Getty Images, The Met Office, Mercedes-Benz, and Pro-Direct Sport. You’ll also benefit from our affiliation with the prestigious Association of Photographers (AOP).

Rhiannon brassington

Rhiannon Brassington

What will I have access to?

Our UK students can enjoy access to our photographic resources including industry-standard studios, with an infinity cove to create seamless backdrops for shoots and a series of well-equipped studios for portrait and product photography. We also provide access to lighting and high-end digital camera equipment, large-format scanners, post-production suites and 6000 pieces of kit that are free to hire from our Equipment Resource Centre.

International students can access facilities available at our dedicated host institution, based in China. Access to specialist facilities can support your studies, however it is not essential to succeed on this course.

Andrew young

Andrew Young

Entry Requirements

Although many of our students do come in with top grades and high UCAS points, these aren’t necessarily essential for entry. We typically ask for a minimum of 112 UCAS points, but we understand that talented artists, designers and makers can have a wide

range of relevant strengths and skills beyond formal qualifications. We’re just as interested in exploring your portfolio and discussing your creative experiences as we are in seeing your grades.

We recognise the value of a variety of qualifications and relevant experience and welcome applications from students who have followed less traditional routes. We also accept a range of international qualifications and will look at each application individually.

For more information please consult our How to Apply page and the UCAS Tariff Table.

Tuition Fees

If you are joining one of our January 2021-start degrees beginning in the Spring term, you will pay the tuition fees advertised for the academic cycle 2020/21.

For new full-time UK and EU students, this will be £9250 per year. For full-time international students joining us from a partner provider, this will be £14,800. Please note that only a full-time study mode is available for this course, due to the accelerated first-year.


Get in touch

For more information on how our January-start degrees work and a full list of courses available, please click here.