Anyone can press the button on a camera. BA (Hons) Photography will encourage you to critically consider every aspect of this art form, from the composition to the audience to post-production. You’ll learn about the whole world of visual language and image making, from art direction to curating, and learn to use a wide range of traditional and digital formats and equipment.

We’re looking for students with a range of interests and an open mind, who embrace broader practices around photography. This is important because photographers increasingly work across genres, from fine art to documentary picture-making.

This is an outward-looking course, designed to maximise your employability or freelance success on graduation. Beside learning extensive technical skills, you’ll benefit from enterprise and business skills (including copyright and licensing), networking, mentoring, work experience opportunities and guest speakers. Collaborations with students on other courses, such as Fashion, Creative Advertising and Graphic Design, will help you build a diverse portfolio of experience.

Our programme of internationally renowned speakers has included Martin Parr, Erik Kessels, Anouk Kruithof, Cristina De Middel, Thijs Groot Wassink (WassinkLungdren), Simon Roberts and Kevin Cummins. In the past there have been study visits to Paris, Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York, plus day-trips within the UK and to the Derby Format Festival.

We can lend you camera bodies, lenses, lighting gear and much more. You’ll have access to 35mm, medium and large-format cameras, medium-format digital camera backs, digital SLRs and video. You’ll use our fully equipped lighting studios, our infinity coves, and black -and-white darkrooms with 35mm, medium and large-format capabilities.

We also have a colour-film processor, Hasselblad scanner, a digital video-editing suite and DV cameras, and our Apple Mac suites feature industry-standard software. Our library has all of the specialist publications and contemporary journals you might need.

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course details

What You'll Study

Year One — You’ll focus on developing your technical photography skills and learn about historical and contemporary perspectives on photography. You’ll develop your studio practice and cover digital imaging.

Year Two — This is a more conceptual year which also builds on your own specialist practice. You’ll learn business skills for freelancing or running your own business, and guest speakers will relate their own experiences. You’ll respond to live commercial/community briefs and have work experience opportunities.

Year Three — You’ll continue your practice to build an extensive portfolio, and contribute to the end of year show. A module will develop your professional practices, and you’ll be encouraged to find a practising mentor.

Work Experience

Alongside your core study you are encouraged to negotiate your own work experience , industrial research and visits, to suit your particular interests or specialisms which will enhance your overall experience. Typically this will be in year two, but we encourage you to negotiate other work experience to maximise your exposure to professional practice.


Students have won a raft of international awards and gained industry attention, including:

  • Student work selected by Mike Trow, Picture Editor, British Vogue and Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, published in Source Photographic Journal in 2016
  • A competition to participate in a Magnum Photos workshop at Goa Photo Festival in Panaji, India with Magnum Photographer, Stuart Franklin (winner 2015)
  • RPS Photobook Competition 2014 (winner, selected by Gerry Badger)
  • The Clothes Show Live Young Fashion Photographer of the Year 2012
  • WPO People’s Choice Video Award 2011
  • The Fuji Student Photographer of the Year (winner 2010, merit 2011)

Course Specification

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Destination Careers

Graduates have gone on to work as freelance photographers, for agencies, in galleries and curating, and in post-production.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

A well presented portfolio says a lot about an applicant and their work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement.

In general terms however we would expect the following:

  • Examples of your photographic practice which demonstrate a range of skills, preferably exploring both traditional and digital methods
  • Examples of idea development
  • Sketchbooks and notebooks
  • An example of your written work

At this stage in your career we would much rather see experimental and innovative developmental work rather than necessarily all finished work showing a final solution. We would like to see a personal and well presented portfolio.

We do not need to see all the work you have produced.

We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a member of the course team who will take you to the studio. You will be part of a small group of applicants who have been given the same half day interview slot.

You and the rest of this group will be given an overview of the course. You will have the opportunity to ask questions. You will then have a 15 minute personal interview with your work.

Since we interview several students in one half day session, you should be prepared to be in the University for up to two and a half hours. If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.


This is identified from one or more of the following:

Skill and inventiveness in the use of lens based media.

  • Samples of work

The ability to generate and develop a range of creative ideas in response to briefs.

  • Samples of work

Evidence of research skills, with an awareness of the work of current practitioners in lens based media.

  • Samples of work
  • Interview
  • Personal statement

Ability to communicate ideas and interests effectively.

  • Interview
  • Personal statement
  • Written work

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs:

Equipment & Materials

You will be provided with the basic photographic materials within modules at Level 4 to produce work. You may wish to experiment and explore materials further than what is provided which will incur additional costs. At Levels 5 and 6 you will choose the format you work with and the format for final outcomes. This will influence the amount you will spend at each level.

  • Level 4 (First Year) printing and materials costs approximately £80; £100 for external hard drive.
  • Level 5 (Second Year) printing and materials costs approximately between £20 and £200 
  • Level 6 (Third Year) printing and materials costs approximately between £20 and £400 

We are an Apple Mac centric institution. If buying a computer students may want to consider waiting until they have enrolled as educational discount is available through the Apple educational portal. Students will need to consider purchasing the licence for Adobe Creative Cloud software which students can get at a discount on once they have enrolled on to the programme.           


In the first year we visit Featherstone Castle in Northumberland for two nights, the cost is approximately £55.

Level 6 are expected to participate in the visit to Paris for the Paris Photo and Offprint events in November. The cost of this is approximately £270.

There are a number of opportunities to attend residential visits overseas (not compulsory). The cost for these trips will be influenced by the destination. We anticipate a European and international trip within each year.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this programme click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University


BA (Hons) Photography

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"This is an outward looking programme, designed to maximise your employability or freelance success on graduation."
Adrian Davies, Programme Leader
BA (Hons) Photography