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BA (Honours) Photography

Take risks, experiment, and establish your own independent photography practice.

Course length 3 Years
Location City Campus
UCAS W640 Course code

Course description

What you study

On this course you develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables you to fulfil your potential in the increasingly diffuse and continuingly evolving discipline of photography. You are introduced to a range of photographic techniques and key critical themes in order to develop your understanding of the relationship and integration of theory and practice.

Throughout this course you develop professional skills in research and communication, as well as the flexibility to work in a range of contemporary photographic contexts. You also gain professional skills in time management, professional practice, managing risks and developing innovative solutions to creative challenges.

Key areas of study include • production skills • self directed creative practice • contemporary themes and practices • research, theory and critical analysis • historical practice and debates • project development • independent production • marketing and promotion • professional practice • exhibition organisation.

You may be able to study abroad as part of the Erasmus programme.


You use our well-equipped photographic facilities to produce both digital and analogue imaging. Facilities include

• two industry-standard photography studios

• portable lighting equipment

• a dedicated digital ‘darkroom’ including scanning, processing and printing facilities

• colour and black and white analogue darkrooms with enlargers from 35mm to 5x4

• black and white print darkroom with both wet and machine process facilities

• an extensive lending store where you can borrow industry standard equipment such as cameras, lenses and tripods

Work experience

The course offers you exhibition opportunities through which you gain skills and experience in presenting your work to a public audience, both inside and outside of the University. You also develop a portfolio of creative work and a range of professional tools that help you to prepare for your future career. A professional practice strand runs through the second and third year of the course, embedding key professional and industry skills.

During the first year, you gain a foundation in the technical, creative and theoretical aspects of photography. The second year encourages you to build on these skills and to begin to develop your own independent specialised practice.

In the third year, you focus on developing an in-depth, self-directed project to a professional standard, culminating in the presentation of your finished work in a graduation exhibition.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C or grade 4 or above, plus one of the following

• 112 UCAS points from at least two A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications, including at least 32 points in a relevant subject. We accept AS levels. We accept General Studies.


• 96 UCAS points from three A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications, including at least 32 points in a relevant subject. We accept General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 18 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in a media-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.5 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a selection event with a portfolio of work to demonstrate your ability. Find out about the selection process and how to produce a strong portfolio.

We welcome applications from people of any age. There may be some flexibility in entry requirements provided you have other relevant learning or experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.

* Relevant subjects are • media studies • film studies • English • photography • history of art • theatre studies • history.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• exploratory practice and approaches • creative production • introduction to critical analysis • history practice and debates • analogue techniques and skills • digital techniques and skills

Year two modules

• advanced techniques and skills • contemporary photographic practice • concepts and questions • negotiated practice • research and reflection

Year three modules

• independent practice preparation • independent practice • critical research project • professional practice

  • creative practical projects
  • technical skill and application
  • research files
  • written essays and reports
  • presentations
  • portfolios of work
  • critical evaluations and reviews


A range of opportunities for permanent photographic employment exist within the creative and cultural industries and many photographers work as freelance practitioners or balance a portfolio of different work.

Opportunities include • documentary • fine art • fashion and advertising • editorial • press and photojournalism • general and social portraiture • scientific and medical • stills for film and video productions • post production (picture editing, processing, printing and finishing) • picture research and publishing • curatorial and gallery contexts.

The transferable creative, practical, intellectual and organisational skills the course develops are highly valued by employers in a wide range of professional situations. These include • arts, culture and media organisations • public relations • education • community organisations and the voluntary sector • the leisure industry • business • public organisations.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,250 a year

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,750 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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