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Photography BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W640 2019

Why choose this course?

This distinctive course is taught within an environment in which photography is recognised as playing a special role in many practices.

Photography is pivotal to fine art, fashion, advertising and editorial photography, as well as digital applications. The course is centred on the making and understanding of photographic images.

You will develop your individual creative voice alongside your professional skill levels, within a multi-genre approach to the medium. The course takes maximum advantage of Kingston's proximity to the vibrant art, photography and cultural life of London, one of the major photographic art and commercial centres of the world.

You'll be encouraged to explore, experiment and expand your understanding. You will develop an appreciation of your potential and application of photography. You will contribute to a vital photographic culture alongside your peers, increasingly developing your own interests and ambitions.

Study includes both analogue and digital photography with the key focus on your creative ideas and critical development as a photographic practitioner.

You'll get to use a range of professional-grade facilities and equipment, from high-end digital capture, dedicated photography studios and darkrooms (analogue and digital).

There will be opportunities to work with historic manual processes such as cyanotypes and salt prints as well as other 'craft' processes including creating unique one-off photobooks.

As part of our professional photographers' series, you will be able to meet visiting professional photographers and view their presentations.

We have hosted well-known photographers including: Lauren Maccabee, Rosaline Shahnavaz, Franklyn Rodgers, Melanie Manchot, Alexander Mourant, Bridget Smith, Almudena Romero, Sophie Harris-Taylor, Simon Roberts and Marysa Dowling to name a few!

We have also worked with industry organisations including:

All our staff are industry professionals with a diverse set of experiences and skills who exhibit and publish their work to national and international acclaim. Read more.

What you will study

You'll develop your creativity and photography through workshops and self-initiated projects. A programme of seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials will enhance your learning and preparation for your professional future. Our teaching relates your own ideas and ambitions to the critical, contemporary and historical contexts of photography.

The degree programme sets out to structure your learning through a process which identifies distinct aims at Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6.

In your first year, you'll become aware and critical of the range of photography practices and the possibilities of a personal photography practice. You will be encouraged to experiment with new approaches and techniques.

Level 5 enables you to develop your own independent and self-directed photography practice with support. You will continue to develop your ideas, skills and folios in more depth.

Level 6 enables you to become proficient, professional, assured, innovative and outward-facing through a personal photography practice. You will refine your photography and define your ambitions more succinctly.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module introduces the course. It introduces active learning, research and reflection through practical photography projects which lead from thematic and conceptual to self-initiated and developmental projects. These projects will involve increasing engagement with conceptual and thematic concerns utilising different methodologies for work. There is an emphasis on the self-initiated development of critical photography in response. Students develop and independently produce (with tutorial support) a body of work(s) that can be considered "personal photography" arising from personal concerns. In effect a committed and serious independent practice on reflection, rather than purely a set response to project briefs.

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  • This module's focus is on the attainment of an array of production and technical skills to expand and enhance students' development of a personal (and professional standard) photographic language. It is primarily concerned with the development of a critical awareness of photography processes, photography and related transferable skills, research and critical thinking. It begins with active learning through skills based projects, both analogue and digital. All projects will encompass conceptual concerns, individual development and critical engagement with a photographic ‘way of seeing' and working with light, both natural and artificial, which lead from thematic and conceptual to self-initiated and developmental projects. Each project will be introduced and continue with technical workshops, group seminars a series of group project reviews. and individual tutorial support.

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  • In this module students develop and progress further their independent photography and begin to engage with the moving image, extending their skillset and enhancing the potential for all image based work. The intention is for students to explore and exam the implications of different modes for editorial presentation with their photography and image making. Students will be supported to develop appropriate methods of presentation through tutorials, workshops aligned with their contribution to the seminar programme where they show and discuss work-in-progress to their peer group. Students will self-publish photographic books and other photographic series of works for summative assessment at the end of each teaching block.

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  • This module introduces the various contexts in which the contemporary practices of photography, are defined, debated and displayed. The module is designed to support students' first steps as practitioners within the wider field of the visual arts in the 21st century. Through lectures, discussions, screenings and exhibition visits they will be introduced to the historical framework of modernity and post-modernity in order to understand the development and contemporary situation of their discipline. The module is organised as discrete but related teaching blocks that progress from broader questions of cultural practice to the more specific debates that have framed the historical development photography and its associated fields - for example moving images and fine art. In the first block, the emphasis is broad and focused on developing in students, an understanding of the notion of practice in the visual arts, by addressing the historical, theoretical, social and political factors that have affected our understanding of its function. In the second block, students will be encouraged to consider the key debates, theoretical questions and changing contexts that inform their discipline. Throughout there is an emphasis on the introduction of key analytical, critical and research skills, and through close engagement with visual sources, historical texts and contemporary critical writing, students will begin to develop the tools necessary to discuss, conceptualise and reflect on their own emerging practice.

