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BA (Hons) Photography (Top-up)

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2024

You can also study this course:

Do you have a passion for Photography? Are you wanting to top-up your qualification to a BA Honours degree?
If you have completed a foundation-level degree, HND, or equivalent qualifications in a relevant Art and Design subject, you can choose to top-up your studies to gain a full bachelor’s degree.
This course reflects the realities of working as a professional in the industry. Everything you do on the course, from concepts and ideas to using our state-of-the-art equipment to create and shoot, is working towards you getting employment in the sector. View our Instagram page.
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No. 1 Students' Union in the UK*
*As ranked among taught students at non-specialist HEIs (NSS 2023
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*Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023
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*NSS 2023
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Top 10 for student support*
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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
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Why study this subject?

With this top-up course, you’ll use this further year to develop your creativity, refine your photographic style and enhance your portfolio of work.

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 degree you will have the opportunity to turn your passion into your future career.

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.

On this accredited Association of Photographers course, you’ll benefit from our professional lecturers and specialist technicians who offer a broad range of experience, ranging from academic to technical and commercial areas. As well as this you’ll be able to take advantage of our industry connections through masterclasses, guest speakers and workshops.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in guest workshops and masterclasses. With London only a short journey away, you’ll be able to visit endless museums, galleries and landscapes for inspiration.

As well as this you'll get the chance to collaborate with students from other courses, working on projects with students studying film and TV production, creative advertising, graphic design and fashion and textiles.

With our state-of-the-art facilities, we’ll help you develop your photography skills to a professional standard. We'll give you the theoretical grounding and practical opportunities to add depth and flair to your work.

Our focus on innovation in photographic practice we support you as you explore your full creative potential.

The course is an accredited member of the Association of Photographers. 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.

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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
Aleksandra Krol

What facilities can I use?

On this course you’ll have access to our range of industry-standard facilities and kit hire availability, including;

  • Hasselblad and Pentax digital medium format cameras
  • professional lighting studios equipped with Elinchrom and Bowens lighting systems
  • a spacious black & white wet-print darkroom
  • Mac computer suites with Capture 1 software and full Creative Suite package
  • a scanning suite with Epson scanners up to A3 and a high-end Hasselblad Flexitight film scanner
  • a print bureau for large-scale exhibition and portfolio printing.

As well as this you’ll have full access to our base room, where you can hang-out and discuss ideas with your peers and get your head down as you work away on your portfolio.

Take a virtual tour of our facilities

What will I study?

Our course gives you many opportunities to explore the diverse world of photography. This course takes a strong ‘active learning’ approach, so you’ll have lots of opportunity to build and develop your skills working on your own photography projects.

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.

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 set yourself up as a freelancer, and deal with everything from your own 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.

To achieve the full BA (Hons) in Photography you will need to complete a major project, contextual report as well as complete the Professional Practice module.

The major project and contextual report will allow you to investigate an area of interested to you within photography. You will cover the whole research process, undertaking critical and contextual investigation and reflective analysis of your practice. You will be allocated a supervisor, who will offer support and advice.

How will I be taught and assessed?

The course offers a blended delivery and approach to learning and teaching. Some of the ways you’ll be taught throughout your time on your course are;

  • Seminars, presentations and group critiques where you’ll display work in progress to tutors and peers and is considered central to the student learning experience
  • Tutorials may be individual or small group based, enabling exploration through discussion and support.
  • Lecturers that deliver the theory elements of the curriculum
  • Practical workshops and technical demonstrations delivered by a range of staff from tutors and visiting lecturers to technical demonstrators
  • Guest speakers and industry professional visits from a range of experts who contribute to photography, their practice and specialism
  • Assessments
  • Feedback, verbal and written from tutors to help you refine and develop your work.

As well as this you’ll be expected to spend time self-studying, where you’ll undertake your own practical briefs, industry briefs and portfolio work. 

Useful Documents

BA (Hons) Photography (Top-up) Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

This programme is offered as a top-up qualification for students who have completed a HND, FdA, or other equivalent qualification in a relevant Art and Design subject, and wish to progress further to achieve an Honours degree.

Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice pages.


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.

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£15,000 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing

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. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Once you’ve graduated from this course, you’ll be in a strong position to go into work as a professional photographer, in both commercial and creative avenues. You could take your skills into editorial or advertising photography, or move into more creatively-focused work, with galleries or cultural organisations.

Our BA (Hons) Photography (Top-up) course and the portfolio of work you create throughout your time on the course, will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:

  • Editorial photographer
  • Commercial Photographer
  • Travel Photographer
  • Teacher
  • Digital Retouching
  • Social and Events Photography
  • Picture Researcher
  • Exhibition Curator
  • Sports Photographer
  • Photojournalist

You may also wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study one of our full-time or part-time postgraduate courses.

Course leader

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Dr Alexandra Murphy
  • Course Leader
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Tracey Sherwood
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Elisavet Kalpaxi
  • Senior Lecturer
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Nick Wiltshire
  • Technician Demonstrator
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Al Watkins
  • Technical Demonstrator for Digital Arts
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Matthew Street
  • Technical Demonstrator in Visual Production
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