Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Photography With Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

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, art directors, curators, digital artists, exhibiting photographers, freelancers, picture researchers, printers, retouchers, studio managers, teachers, videographers. You will also have the potential to move across into related careers in marketing, branding, technical support and PR.

The foundation year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Photography course.

You will: 
  • Learn to develop your individual creative ability with the support of dedicated practitioners and tutors who have extensive experience in the field 

  • Learn to explore a range of professional photographic specialisms 

  • Learn your practice with emphasis on hybrid, experimental and trans-media platforms 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.  

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Art and Design courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Photography with Foundation Year course. 

This is for you if...

1.

You want to work with industry-standard equipment, in studios to support you from image capture through to exhibition.

2.

You want to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable creative play while exploring contemporary photographic practices.

Course details

All about the course

The Foundation Year of this course is the perfect opportunity for people who want more time to explore all of the key principles of art and design before deciding exactly what course they choose to progress onto here at the University of Salford.

It gives you a chance to build a larger portfolio dedicated to your chosen area of Art and Design and provides a good transition period to familiarise yourself with the School of Art and Media and life as a student at Salford.

The Foundation year will provide you with a dynamic, exciting and collaborative environment in which you will become confident self-learners, with the underpinning skills and knowledge to apply in your studies. You will be introduced to the key concepts which underpin the programme, and the ethos that drives all of the teaching and learning you will experience on your course.  

You will be taught alongside students from other Art, Design and Media disciplines and study modules that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of basic art and design as well as other aspects of creative thinking.

Modules will help you to develop your study skills such as note-taking and structuring reports. In the second semester, you will further develop your creative practice and be introduced to the creative industries.

You will be supported and guided through the extensive range of practice-based, theoretical and skills-based modules that the first year of this course offers. The assignments are flexible enough to allow you to interpret and tailor their submissions to your chosen discipline area. Tutors will support you to build a dedicated portfolio to progress onto the BA course you choose here at the University of Salford.

This programme prepares you to study on one of the following three-year University undergraduate programmes, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. The foundation year is not a standalone qualification.

The first year of BA (Hons) Photography 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. From this base of practice and theory you will begin to develop an informed understanding of photographic languages.

The second year enhances understanding of professional contexts and contemporary photographic theory and practice. You will continue to develop your 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 ideas. Professional skills and understanding are developed in relation to areas such as still and moving image, experimental image making, exhibiting, and industry awareness.

The third year of the course further develops an independent approach to photography. You will focus on realising your creative potential by undertaking a major self-directed project. 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.

Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Creative Risk Taking

This module is all about challenging your creative thought and highlighting the importance of creative risk taking. The briefs allow you to produce a range of outcomes that underpin all of the main art and design disciplines as well as giving you the flexibility to interpret the brief to your area of interest.

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Year one

Imagined communities

In this module you are introduced to analogue capture and processing of images in the darkroom. Over six weeks you will learn skills such as camera handling, editing, and printing on traditional media. In addition to this, you'll be 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)

Street and Studio

In this module you are introduced to studio and location based lighting, and develop your digital post production skills, including image manipulation printing and finishing of printed images. Over six weeks you will learn skills such as advanced camera handling, lighting, and archival pigment printing and mounting. In addition to this, you will be 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

Urban and Rural

In this module you are introduced to traditional and more experimental approaches to image capture and basic digital post-production including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. 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 

Photography and the Book

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)

Establishing Frameworks

This module introduces you to the importance of elements of working as a professional, and presenting your work to a defined market. Over 24 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 

Exploring Creative Contexts

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 two

Constructing Worlds and Meanings

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

Exploring Possibilities

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

Photography in Context

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 specific work

Opportunities and Industry

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 two to six 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.

Developing Frameworks

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

Responding to Creative Contexts

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
Year three

Towards Resolution

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

Resolution

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

Applying Frameworks

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

Independent Research Project

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.

What Will I be Doing?

50%

Coursework

20%

Presentations

30%

Dissertation

TEACHING

You will 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.

SALFORD SCHOOL OF ARTS, MEDIA AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY 

All our Art and Design courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.    

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.    

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 

Facilities

  • Mac computer suites offering Adobe Creative Suite
  • Nikon and Canon full frame DSLRs
  • Hasselblad and Phase One medium format digital platforms
  • Location and studio lighting
  • Five fully equipped studios
  • Large format printers – up to 64” wide - producing archival pigment prints
  • B+W Darkroom for historical Processes with automated processing
  • Large format archival mounting facilities
  • 3D scanning and printing for experimental output
  • Full workshop inc. frame-building, laser cutting, CNC, Vac former
Employment and stats

What about after uni?

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.

FURTHER STUDY

MA Socially Engaged Photography Practice with Community Experience 

A taste of what you could become

A photographer

An art director

A digital artist

A lecturer

A picture researcher

And more...

Career Links

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.

Requirements

What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

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.

You should possess both commitment and drive in addition to an appreciation of historical and contemporary practice. The ideal student studying this course should be passionate regarding the subject matter and possess a high degree of self motivation.

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 may be invited to submit an online portfolio of your work. All suitable applicants to the course are invited for interview where you will be expected to present a portfolio of art and design work. If you are called for interview we will send you further guidance well in advance.

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

A level

64 points including an Art and Design subject

UCAS tariff points

64 points including an Art & Design subject 

BTEC National Diploma

MPP

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 64 points (relevant subject)

Scottish Highers

64 points including an Art & Design subject 

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points including an Art & Design subject 

International Baccalaureate

24 points including art and design related subjects

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 60% overall 

Alternative entry requirements

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

Applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2020/21 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
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.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID W643

Institution S03