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BA (Hons) Commercial Photography (full-time)


Photography and Graphics

Study Mode

University Level

Start Date



3 years


£9250.00 per year

Available at

Course Overview

Delivered at our Salisbury campus, this course aims to produce graduates who engage with the world with intrigue, expressive freedom, intellectual curiosity and ethical awareness.These attributes should allow you the creative independence to work as an imaginative, collaborative, reflective and confident photographic practitioner: contributing to and helping shape the creative industry.Through guided learning and self-directed investigation, the course allows you to study and challenge a range of photographic genres: including documentary, editorial, advertising, fashion, product and portrait photography.Underpinning the course is a business driven approach to applied academic research and professional investigation.

What will I learn?

The course typically involves modules in the following subjects:

Year One:

- Introduction to Photographic Practice

- Approaches to Commercial Practice

- Professional Development

- Moving Image 1

- Image Concepts and Contexts

Year Two:

- Applied Photographic Practice

- Collaborative Project

- Moving Image 2

- Investigating Industry

- Media Theory

Year Three:

- Concept Development

- Graduate Project

- Research Project

- Commercial Contexts

Please note:

Modules and course content are subject to change.

Study, Assessment and Qualifications

Teaching and Learning:

You will develop your commercial potential by contextualising genre practices and recognising current issues and topical debates such as the role played by commercial photography in representing gender, race, diversity and sustainability across the global marketplace.

The course will explore the role of both photographic and post-production practices in shaping emerging aesthetics and contextual decision-making, discuss topical business practices (within the creative industry) and examine the social/cultural associations underpinned within each professional genre.

You are required to complete a work placement (the minimum requirement is a 2 week ‘short’ placement and students are encouraged to complete the placement between years 2 and 3). Successful completion of a short placement is a graduation requirement

As an alternative to the short placement, and with sufficient notice, you may undertake a 30-week ‘sandwich’ placement. The sandwich placement must take place between years 2 and 3 and be in the broad area of photography.

To be allowed to proceed to year 3, you must:

• Complete a minimum of 30 weeks satisfactory work experience (‘sandwich placement’ students)
• Complete the placement logbook satisfactorily which may include assignments relating to the nature of your work and the organisation you are working in.
• Satisfactorily meet the performance criteria of the placement as determined by the completed assessment forms from the company and you.

The supervised work placement draws on some, or all, of the modules studied in the first two years of the programme: providing you the opportunity to develop an understanding of commercial photography, whilst offering a learning platform for prospective integration into a working professional practice.

The placement should emphasize an understanding of your acquired skillset (through years 1 and 2) whilst demonstrating an insight into the final year 3 modules, dissertation research and the context of work experience towards future employment.

Entry Requirements

104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A Levels or equivalent.

BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics at grade 4 (C in the old grading system) or equivalent qualifications at level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework.

IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

In addition to the criteria above, you will be asked to provide a portfolio in support of your application which will be reviewed by one of the tutors on the course.

Additional Costs and Information

You can apply for this programme via the UCAS website.

You can contact the college on +44 (0)1225 756200 or email for more information.

The UCAS institution code for this programme is B50.

The UCAS course code for this programme is W641.

The cost of this programme is £9,250 per year (£15,250 per year for international students).

You may be required to purchase relevant textbooks as recommended by individual lecturers.

The Office for Students (OfS), the new independent regulator for Higher Education in England, has confirmed that the college is successfully registered as a provider for Higher Education and that students are eligible for funding and student support from Student Finance England. Please visit for more information.

What Could I Do Next?

Progress to a Master's degree or obtain the BIPP Associate and Fellowship Professional Distinctions Qualification (Portfolio based).

Meet your lecturer

Mark Leary,
Photography Programme Lead,

Mark Leary is an award-winning film maker and photographer.

Mark joined the College in 2019 in his first full-time lecturing role. He previously served as a guest lecturer at various universities, including Arts University Bournemouth and Plymouth College of Art.

A contemporary artist, Mark is an observer of the everyday – capturing the minutiae of life and translating it into moments of magic. His imagery holds a strong narrative which the audience identifies with – whether it is a mundane detail, panoramic landscape or the raw honesty of his portraiture.

With his unique colour palette and beautiful lighting, Mark creates a familiar – almost nostalgic – feeling to his work whilst pertaining relevance to a modern, stylised aesthetic. His work has been described as dreamlike and displaying a magical quality whilst conveying universal concepts of wonder, adventure, exploration and mindfulness. Read more...

Samantha O'Neill,
Lecturer in Photography,

Samantha O'Neill is known as Samantha Horn in her professional career as an Artist. Samantha has two first class degrees, a BA in Photography and a Masters in Fine Art. Her former career in Costume Design for film and television culminated with her winning an Emmy in 2006 but more importantly has allowed her concerns within the mediums of photography, film and costume to evolve in an enquiring and exploratory manner. Her work, primarily created through the use of photography, is concerned with 'cultural identity' and notions of 'belonging' found within narratives of European 'portrayal'. Samantha practices both digital and analog including 10x8 camera photography.

Rob Payne,
Lecturer in Commercial Photography,

After much practice, experimentation and development Rob graduated from Reading with a degree in photography. He then immediately moved to London where he started assisting established commercial photographers, along the way he was lucky enough to work and learn alongside some of the advertising industry’s big hitters - travelling the world in the process.

Rob’s own style of photography was moulded during these frequent and sometimes long assisting trips to the USA where he was able to take inspiration from some of the great pioneering photographers such as Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and William Eggleston. This allowed Rob to see the world in a very different light, turning the ordinary into extraordinary. He takes everyday scenes, landscapes or objects and creates a unique atmosphere around them using light, colour and composition. This ‘atmosphere’ is hard to pinpoint. Read more...

What our students say

The supportive teaching staff aim to ensure that you leave with the skills that you need to succeed in your chosen field. This has been a great experience that I would do again without hesitation.

Andrea Webb

BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

We have endless opportunities to create amazing and unique work in the studio. We use all the professional equipment, giving us a competitive edge over a lot of other students.

Ryley Kirby

BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

The course is taught by industry experts in commercial photography, whose guidance and knowledge has enabled me to refine the area of photography that I will focus my business on after graduation.

Andrea Webb

BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

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