Develop your individual creative ability with the support of dedicated practitioners and tutors who have extensive experience in the field
Explore a range of professional photographic specialisms
Emphasis on hybrid, experimental and trans-media platforms
Work/industrial placement opportunity
International students can apply
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.
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.
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.
In this module you are introduced to analogue capture and processing of images in the darkroom. Over six weeks students learn skills such as camera handling, editing, and printing on traditional media. In addition to this, students are introduced to historical and contemporary debate in relation to documentary image making. The skills and knowledge gained during this module form the foundation from which to build your own unique approach towards image making.- Camera Control (shutter, aperture, ISO)- Processing 35mm B&W film- Darkroom techniques (contact printing, enlarging, graded printing, presentation)
In this module you are introduced to digital capture – including 35mm and medium format digital cameras, studio and location based lighting, and basic digital post production including image manipulation printing and finishing of printed images. Over six weeks students learn skills such as advanced camera handling, lighting, and archival pigment printing and mounting. In addition to this, students are introduced to historical and contemporary debate in relation to portraiture, identity and working with people. The skills and knowledge gained during this module build upon your previous module to make you a more informed and aware image maker.- Digital Camera Control & Tethered Capture- Introduction to digital post production (Adobe Photoshop), studio and location based lighting- Archival pigment printing & Archival mounting and finishing
In this module you are introduced to traditional and more experimental approaches to image capture and post production. Over six weeks students learn about space, place and environments, mapping, and more diverse presentation methods. In addition to this, students are introduced to historical and contemporary debate in relation to the representation of landscape, space/ place, authorship, and the city.- Appropriated capture and mapping- Digital post and interpretation of statistical and geographical data- Hybrid and large format output
In this module you are introduced to photography and it’s relation to self-publishing and Artist’s books. Over six weeks students learn about layout, desktop publishing and basic binding techniques. In addition to this, students are introduced to historical and contemporary debate in relation to publishing and artists’ books.- Digital post production (Adobe PhotoShop) & desktop publishing (Adobe InDesign)- Stitching and binding techniques- Book design & production techniques (concept, editing, printing)
This module introduces you to the importance of elements of working as a professional, and presenting your work to a defined market. Over twenty-four weeks you will learn about researching skills, photographic careers, and benefit from visiting lecturer opportunities, where you will get to interact with other year groups. Copyright and legal debates are covered, and you will develop your presentation skills. - Presentation and research skills- Introduction to copyright and legal issues- Constructing a portfolio for defined markets
This module is designed to encourage you to explore, consider and reflect on a range of perspectives in the field of creative practice. Sessions focus on issues affecting photography and visual culture. Over twenty-four weeks you will be introduced to a range of approaches towards critical analysis of visual and text based sources.- Critical and contextual awareness- Knowledge and understanding of contemporary image making- Research and communication skills
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.
In this module you are asked to respond to the construction of meaning and narrative in relation to both still and moving images. Over six weeks students learn about set construction, large format and moving image capture and post production. In addition to this, students are asked to engage and reflect upon historical and contemporary debate in relation to narrative, truth and photography.- Set building- HD video capture and large format camera control- Proposal writing
In this module you are asked to respond to experimental modes of image making and presentation. Over six weeks students learn camera-less photography, emerging forms of media (including 3D capture and output), and varying forms of presentation and dissemination. In addition to this, students are asked to engage and reflect upon historical and contemporary debate in relation to experimental research, image making and dissemination.- Introduction to convergent, 3D, hybrid capture- Experimental modes of presentation- Engage with the interdisciplinary nature of photography
In this module you are asked to respond to an outside venue with a group photography exhibition. Over six weeks students learn art handling, promotion and working with others. In addition to this, students are asked to engage and reflect upon historical and contemporary debate in relation to experimental research, image making and dissemination.- Art handling and curration- Marketing and exhibition promotion- Making site spesific work
In this module you are asked focus on and engage with the broad industry of photographic practices. Over six weeks students learn about a broad range of opportunities for employment and funding. Students are asked to engage and reflect upon their own skills and interests, communication strategies and developing funding proposals towards either a work placement or developed funding bid. Students can engage in placements in the trimester 2 module Opportunities and Industry. Prior to arranging their placements students are given support in researching potential future careers paths and job opportunities. The type and duration of work placements depend on the experience the student is looking to gain and typically spreads over 2 to 6 weeks. Students are supported in finding opportunities and are assessed on the supporting course work material they develop as part of the module. The placements themselves are not assessed. Examples of the kind of placements students have previously undertaken are: assisting commercial photographer, studio assistant, museum and gallery archive assistant and teaching assistant.
In this module, you are asked to identify and engage with your personal and career aspirations. Over twenty-four weeks you will learn about photographic careers, marketing yourself in print and electronic forms, and photographic awards and competitions. Additionally, you will benefit from visiting lecturer opportunities, where you will get to interact with other year groups. - Career development and planning- Entering competitions and awards- Constructing a portfolio and marketing materials
This module is designed to encourage you to investigate, collaborate and make connections across a range of contexts related to the theory and practice of photography. Over twenty-four weeks you will asked to engage with a range of approaches towards critical analysis of visual and text based sources.- Presentation skills- Structuring written assignments- Research and referencing skills
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).
In this module you will research, plan and test ideas leading towards a major body of photographic work. Over twelve weeks students will be guided towards investigating subject(s) of interest using photography (and/or expanded media). Students engage and reflect upon their research and practice in terms of personal, cultural, social and/or historical debates.- Guided supervision- Planning and research- Investigation, experimentation and evaluation
In this module you will undertake a major photographic exploration of identified subject(s). Drawing upon work that you have undertaken previously, you will manage your skills and knowledge and negotiate with supervisors to create an engaging major photographic (or related media) investigation of identified themes. Over twelve weeks students will be guided towards finalizing a major body of photographic work (and/or expanded media). Students engage and reflect upon their research and practice in terms of personal, cultural, social and/or historical debates.- Guided supervision- Extended project conception, execution and output- Applying appropriate skills and processes
In this module, you are asked to identify and engage with your personal and career aspirations. Over twenty-four weeks you will learn about photographic careers, marketing yourself in print and electronic forms, and photographic awards and competitions. Additionally, you will benefit from visiting lecturer opportunities, where you will get to interact with other year groups. - Personal career planning for graduates working in photography (and related fields)- Exhibiting and promoting your work- Constructing a final portfolio and marketing materials
This module provides an opportunity for you to engage in a detailed examination of an aspect of visual culture of your choice. Over twenty-four weeks 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.- Advanced presentation skills- Structuring extended written assignments- Advanced research and referencing skills
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.
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Pass = 80 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 96pts)
English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points
96 - 112 points, including an art and design subject
GCE A level
96 - 112 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
Applicants may be considered for entry into year 3
96 - 112 points including Art & Design related subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 points including Art & Design related subjects
29 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)
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.
Fees and Funding
Type of Study
£9250 per year
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.
As an International student you could be entitled to:
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 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.
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.
Job opportunities for photography graduates include exhibiting photographers, lecturers, art directors, digital artists, picture researchers or studio managers. You will also have the potential to move into related careers in marketing, museum curation, project management, technical support and PR.
Links with Industry
You will meet industry professionals, including guest speakers, curators, artists, organisers and/or affiliated non-profit organisations involved in the promotion of photography. Guest lecturers are incorporated into the curriculum and are key to expanding your knowledge and enabling a broad understanding of the options available in the photographic field.