BA (Hons) Photography — Overview
Our distinctive BA (Hons) Photography programme focuses on a blend of creative and critical practice. It examines and encourages the many types of photographic image-making that emerge from photography as contemporary art.
As a student, you will develop technical, creative and analytical skills throughout the three years of the programme, to become an accomplished, innovative and critically informed image-maker.
Photography is a part of all of our daily lives, and the visual world as it is photographed is a crucial way for us to communicate our thoughts and our feelings – and to reflect on the world that we live in.
Today, we take more photographs than ever before, and it could be argued that photographic image-making is the most relevant and important creative discipline in the 21st century.
Taking an enquiring and experimental approach, while developing your technical and communication skills, will open up a range of creative and professional possibilities for you as a photographic practitioner.
You’ll use a variety of media, covering digital and film-based photography, stills and moving image in order to proficiently express your photographic vision. You will also learn to critically reflect on your own practice and creativity.
You will be encouraged to develop your own ideas in relation to your practice and in doing so will try out a range of photographic methods, working with people and places, in urban locations, natural environments and in the studio.
You’ll consider the photograph as document and object as well as in its virtual contexts, exploring self-expression and experimental processes. We will support you in discovering different ways of working and in finding a photographic language that works for you.
In addition, you will examine photography as a contemporary art form, and in relation to other practices. You will also consider photography in relation to culture, society and the wider world.
On top of developing your individual identity as a photographer, you will be encouraged to work collectively and develop networks that will support your creative and professional future.
Ultimately, our photography programme will help you build your creativity, confidence, knowledge and expertise. Within the creative environment of our photographic centre at Plymouth College of Art, you will learn from staff who are practising artists and have a range of internationally recognised experience across art, documentary, curatorial and participatory-based forms of practice.
As a teaching team, they will help you build your own distinctive and innovative creative practice. They will support you in developing your networks and help you to find your place within the world of contemporary photography. Over the three years of studying with us, you will be publishing, exhibiting and presenting your work and your ideas.
What will I achieve?
Our graduates have all the skills and knowledge that they need to work in the creative industries and build their artistic reputation. Our professional practice modules, which begin in the first year, help you to understand how to develop a career in creative photographic practice.
You will need to gain entrepreneurial skills, and will explore how to promote and support your work through exhibitions, publications and online formats.
You will also learn how to develop supportive professional networks through genuine creative collaborations and how to fund your emerging practice through a variety of means such as sales, grants and competitions.
Recent visiting artists and lecturers have included: Peter Kennard, Sian Davey, Louis Porter, Mathew Broadhead, Aaron Schuman, Eileen Perrier, Richard Billingham, Nicholas White, Daniel Meadows, Tom Hunter and Sophy Rickett.
Each year there are national and international study trips and visits as well as online exchanges, arranged to enrich and support the student experience and introduce you to the global photographic community. During 2017 these activities have included trips to Paris Photo and Tate Modern in London and a virtual photo-exchange and online symposia with students in Varanasi, India.
- Read Aesthetica Magazine's interview with 2017 graduate Maciej Krzyminski.
- Our 2017 graduate collective was named as one to watch by Hashtag Photography Magazine.
Students exhibit their work both within the college, nationally and internationally exposing your work to a range of professionals and audiences within the wider creative economy. Our graduating students show their work annually at the prestigious Free Range Shows in London and have been consistently recognised for their innovative and groundbreaking work with numerous awards, prizes, exhibition opportunities and magazine features.
Thinking & making
Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.
We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice, while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.
Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more.
BA (Hons) Photography — Highlights:
- Develop creative, production and critical skills across a range of different lens and photographic-based media and consider the production, distribution and meaning of images, as well as examining the relationship between practice and theory.
- Benefit from some of the best facilities and equipment resources in the country, providing access to a range of industry-standard photographic studios, traditional darkrooms, lighting and camera equipment.
- Learn in the unique environment and study experience of a specialist art college, characterised by creativity, experimentation and imagination. You’ll be exposed to a broad range of influences and experiences, and benefit from opportunities to share ideas and work across disciplines.
- Engage with opportunities to meet and interact with industry professionals, including photographic artists, picture editors, curators and writers, through our close links with the world of photography. Our curriculum includes a rich schedule of visits from lecturers and artists, many of whom also take an active role in the student experience, contributing to workshops, group critiques and seminar discussions, and providing portfolio review sessions.
- Gain a wide range of skills and knowledge, enabling you to shape your future and make a positive impact in the creative industries. In addition to being technically proficient, visually sophisticated and professionally astute, our students graduate with a broad range of transferable skills that enable them to excel in the world of work.
If you want to develop your practice further, we also offer an MA Photography programme.