Photography BA Honours
This is a course in the creative and critical practice of photography. You will develop your own visual practice through an appreciation of the history of the medium and a critical understanding of its wider social and cultural signiﬁcance. You will also explore a wide range of relevant contemporary theories and debates designed both to stimulate a critically engaged practice and to better prepare you for a range of related careers. Additionally, you will gain cognitive and transferable skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.
Many of our graduates go on to work as photographers and photographic artists, but equally they pursue a range of careers within the broader photographic and creative sectors, as designers, historians, magazine editors, museum and gallery curators, picture editors and researchers, teachers, and writers. Many also go on to postgraduate study.
This is the only BA Photography degree course in the UK, which offers both three years full-time and four-years part-time study. Part-time students are taught one day a week with further access to the facilities. Applicants should apply to the most appropriate route, but can also change route should their circumstances change. Course content is the same in three years full-time or four years part-time study.
The Photography BA Honours will enable you to develop your creative production skills across a range of photographic and lens-based media, to establish a critically engaged and self-reflective creative practice. It will equip you with the skills to adapt to creative opportunities, participate in contemporary cultural debates, and increase your awareness of the political, ethical and aesthetic implications of your work.
The course is part of the University of Westminster’s School of Media, Arts and Design, based at our state-of-the-art Harrow Campus – a cutting-edge creative hub, and one of the leading media, arts and design educational facilities in Europe.
Practical modules are designed to equip you with the techniques and craft skills of a variety of digital and analogue photographic media including video. You are encouraged to develop a creative, critically informed and self-reﬂective approach to your practical work. Alongside this, theory modules reﬂect on the history and criticism of photography, drawing on a number of related ﬁelds including art history, media and cultural theory, and sociology.
You will learn to form independent, informed opinions of your own work and that of others. There is a continual emphasis on personal and professional development throughout the course.
Subjects of study
The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Credit Level 4
This level provides you with an intensive grounding in the key photographic techniques, theories and concepts, forming the basis for later learning.
Subjects of study include:
- Photography from Invention to Mass Medium
- Photography from the Cold War to the Present
- The Photographic Eye
- The Constructed Photograph
Credit Level 5
At this level you are encouraged to push the boundaries of your own photographic practice, and experiment and explore new ways of working including video, camera-less photography and alternative processes. You will also produce project work for speciﬁc contexts such as the gallery, magazine, the photobook or the screen. Students are offered options in work placements, group exhibitions, study abroad and collaborative interdisciplinary modules.
Subjects of study include:
- Advanced Concepts in Photography
- Advanced Research Methods
- Vision and Technology
- Photography for Wall, Page and Screen
- Art/Science Collaboration
- Creative Encounters
- Photography Beyond the Frame
- Professional Practice
Credit Level 6
In the ﬁnal year you will focus on the production of two major pieces of self-directed visual and written work. You will work independently, supported by workshops, crits, and one-on-one tutorials, to produce a 10,000-word Dissertation and a Major Project for public exhibition. Professional development continues, to support you in preparing for your careers after graduation.
Subjects of study include:
- Photography Dissertation
- Photography Major Project
- Professional Futures
The course content is listed by year, corresponding to the full-time mode of study. If you study part-time you will study the same content, spread over four years.
As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.
The course is accredited by Skillset: the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the creative industries.
- Gavin Jack – Course Leader (full time, 3 years)
- Shirley O'Loughlin – Course Leader (part-time, 4 years)
- Dr. David Campany, Rachel Cunningham, Andy Golding, Dr. Teemu Hupli, Gavin Jack, Allan Parker, Eileen Perrier, Andre Pinkowski, Ulrike Leyens, Dr. Neil Matheson, Dr. Eugenie Shinkle, Frank Watson – Course Lecturers
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
In the second year of the course students can take the Photography Work Placement module, where they are supported in seeking relevant work experience in a wide range of sectors. The experience and contacts gained during this time can be invaluable and can also lead to further employment upon graduation.
Recent examples of work experience include:
- Assisting with:
- Sian Bonnell
- Tom Hunter
- Nadav Kander
- Jurgen Teller
- Massimo Vitali
- Placements with:
- Sunday Times Magazine
- Next Level Magazine
- Dazed & Confused Magazine
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- Sony World Photography Award
Many of our graduates go on to work as photographers in the commercial and fine art sectors, but they also pursue a range of careers within the broader photographic industries, such as picture editors and researchers, museum and gallery curators, writers, historians, teachers and community project workers. Recent surveys of graduates from 2008-2010 showed that within 6 months of graduating 70% were either in full time employment or pursuing postgraduate studies.
Some recent graduates include:
Lorenzo Durantini - Photographic Artist and freelance curator. Curated re:control in London 2011 and Ristruttara in Milan in 2012
Tereza Zelenkova - Photographic Artist. Published and exhibited internationally. Selected for Freshfacedandwildeyed 2011 at the Photographer’s Gallery, London and Plat(t)form 2012 at Fotomuseum, Winterhur and was awarded honourable mention in Flash Forward 2011 by the Magenta Foundation.
Martina Lindqvist - Photographic Artist. Published and exhibited widely. Selected for Freshfacedandwildeyed 2009 at The Photographer’s Gallery. Winner of Jerwood Photography award 2008.
Peter Watkins - Photographic Artist
Laura Edith Guy - Curator, Writer and Researcher. Curator at Inheritance Projects
Daniele Tamagni - Photographer
Marcello Bonfanti - Photographer
Anna Schori - Photographer
Olu Michael Odokoya - Founding Editor Kilimanjaro Magazine
Peter Watkins, Hope of Additional Light, 2008
Some of the most influential shapers of British photographic culture have graduated from our course over the years. These have included:
- Gloria Chalmers - after graduating in 1985, went on to become the founding editor of Portfolio Magazine, which became perhaps the most influential and respected publication for contemporary photography in Britain throughout the 90’s and 00’s.
- Professor Olivier Richon - Photographic Artist and writer, Head of MA Photography at the Royal college of Art
Karen Knorr - Photographic Artist - Professor of Photography at University of Creative Arts
Cover of Portfolio magazine
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.