BA (Hons) Photography

Study a BA Hons Photography Degree with the OCA.

The OCA’s BA(Hons) Photography degree comprises:

  • 3 courses at level 1
  • 2 courses at level 2
  • 3 courses at level 3

A list of the available photography degree courses can be found below.

Level 1 (HE4) Level 2 (HE5) Level 3 (HE6)
Expressing your Vision Documentary Contextual Studies | Body of Work
Context and Narrative Gesture and Meaning Sustaining your Practice (Professional Practice)
People and Place Landscape
Progressing with Digital Photography
For a quick overview of the degree download the Photography Degree Pathway diagram.

Download the Photography Degree Handbook for details of all the courses available within this degree.

Our BA(Hons) Photography degree programme develops your practice and critical understanding of photography. The programme fosters high-level technical, ethical and professional standards. You will develop your ability to convey ideas visually and your awareness of the possibilities offered by the medium of photography.

At level 1 you will lay the foundations of your knowledge, focusing on equipping you with the strategies, skills and confidence to produce progressively more independent work as you move through the degree programme.

You will be introduced to the interpretation of visual imagery, the principles of composition when planning and taking photographs, and the properties of light and colour. You are encouraged to progress to becoming an independent, self-motivated photographer as you move onto level 2 so that you begin to develop a personal visual language.

At level 2, you can choose the direction and content of your project work by working closely with your tutor. By level 3 you are becoming an independent practising photographer, expanding your horizons to embrace the practical, theoretical and conceptual issues which are central to the practice of photography. You will be encouraged to demonstrate a breadth of inventiveness, ideas generation and techniques in the creation of your images as well as gaining an understanding of the vocational context within which the discipline sits.

Photography students’ work

The aims of OCA’s photography degree are to:

  • Widen access to education in photography at undergraduate level through Open and Flexible Learning.
  • Provide an intellectually stimulating programme of study based on high quality study material delivered by experienced photographers.
  • Develop your creative capacities and your ability in the interpretation and application of imagery.
  • Develop your critical understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the practice of photography and the social, historical and cultural context in which it is practiced.
  • Provide an environment in which you have the possibility of changing your view of the world and your interaction with it both visually and intellectually.
  • Foster high-level ethical and professional standards and an awareness of the possibilities offered by existing and new developments in photography to expand your application areas.

On successful completion of the degree, you will have gained a broad knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of photography and knowledge of emerging aspects of the discipline and those at the forefront of debate. You will have gained the ability to communicate information and justify your work, and be a resourceful and independent learner. You will have a breadth of creativity and inventiveness, as well as a range of photographic techniques. You will be able to articulate and comment upon underpinning photographic theory and concepts through writing and speech.

Career choices

The OCA’s photography degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the professional context and the professional standards required. You will have gained an understanding of the needs of the various market segments, and will be prepared for seeking, continuing or changing employment or self-employment relating to the specialism of your choice. Photographers and digital artists typically work, often freelance, in publishing, journalism, public relations, advertising, design studios, teaching, media and broadcasting.

Studying with the OCA

With our open learning approach, the OCA’s photography degree courses  provide a real alternative to traditional campus based learning. Our inspiring course materials enable you to work at your own pace, in your own time, and whenever you choose to study. We have a thriving community of students all following their passion and achieving at the highest levels, supported by tutors who are experienced teachers and practising photographers. As you work towards your degree, your work will be assessed against a set of criteria by our accrediting university the UCA, one of Europe’s largest specialist universities for art, design, architecture, media and communication. This enables you to gain HE credits towards your degree and is based on an examination of your course portfolio rather than a formal exam. Click here to find out more about studying with the OCA.


The flexibility of the OCA means you can complete your degree to suit you, taking anything from 3 to 12 years. The full degree programme must be completed in 12 years.

Interested in this degree?

With our flexible open learning approach you enrol on one course or one level at a time as you study towards your degree. The degree pathway sets out the options for you to study, allowing you to tailor what you study as your interests develop.

Choose your first course now

Download the BA (Hons) Photography Degree Handbook

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Download the BA (Hons Photography Degree Pathway

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Degree Programme Enquiry Form

Please fill in this form to begin the process of enrolling on one of OCA’s undergraduate BA (Hons) degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form, and a member of the Head Office team will be in touch shortly to further discuss your application.