Photography FdA

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Photography FdA
Code W640
Qualification Type Undergraduate Qualification
Qualification Level Level 5
Course type Full Time


Apply for this course on UCAS -

More information about this course and the top up to BA in Photography is on the website -

Photography is an exciting, historically important and culturally significant medium. Our FdA in Photography is designed to appeal to anyone with an enthusiasm for photography. The course aims to balance study of commercial photography with an exploration of the broader importance of photography in documenting the world around us – and its significance as a form of personal expression – in non-commercial genres such as documentary, fine art or street photography. The course thus balances a consideration of the commercial potential of photography with the important role photography plays as a means of personal and cultural expression. Whilst the commercial element within photographic practice is undeniably important, the medium’s potential to document and explore society, and to allow individuals to express themselves creatively, is equally important – and since its origins, the history of photography has been dominated by this tension between the industrial / commercial and corporate application of photographic practice and extension of photographic practice by vernacular, documentary and fine art forms and practitioners. The degree will provide you with experience of working in commercial genres such as advertising and industrial photography, whilst also giving you the opportunity to explore the worlds of fine art, street and documentary photography. In addition, you will have the opportunity of studying the history of photography, and examining the work of important and contemporary photographers.

The degree is welcoming to people from all backgrounds, both traditional progressors and those returning to education as mature students. Entrants onto our degree level photography provision have in the past come from many different backgrounds: you may simply be an enthusiastic amateur, or you may already work as a photographer. However, regardless of your background, whether you are intending on pursuing a career within commercial photography, establishing your own business or seeking work as a freelancer, our course aims to build on your enthusiasm for the subject, giving you confidence in your abilities whilst providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice or study photography at a higher level.

During your time on the course, you will be given the opportunity of working with both analogue (film-based) and digital formats, and you will be able to practise using our equipment – including our studio and darkroom facilities. During your second year, you will be asked to design, plan and produce your own extended independent project, which you will self-publish, giving you something which can be used to help market yourself as a photographer upon completing the degree.


Modules at Level 4 (1st Year) are intended to introduce you to core skills and key concepts whilst allowing you freedom to find you own approach within whatever types of photography interest you. At Level 4, you will study the following modules: (i) Photography Skills and Studio Skills, in which you will be introduced to the equipment and given opportunity to practise using it; (ii) Understanding Photographs, which will provide you with a comprehension of how photographs ‘work’ in communicating meaning to their audiences; (iii) Digital Workflow Systems, in which you will learn how to use modern professional software to manage, manipulate and archive photographs; (iv) Reportage: Photojournalism and Press Photography, a module focusing on photojournalism that will enable you to practise work in this exciting field of photography; (v) The History of Photography, in which we will examine the history and evolution of the medium; and (vi) Study Skills and Employability, where you will practise the skills you need to succeed in your degree-level studies whilst also reflecting on some of the context in which photographers work.

Modules at Level 5 (2nd year)  are designed to provide you with a balance of practising photography within commercial genres against exploring the potential for non-commercial genres to extend the boundaries of photography. These modules are: (i) Advertising and Industrial Photography, in which you will examine these two commercial genres of photography and produce work conforming to their demands; (ii) The Camera as Storyteller: Documentary and Street Photography, a module focusing on documentary forms of photography and which considers the importance of storytelling to documentary / street photography, both in the form of single images and as photo essays; (iii) Authorship in Photography, in which we will look at the work of key photographers; (iv) Simulating a Commercial Context: Working to a Live Brief, which will ask you to interpret a brief provided by a simulated client; (v) Critical and Conceptual Practice: Self-Directed Project, in which you will be asked to produce an independent project in a form / on a topic of your choice and self-publlish it; (vi) Representation and Audience, a module examining how photography is shaped by its cultural contexts, and how in turn photography shapes society.

Modules focused on photographic practice are intended to provide you with an appropriate skillset and a working methodology which, combined with a flexibility of approach, should be sufficient to enable you to enter into a career in photography, whether in the employ of others or via self-employment / entrepreneurship. These modules are focused on a number of genres, both commercial and artistic – including photojournalism and press photography, portraiture, advertising photography, industrial photography, fine art photography and documentary / street photography. These modules will be delivered alongside an ethos grounded in the principles of work-related learning; foregrounded at Level 5, the ethos of work-related learning will be presented to students via the setting of ‘live’, client-led briefs in appropriate modules (notably the modules Advertising and Industrial Photography and Work Based Activity) and a simulation of work-based contexts.

How will it be delivered?

Delivery will be predominantly via seminars and workshops intended to provide you with a space in which the practice your photography skills and comprehension of issues, with some lectures designed to introduce new concepts. Some modules will require you to complete learning tasks in your own time, outside of scheduled classes. In the second year of study, you will be expected to display an increasing sense of ownership over your own work, culminating in a project which is entirely of your own devising and utterly self-directed.

Assessment on the programme will be via the production of both individual photographs and sequences of images, including photo essays. Some modules will expect you to work towards a simulated ‘live brief’. Other modules will give you the freedom to select your own topic or issue and produce work which you will then be required to self-publish and submit in the form of a book. Alongside these methods of assessment, you will be asked to complete traditional academic assessments in the form of essays, both short- and long-form.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement for the degree will be 80 UCAS points. However, in line with the widening participation brief and lifelong learning strategy, the University Centre Grimsby will also encourage applications from non-traditional learners who lack formal academic qualifications. All such non-traditional applicants will be interviewed, given a short-term photography-related exercise to complete and asked to submit a short essay; these tasks are intended to assess the applicant’s abilities both technically and academically. The submitted work will be judged, taking into account the applicant’s academic potential and relevant experience.

Your next steps...

Upon completion of the degree, you may progress on to a Level 6 ‘top-up’ programme giving you a full BA(Hons) in Photography. From here, you may continue on to studying photography at postgraduate level, or progress on to a teaching qualification such as a PGCE.

Alternatively, you may leave the programme and seek work as a commercial photographer, working in the employ of a company or as a freelancer. You may also wish to set up your own business, working directly with clients as a portrait, wedding or events photographer, or you may seek work as a photojournalist. You may continue to practise your photography as a fine art or documentary photographer, distributing your work via galleries or publications.