Photography
BA (Hons)

Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Photography at Salford

1.

Develop your individual creative ability with the support of dedicated practitioners and tutors who have extensive experience in the field

2.

Explore a range of professional photographic specialisms

3.

Emphasis on hybrid, experimental and trans-media platforms

Course Summary

Photography plays a crucial role in contemporary art practice, as well as wider social applications and cultural functions. The course supports the development of your own visual language while enhancing your knowledge and understanding of the broad visual, cultural and theoretical contexts in which contemporary photographers operate.

By providing you with a solid foundation in photographic theory and practice, this course will offer you the opportunity to take risks, explore ideas and realise your creative potential. The course aims to create flexible, resourceful and creative photographers with well-developed transferable skills, that can be applied to a broad range of commercial, commerce and art based careers.

You will work with industry-standard equipment and studios to support you from image capture through to exhibition. You will learn to apply a range of practical contemporary photographic and digital skills in order to explore the creative and intellectual potential of existing, experimental and digital photographic techniques and their application within the creative arts and media industries.

Some of the career routes that photography graduates go on to include, archivists, assistants, art directors, curators, digital artists, exhibiting photographers, freelancers, picture researchers, printers, retouches, studio managers, teachers, videographers. You will also have the potential to move across into related careers in marketing, branding, technical support and PR.

Watch our video

Gary Neville hand-picks student artwork for Hotel Football

Course Details

This is a broad-based course which provides you with the opportunity, skills and knowledge to become a flexible, creative, contemporary lens-based communicator. The course is designed to support the development of creative photographic practitioners, with a particular focus on digital media contexts, production and dissemination.

Drawing upon Salford School of Art & Design's reputation for engagement with new media, the BA Photography embraces the expanded field of digital photography and its applications to future individual, cultural and employment needs.

You will learn to apply a range of practical contemporary photographic and digital skills in order explore the creative and intellectual potential of existing, experimental and digital photographic techniques and their application within the creative arts and media industries.

You will study a critical history of visual language, and become able to articulate and contextualise your ideas using appropriate visual, written and oral languages.

The course supports both studio and non-studio based practice and offers a range of applied skills exploring the dynamic relationship between contemporary critical theory and current photographic trends.

As you progress through the levels you will have the opportunity to develop your own visual language, while additionally developing your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of marketing and management within the creative industries.

You will be introduced to a series of skills sets which reflect the nature of contemporary photographic practice while the course develops your understanding of the broad visual, cultural and theoretical contexts in which contemporary photographers operate.

Year 1

The first year of the course is about gaining skills, knowledge and confidence to enable creative play while exploring contemporary photographic practices.You will study a combination of practice, skills and academic/contextual studies based modules which develop knowledge, understanding and a critical reflective approach towards photographic practice and your own work. Contextual studies lectures and seminars develop knowledge, intellectual rigour, visual literacy and research skills. From this base of practice and theory you will develop and establish an informed understanding of photographic languages and initiate a personal and professional direction.
This module will introduce the principles and delivery of photographic practice in three foundation skills areas lighting and camera handling, studio management and health and safety.
This module will provide you with an introduction to visual communication and help you develop a critical appreciation of composition and design theory and its application to photographic practice. You will critically assess how historical photographic practices can inform contemporary approaches.
This module helps you to understand the principles and delivery of photographic practice through imaging software and techniques and learn how to effectively use a selection of image software applications. You will explore various methods of digital imaging and digital image creation.
During this module you will develop an understanding of the various type of photographic practices that constitute and define photographic communication and explore photographic collections (eg. in museums, galleries, archives, artist studios) as a base from which to discuss the medium within contemporary, aesthetic and professional contexts.
This module will introduce you to study skills and the availability of resources for personal development planning within an applied photographic and research practice and develop your awareness of professional photographic frameworks.
An appreciation of design theories, the history of design and the cultural contexts that influence creative thinking is essential for students engaged with the visual. The module provides an examination of key movements and photographers as well as an exploration of wider cultural influences on design.

Year 2

The second year of the course develops understanding of professional contexts enhancing and deepening skills and understanding of contemporary photographic theory and practice.You will continue to develop your own individual photographic practice through a series of projects and begin to hone your developing practice and critical skills through personal folio development, written assignments and research presentations. Emphasis here is on risk taking and the exploration of and experimentation with ideas, research methods, communication skills and imaginative approaches to practice. Professional skills and understanding are developed in relation to areas such as still and moving image, web publishing, archiving and exhibiting as appropriate to students ideas and contexts.
This module will help you to consider methods of providing practice-based work, with audience development as a key criteria.
This module will extend the principles and delivery of photographic practice through international contexts addressing, among others, how production is impacted by international markets and trends, how photography operates in different political climates, how geographical differences impact on photographic practice and how photographic practice can be adapted to meet the needs of emerging economies.
This module aims to develop the principles of professional photographic communication through an investigation of the working environment, taking the form of either a work placement or leading an independent project.
Building upon the introduction of PDP and professional practice skills in year 1, this module further aims to develop skills and critical understanding of the concepts applied within a professional photographic delivery context. You will engage you in the evaluation of methodologies and introduce notions of business, enterprise and employability.
This module asks you to find your position in debates around key ideas in design and visual culture. Building on your knowledge of the ideologies and aesthetics of the 20th and 21st centuries, you will engage in dialogue in order to critique design and the visual within an historical and cultural framework.

