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Do you want to capture the world around you? Are you full of ideas and how to create powerful and innovative photographic images? Whether you want to specialise in editorial, fashion, product, portrait, documentary or arts-based photography, you can develop your skills and unleash your ideas at BNU.
With this AOP accredited photography degree, you will have the opportunity to turn your passion into your future career, with technical skills training, theoretical grounding, and practical opportunities.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
With a history of delivering expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career.
As part of the Art, Design and Performance School at BNU, you’ll benefit from a practiced-based course, supported by contextual studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the school with other courses, ensuring you develop your engagement and networking abilities, as you would in the real world.
Led by a dedicated and experienced course team, you’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and the industry links they bring to the course. You’ll get direct access to guest lecturers, who are specialists in the sector, and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and networking opportunities.
The course is an accredited member of the Association of Photographers (AOP). The course meets the AOP’s criteria for the appropriate professional development of students during their studies. This accreditation also offers all students on the course their own free AOP membership for the duration of their studies, providing them with additional support and networking opportunities.
We’re proud of the many achievements our students and staff attain at BNU. Throughout your course you will have the opportunity to take part in competitions and exhibitions as well as the BNU Summer Show in your final year.
We’re also only 30 minutes by train into London, enabling you to visit exhibitions, museums, and galleries, finding inspiration from one of the world’s most innovative capitals.
This BA (Hons) Photography course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.
This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
The photography degree is an accredited member of the Association of Photographers (AOP). The course meets the AOP’s criteria for the appropriate professional development of students during their studies. This accreditation also offers all students on the course their own free AOP membership for the duration of their studies, providing them with additional support and networking opportunities.
What I most enjoy about studying here is an opportunity to do what I love, whilst being taught by professionals who work in the industry. Their knowledge is always up-to-date with industry trends and they are passionate about their craft.Aleksandra Krol
What facilities can I use?
At BNU we offer state-of-the-art photography facilities where you’ll have access to industry-standard lighting studios, wet darkroom, professional scanning suite and print bureau at our High Wycombe campus. As well as this you’ll benefit from your own mac suites, which host the full Adobe Creative Cloud, and professional printing area.
On quiet days you’ll find yourself spending time in the courses very own break out and teaching area, a light and open space to help you focus and let creativity flow.
You’ll also have access to a range of cameras and equipment (analogue and digital) available for loan to support their practice, including:
- Nikon and Canon lenses
- 5x4 Linhoff, Horseman and Cambo cameras
- medium format Bronica, Fuji, Mamiya film cameras
- medium format Pentax and Hasselblad digital cameras
- Godox, Neewer, Mecablitz and Canon camera top flash
What will I study?
This photography course offers a contemporary curriculum that is engaged with social, technological, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives, enabling you to become a ‘thinking practitioner’ or a socially responsible entrepreneur.
We will help you develop a conceptual and contextual understanding of photography, so you can find new ways to express yourself, and take your practice to a more dynamic level.
We’ll help you explore the concepts and contexts behind photography work, so you can find new ways to express yourself, and take your practice to a more dynamic level. You’ll also undertake research to develop a theoretical and critical underpinning of the subject, learning new ways of thinking and working, and pushing traditional boundaries of the medium.
In addition to learning about commercial and design applications (such as in editorial and advertising photography), you also will develop your knowledge of photography through its interactions with other creative subjects; for example, working in 3D environments to produce Computer-Generated images (CGI), exploring wet printing and alternative print-making techniques or experimenting with moving image and sound as a means of personal expression or visual communication.
As well as having the space to explore different types of photography, to see where your interests lie, we’ll make sure you understand the business side of working as a professional photographer.
You’ll learn how to best promote your photography and how to set yourself up as a freelancer, dealing with important aspects such as your own branding, marketing, to tax and finance. You’ll learn about the professional bodies that exist to protect photographers’ work and rights, such as the Association of Photographers. We’ll also look at how to develop your presence and present your work on different platforms, from the physical exhibition space to online websites, and how to evolve your practice to cater for different audiences.
How will I be taught and assessed?
At the centre of this course is practice-based activity. You’ll spend a significant amount of time developing your skills either shooting on location or using the Photography facilities (lighting studios, Mac Suite, darkroom etc.), working on both individual study and group tuition. On the course you are pushed to explore your own style, which you’ll build into your own distinctive portfolio that demonstrates your unique strengths and interests for prospective work opportunities after graduation.
During your time with us you'll study modules that encourage you to explore your own career aspirations and, through workshops from industry specialists, seminars and project critiques, we’ll also bring in guest lecturers through our dynamic visiting lecture programme to give you further insights on the diversity of the medium. You’ll hear from leading practitioners including artists, curators and professionals working across the industry.’
You’ll also be assessed though; 1:1 or small group tutorials, Portfolio and presentations, written assessments, sketchbooks, group critiques and self-directed study.
You’ll also be assessed though individual or small group tutorials, portfolio submissions and presentations, written assignments, sketchbooks and group critiques.
At the end of your course, you’ll exhibit your photography work as part of our popular Art and Design Summer Show. There’s also the opportunity to show your work at other exhibitions, such as, Free Range, the big annual graduate show in London. It’s a chance to showcase your talents outside the University, and potentially catch the attention of future employers and talent scouts.
The tutors have encouraged me to become more confident in myself and my work, by always giving out helpful feedback and advice. This excellent teaching has also made me very eager about pursuing photography as a career.Izzy Marksell
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice section.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
For a course specific guidance sheet on interview technique, please click here.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£15,000 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our Careers and Employability Team also help you find employment after graduation.
Our BA (Hons) Photography course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- Editorial Photographer
- Commercial Photographer
- Travel Photographer
- Digital Retouching
- Social and Events Photography
- Picture Researcher
- Exhibition Curator
- Sports Photographer
- Photographic Artist
You may also wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a full-time or part-time postgraduate course.