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Photography is pivotal to fine art, fashion, advertising and editorial photography, as well as digital applications: this course is centred on the making and understanding of photographic production and critical thinking; applied to any subject area.
You'll study both analogue and digital photography; the key focus of the course is for you to develop your creative ideas alongside your professional skills, 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.
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.
If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.
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 and appreciation of and about photography and its potential through a process which identifies distinct aims and progress each year.
Years 1 and 2 are made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points; Year 3 is made up of three modules - two worth 30 credits and one worth 60 credits. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.
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.
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. You will 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.
This module's focus is on the attainment of an array of production and technical skills to expand and enhance the 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.
In this module you will develop and progress further your independent photography and begin to engage with the moving image, extending your skillset and enhancing the potential for all image based work. The intention is for you to explore and exam the implications of different modes for editorial presentation with your photography and image making. You will be supported to develop appropriate methods of presentation through tutorials, workshops aligned with your contribution to the seminar programme where you show and discuss work-in-progress to your peer group. You will self-publish photographic books and other photographic series of works for summative assessment at the end of each teaching block.
This module introduces the various contexts in which the contemporary practices of photography, are defined, debated and displayed. The module is designed to support your first steps as practitioners within the wider field of the visual arts in the 21st century. Through lectures, discussions, screenings and exhibition visits you will be introduced to the historical framework of modernity and post-modernity in order to understand the development and contemporary situation of your 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 you, 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, you will be encouraged to consider the key debates, theoretical questions and changing contexts that inform your 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, you will begin to develop the tools necessary to discuss, conceptualise and reflect on your own emerging practice.
In Year 2, you will develop your own independent and self-directed photography practice with critical support. You will continue to develop your ideas, skills and folios in more depth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can opt to study or work abroad through the University's Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus programme during your Photography degree.
In Year 3, you will become proficient, professional, assured, innovative and outward-facing through a more fully realised and engaged personal photography practice. You will refine your photography and define your ambitions more succinctly.
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 you are well prepared to further a career in photography (and/or related fields) upon graduation and thereafter.
In this module you will produce and display a coherent body of independent photographic work. You 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. You 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 you to progress to professional practice or further study.
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 your own practice, and pertinent to the practice of your own discipline.
Over the module, you will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage your 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, you will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual statement that enables self-reflection and locates you within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout your programme of study, the statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting your self-presentation at degree show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of art and design contexts.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
UCAS tariff points: 104
Level 3 qualifications, including Art and Design subjects (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.).
Entry onto this course will require submission of a digital portfolio as part of the application process. Further details about the portfolio will also be sent via email after submission of application.
See portfolio guidance below for more information about how to prepare your portfolio.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no element below 5.5.
Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will be required to submit a portfolio of work and a personal statement to support your application. The Admissions Tutors on the Photography BA (Hons) course will use the supporting information when considering your application.
You should prepare a portfolio with examples of your most creative photographic work showcasing your skills, interests and ambitions in photography and how you will benefit from the course. You can also include art and design work but it should mostly be photographically informed.
You can choose to present your work in a single PDF document or via an online link to Instagram, Flicker or Vimeo account.
PDF portfolios should be compressed to under 50MB and no more than 20 pages but you can include more than one image per page.
If you are using Instagram, Flickr or Vimeo, please put the link to your portfolio in a separate Word document and upload this file with your supporting information. Make sure the link is active and works on all platforms.
You must also submit a short and concise statement (Word doc – one side of A4 only) that outlines:
When we have received your application, we will send you an email with instructions on how to prepare and submit your portfolio.
The course is based on learning through practice and research. You'll be taught through Kingston School of Art's studios and our specialist Photography workshops.
When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.
Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.
When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.
Assessment is all coursework based (e.g., print portfolios, photo-books, social media including websites, blogs, moving image, research books, essays, exhibitions reviews, artist statements, self-assessment, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 30-35 students and lecture sizes are normally the same. However this can vary by module and academic year.
All our Photography staff are industry and academic professionals with a diverse set of experiences and skills who exhibit and publish their work to national and international acclaim.
In addition, as part of our professional photographers' series, you will meet visiting professional photographers in class and view their work, as well as engage with them on a personal level, gaining important first-hand insights and knowledge of the professional photography world.
We have hosted and visited well-known photographers including: Nick Knight, Lauren Maccabee, Nadav Kander, Rosaline Shahnavaz, Franklyn Rodgers, Rhiannon Adam, Simon Roberts, Melanie Manchot, Guy Martin, Bridget Smith, Richard Boll, Sophie Harris-Taylor, Lewis Khan, Sarah Pickering, Natasha Caruana, Alexander Mourant, Ingrid Pollard, Almudena Romero and Marysa Dowling.
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).
Faculty workshops, supervised by qualified technical staff, support and enable further development and production of studio work across all areas of digital and analogue photography.
The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2021/22 the fees for this course are:
|Home (UK students)||£9,250*|
|International||Year 1 (2021/22): £15,900
Year 2 (2022/23): £16,200
Year 3 (2023/24): £16,500
For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.
* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.
Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.
The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:
|Home (UK and EU students)||£9,250*|
|International||Year 1 (2020/21): £15,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,900
Year 3 (2022/23): £16,200
* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.
Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.
Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
However, over and above this you may incur extra costs associated with your studies, which you will need to plan for.
In order to help you budget, the information below indicates what activities and materials are not covered by your tuition fees
The costs vary every year and with every student, according to the intentions for the type of work they wish to make. Attainment at assessment is not dependent upon the costs of materials chosen.
The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.
Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.
Our graduates work in a range of roles within photography and related industries. Many of them also progress to study a range of related disciplines at postgraduate level. These include photography, curating, book arts, conservation and advertising.
Types of jobs:
We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.
In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.
If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.
Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.
While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.
Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
On campus class sizes will be smaller in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via video conferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.
Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.
Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.
As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.
The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.
Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.
In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.
In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.
The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses, an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students' best interests, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases, students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.
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