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Photography with Industry Placement

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Art and Design

UCAS Code: W641

Start Dates(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9250 per year

International - £14,400 per year

In Brief:

  • Opportunity to experience intensive real world practice on placement and build industry networks for future exploitation, contributing to commercial productions with real budgets and time constraints
  • Explore a range of creative and professional photographic specialisms
  • Emphasis on hybrid, experimental and trans-media platforms
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

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.

The Industry Experience module will provide an invaluable opportunity for you, not simply to put your academic, creative and technical knowledge and skills into practice in a relevant professional context, but also to acquire first-hand experience of organisational structures, practices and processes as well professional networks within the creative industries. This experience will form the basis for building genuine industry contacts and credibility to increase your employability upon graduation.

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 practical and academic/contextual 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 begin to develop an informed understanding of photographic languages.  
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 //

Year 2                    

The second year of the course enhances understanding of professional contexts and contemporary photographic theory and practice. You will continue to develop your own photographic practice and critical skills through a series of projects, 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, experimental image making, exhibiting, and industry awareness.  
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 //

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 twelve weeks you will critically analyse theoretical and professional contexts in relation to your own career aspirations. Research        and referencing skills, career development and planning, structuring written assignments, constructing a portfolio.      

In this module you are asked focus on and engage with the broad industry of photographic practices. Students undertake an extended placement. 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. Students are supported in finding opportunities but will also be expected to find placements as part of their learning experience. They are assessed on their supporting course work material they develop as part of the module together        with a performance report.  The module is assessed through a combination of student placement report, student presentation and a performance report from the placement provider(s).                  

Year 3                    

The third year of the course further develops an independent approach to photography. You will define an area you wish to explore from both a artistic and professional standpoint. You will focus on realising your creative potential by undertaking a major self-directed project. Individual motivation will be relied upon, and your work will be supervised by academics and practitioners from a broad range of backgrounds and specialisms. This practical body of work is underpinned by extensive practical and theoretical research, and the writing of a contextual dissertation, which critically informs all of your work.  
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.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Pass = 80 (plus other additional qualifications to a total of 104pts)
GCSE English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 104 - 120 points, including an art and design subject
GCE A level 104 - 120 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 104 - 120 points including Art & Design related subjects
International Baccalaureate 30-31 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.

Fees and Funding


Tuition fees for Home/EU students beginning their course in September 2018 will be announced as soon as they are confirmed by the UK Government. Tuition fees for 2017 were £9,250 per annum for Home/EU students; we expect this figure to rise slightly for 2018.

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9250 per year
Full-time International £14,400 per year

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.

Scholarships & Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study including:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • Salford Student Bursary

For more information please see our funding section.


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.

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


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

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.

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