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Year 2

  • You will develop portfolios of independent photography and other supporting research materials that demonstrate a growing awareness of the potential of photography across different genres and critical contexts. The development of an independent photographic practice is supported through lectures, group and peer review (not formally assessed), workshops and individual tutorials. You will be supported to challenge their working practices for photography and extend their critical abilities, research knowledge and understanding, as well as increase their visual communication and successfully resolve their photographic responses to readings of important historical and contemporary texts explored in class.

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  • The module encourages and challenges you to make critical photographic projects responding to different subjects and contexts, focusing on process, audience and refinement of visual literacy. You will have the opportunity to participate in collaborative projects as well as work individually, building and increasing confidence in communication and working in partnership towards resolution. You will continue to use journals/workbooks/blogs as a means of analyzing your practice, context, research, critically reflecting on process and making evident your engagement with subjects and project themes.

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  • You will engage directly with professional practice working collaboratively and with a project partner organisation, responding to two 'live' professional briefs. Through this important developmental work process, you will consider the implications of different modes of engagement and presentation on your evolving independent photographic practices. You will develop and produce two new bodies of photographic work in response to the 'live' briefs (set by course team) which forms the core of your portfolio and your end of module presentation. You will then produce and present the folios' selected coursework content as an end of year group exhibition and/or publications as an introduction to professional creative skills development, which will be explored further during level 6.  The 'live' briefs will support your working processes, methodologies and development of professional level transferable skills and knowledge that will equip you for professional life. Teaching and learning will be delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Content will also include support and guidance on preparing a CV, writing supporting statements/letters focussed towards creative industries work, copyright, ethics and legal issues for photographers.

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  • Building on the historical contexts introduced at Level 4, this module concentrates on the theoretical frameworks in which photography is produced, consumed and interpreted today. Introducing case studies emerging from current trends in contemporary photographic practice, the module is taught as a combination of lecture, seminar, workshop and exhibition visits through which you will be encouraged and enabled to identify and experience the vital links between practice and research. The political, social, philosophical and aesthetic issues driving current practice will be introduced via lecture and seminar discussion, focused and deepened through independent reading and research, and applied and evaluated through workshops on research practice. With reference to key texts that have informed the development of photographic theory, you will acquire the knowledge and analytical skills to build a framework within which to engage with the critical contexts in which photography operates. You will also develop research methods appropriate to the study and practice of your discipline, propose an area of research for development at Level 6, and begin to contextualise and make sense of the concerns emerging in your own practice.

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Year 3

  • This module is concerned with the development, creation and evidencing of a range of vital professional skills: the ability to respond with limited lead time to a photography brief (using skills gained in Level 4 and L5); the creation of a professional work-seeker's photography portfolio; the ability to present and coherently rationalise work to an audience; the production of a relevant CV; evidence of a web-presence. The aim of this module is to ensure that the student is well prepared to further a career in photography (and/or related fields) upon graduation and thereafter.

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  • In this module students will produce and display a coherent body of independent photographic work. They are required to synthesise and consolidate practical skills, critical approaches and understanding of the context of contemporary photographic practice through the production and presentation of a major body of work including exhibition installation. They will develop and apply skills of editing, selection, sequencing, printing, framing and other appropriate presentation to produce this final portfolio and display of photographic works, enabling them to progress to professional practice or further study.

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  • Building on the links between research and practice embedded at Level 5, the Critical and Historical Studies (CHS) Dissertation: Research and Reflection module focuses on in-depth research, critical enquiry and reflection on questions and critical issues emerging in students' own practice, and pertinent to the practice of their own discipline.

    Over the module, students will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage their study time; engage with and respond to tutorial dialogue and peer feedback, and apply critical and analytical skills to produce a 6,000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

    Following the submission of the dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, students will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual Statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the Statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting students' self-presentation at Degree Show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of Art and Design contexts.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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