Year 3

The third year of the course further develops a self defined independent approach to photography through individually appropriate presentational strategies.You will focus on realising your creative potential by undertaking a major self-directed project. This practical body of work is supported by the writing of a contextual essay and research projects which critically informs the practical work(s).
The aim of this module is to extend knowledge of the theoretical and applied principles of photographic practice including independent project development, addressing self management and independence, and responding to researching and project development. You will examine concepts of photography as a post-modern practice.
This module will develop an advanced appreciation of investigative strategies, and the principles, production methods and planning required to deliver a photographic brief, by undertaking advanced research and conceptual strategies to inform the project and its development approach. You will learn advanced skills, including time and budget management.
During this module you will undertake a self-directed photographic production from conception to outputs (website, screen art, or installation) through to a professional quality standard outcome. You will apply methods and processes necessary for the completion, presentation, and delivery of a major photographic project.
This module focuses attention on defining personal objectives. You are required to produce a self-directed portfolio, demonstrating skills, knowledge and understanding via the use of appropriate professional techniques. You are encouraged throughout your final year of study to develop an engagement with relevant external partners, thus providing further understanding of issues affecting professional photographic practice.

Then choose from:

The module provides an opportunity for you to engage in a detailed examination of an aspect of business practice and management of interest to you, related to your course. The module enhances your ability to contextualise design as a commercial activity thereby underpinning and strengthening your own practice and understanding.

Or

This module provides an opportunity for you to engage in a detailed examination of an aspect of visual culture of your choice. You are encouraged to explore connections between your proposed study and your studio practice in a connected but distinct programme, thereby underpinning and strengthening your own practice and providing an intensification of understanding.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Pass = 165 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 260pts)
UCAS tariff points 240-280 points, including an art and design subject
GCE A level 240-280 points, including an art and design subject
BTEC National Diploma MMM - DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Applicants may be considered for entry on to year 2
Foundation Degree Applicants may be considered for entry into year 3
Scottish Highers 240-280 points including Art & Design related subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate 240-280 points including Art & Design related subjects
International Baccalaureate 26 points including Art & Design related subjects

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any one component
  • ESOL Skills for Life Level 2/Certificate in Advanced English/Certificate of Proficiency in English

University of Salford English Language Test with an overall score equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (70 – 79)

Applicant profile

You should have a good range of academic qualifications combined with an appropriate portfolio of work, clearly evidencing ideas and concept driven work.

The ideal student studying this course should be passionate regarding the subject matter and possess a high degree of self motivation.

You should possess both commitment and drive in addition to an appreciation of historical and contemporary practice.

You need to understand that the program is challenging and requires a mature approach. We are looking for students who demonstrate a broad spectrum of relative skills and talents as they apply to the changing nature of the practice of photography.

As part of the selection process, you will usually be invited to submit an online portfolio of your work. Following this you may be invited for interview with your portfolio.

Teaching

Students learn through a mixture of practice and theory-based activities. These will include:

  • Lectures - to introduce you to key themes and ideas in photography
  • Tutorials and workshops - which allow you to experiment and learn in a 'hands-on' environment
  • Seminars - where everyone gets the chance to discuss what you've been learning in the tutorials and lectures
  • Individual tutorials - a chance to discuss a topic in-depth with your tutor
  • Self-directed learning - your own research and creative work

Blackboard - a virtual learning environment where teaching materials and announcements are available for students to consult. This is accessible both on and off-campus

Assessment

Assessment will be mainly based on project work, presentation and on the ability to incorporate feedback. Likewise, students are anticipated to supplement their work skills through team-building, communication and self-management exercises.

  • Coursework (50%)
  • Presentations (20%)
  • Dissertation (30%)

Employability

Photography graduates could go on to be exhibiting photographers, lecturers, art directors, conservators, arts administrators, digital artists, picture researchers, studio managers or even running their own practice. Graduates will also have the potential to move across into related careers in marketing, branding, museum curatorial, project management, technical support and PR.

Career Prospects

The course aims to create flexible, resourceful, creative, visual lens-based communicators with well-developed transferable skills, whether these be personal, interpersonal, practice based, knowledge based or theoretical.

You will develop an independent approach to creativity which will enable you to work in a range of environments. You will possess an awareness of historical and contemporary practice and be able to adapt these skills to changing needs and circumstances.

You will have an ability to solve creative problems and have developed life long learning skills - essential in an increasingly freelance employment sector. As such employment should be possible across a wide range within the media industries.

Photography graduates could go on to be exhibiting photographers, lecturers, art directors, conservators, arts administrators, digital artists, picture researchers, studio managers or even running their own practice. You will also have the potential to move across into related careers in marketing, branding, museum curatorial, project management, technical support and PR.

Links with Industry

Students will meet industry professionals, including guest speakers, curators, artists, organisers and/or affiliated non-profit organisations involved in the promotion of photography. Guest lecturers will be incorporated into the curriculum and are key to expanding you knowledge and enabling a broad understanding of the options available in the photographic field.

One event which will see students interacting with the industry is the LOOK11 International Photography Festival. The course leader is the Vice Chair of this organisation, which has established links with a series of galleries including Tate Liverpool, FACT, Openeye Photographers Gallery, Bluecoat Gallery, National Slavery Museum, CUC and Walker Gallery.

The course leader has also been a Director of Redeye Photography Network for over nine years.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9,000
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

Optional costs may include £150 for field trips and £250 for a European visit per year. In addition, students will be required to pay from £100 for show participation in their final year. Costs are approximated based on the  current academic year.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Financial support for this course

Additional costs

Optional costs may include £150 for field trips and £250 for a European visit per year. In addition, students will be required to pay from £100 for show participation in their final year. Costs are approximated based on the  current academic year.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

 

Facilities

The course benefits from two photographic studios, supported by industry standard equipment.