BA (Hons) Photography

Study a BA Hons Photography Degree with the OCA.

Studying a BA (Hons) photography degree with OCA

With our open and flexible distance learning approach, the OCA BA (Hons) photography degree provides 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 wherever 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 awarding university, 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 or continue reading to find out more about the OCA BA (Hons) Photography Degree and fill in the form at the bottom of this page to register your interest.

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The aims of OCA BA (Hons) photography degree are to:

  • Widen access to education in photography at undergraduate level through open and flexible distance learning methods.
  • 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.

The OCA combines both the flexibility of studying at home with the opportunity to connect with other students online…
Michael Colvin

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.

Course content

Full details of the content of this Open Photography degree, and pathways available can be found through the OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree handbook and pathway documents, downloadable below. If you need more information about the content of this degree and the course units available through it, please call the office to speak to an advisor.

The OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree handbook

The OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree pathway

Jesse Alexander

Programme Leader for Photography

I have been involved with the OCA since 2007, as a tutor on each of the different Photography modules, and as a formal assessor.

I have been involved with the OCA since 2007, as a tutor on each of the different Photography modules, and as a formal assessor. As well as the OCA, I have taught at several other educational organizations at both FE and HE level. In 2012 my teaching experience was formally recognized when I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I studied Photography at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design (now part of the UCA) and completed a Masters degree in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport in 2008. The culmination of this programme was a book and an installation exploring our relationship to the subterranean environment. This is a strand of my broader interest in landscape photography as critical contemporary practice.

Since completing my BA in 2004, I have always worked on freelance commissions, mostly within the commercial sector, but also working with charities and other organizations. My particular interest nowadays is working within the fields of landscape, architecture and interior photography, and in addition to clients’ websites and other promotional material, my work is published in leading consumer magazines.

In addition to being engaged with my own documentary projects and commercial work, I am particularly interested and keen to promote the history and theory associated with photography and lens-based media. I write extensively around the subject, contributing content regularly to contemporary photograph magazines such as Source (, such as reviews, essays and interviews with leading practitioners and industry professionals.

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Photography career choices

The creative sector employs 1.5 million people in the UK alone. By studying with the OCA, you can kick-start your career in the creative industries by working part-time or doing an internship whilst gain ing your academic qualifications at the same time. The OCA BA (Hons) Photography degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the professional context and the professional standards required for one of the many available photography careers available. 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 photography specialism of your choice. 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.

Fill in the form below to begin the process of applying for the OCA’s Photography degree.

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)

Some of our Photography tutors

Arpita Shah

Ariadne Xenou

Roberta McGrath

Andrew Langford

Gina Lundy

Russell Murray profile image

Russell Murray

Russell Squires

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Robert Enoch

Degree Programme Enquiry Form

Please fill in this form to begin the process of enquiring about 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.

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All of our degrees are awarded by the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist universities.

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OCA’s Open courses are independently reviewed. Read the report here: OCA’s QAA Review.