BA (Hons)

Photography

BA (Hons)

Photography

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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

Summary

The OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree programme is unique in that it assumes no prior knowledge beyond the basic operations of a camera. It is modular in concept and delivery and the student is free to choose from the available units at each level to suit their own interests and aspirations. Thus it is possible that, with tutorial guidance, each individual student can tailor their course to their apparent and developing talents, their creative and intellectual inclinations.

Degree overview

The BA (Hons) Photography degree will develop your technical, creative and analytical skills through a highly structured programme of study which is made sensitive to your needs as a student through a one-to-one tutor relationship. At Level 5, you will begin to develop your personal artistic voice as a photographer through an exploration of genre, and there will be an increased emphasis on theoretical and critical studies in parallel with your practical work. Level 6 consists primarily of a flexible negotiated programme.These three final modules can be linked and the college’s wide range of tutor specialisms helps in supporting you in your creation of fresh and challenging work that shows a maturity of outlook across the spectrum of photographic practice.

As its Distance Learning arm, all OCA degrees are validated by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). UCA is the No.1 Specialist University for the Creative Industries in the Complete University Guide and ranked 21st in the UK by the Guardian University League Tables.

Degree aims

  • To widen access to education in photography at undergraduate level through Open and Flexible Distance Learning.
  • To provide an intellectually stimulating programme based on high quality study material and tutor support.
  • To develop students’ creative capacities and their ability in the interpretation and application of imagery.
  • To develop students’ 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.
  • To provide an environment in which the student has the possibility of changing their view of the world and their interaction with it both visually and intellectually.
  • To foster high-level ethical and professional standards and an awareness of the possibilities offered by existing and new developments in photography to expand their application areas.
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Degree prospectus

Full details of the content of the Photography degree, and pathways available can be found through the BA (Hons) Photography degree handbook, downloadable here.

OCA BA (Hons) Photography Degree course units

The available course units for the BA (Hons) Photography degree can be viewed below.

Level 1 (HE4)

Level 2 (HE5)

Level 3 (HE6)

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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

“Studying with the OCA has stretched my horizons. I now feel my work has a greater sense of my personal presence and I can communicate my ideas creatively.”

 

John Umney, Photography student

Our Tutors

Our team of photography tutors share a wealth of experience from across the photographic, creative and cultural sectors.

Our combined skills and experience reflect the range of possibilities and pathways the study of photography can offer. From exhibiting and published contemporary photographers, to those who curate and write on photography as well as those engaged in current research led inquiries, our tutors are able to offer 1:1 tutorial support and guidance throughout the degree programme.

To view more information on the team, please visit: www.oca.ac.uk/our-tutors

Programme Leader for Photography

Gina Lundy

I started my photographic career as a photographer’s assistant to the commercial and advertising sector, working in studios in Bristol and London, however I soon realised that my passions lay with socially engaged projects of a documentary nature…

Creative careers

The creative sector employs 1.9 million people in the UK alone.

By studying the OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree, you can kick-start your career in the creative industries by working part-time or doing an internship whilst gaining your academic qualifications at the same time.

Photographers and digital artists typically work, often freelance, in publishing, journalism, public relations, advertising, design studios, teaching, media and broadcasting. Photography careers on offer range from commercial photography, through newspaper and magazine photojournalism to more specific areas such as scientific photography, medical photography and culinary photography. Whatever your aspiration, the OCA’s BA (Hons) Photography degree will prepare you for working in any one of these photography careers that are available to graduates.

More on careers
What Our Students Say

Alan Fletcher

“Assessment results are in and the dust is settling…I think I have been so wrapped up in chasing the idea of being right and thinking every I was doing was somehow wrong. I even named my learning log “What if I am Wrong” before I had started any of the work. I didn’t know if undertaking this degree was the right thing for me, I am not academic at all – I hated education. I didn’t know if the work I would produce would be right and what if this journey was all wrong. So I took the chance because what if it was right. 

It turns out there is no right or wrong there is just me, the score doesn’t confirm right or wrong, good or bad. The penny has dropped the score is a scale of me-ness and how well I have presented myself and the things that truly engage me via the photograph. Work first and look later, the work should be placed in front of the research, the research helps inform the work and the response. I have thought that maybe I have done things all wrong but I have always felt that if I could stand up and justify the work and approach that was the most important thing to me even if I had got it all wrong.

The feedback and the result has raised some big questions, I thought I needed to make huge changes and in fact the changes that may be needed are small and that small changes are probably much more effective. Much of my frustration I think has be caused by the desire to know everything, to do everything right and for everything to work, this is not possible. I thought I was doing the wrong thing by not reading books cover to cover or following the reading list or studying the listed photographers. Small and often is better.”

Alan Fletcher, Post assessment reflections, Level 1, Expressing Your Vision, 2018. 

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Please fill in this form to enquire about the BA (Hons) Photography degree or one of OCA’s other undergraduate Open degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form.