Bridging Courses: A Route to HE Study

Re-Approaching Photography

There will be a withdrawal of ‘Open Foundations – Re-Approaching Photography’. This unit will no longer be available from 27 May 2018 (1 months’ notice). Please note, students currently studying to this unit will be able to continue it to completion.


This Bridging: Re-Approaching Photography course is designed specifically for those who have extensive professional experience with photography, but need to further develop their critical, academic skills in the subject to equip them for the challenges of undergraduate study in photography. It is a challenging course that will encourage you to consider the photographic image in all of the many diverse ways it is used and consumed. The course encourages you to reflect critically upon your own photographic practice and help your articulate a critical voice on the subject of contemporary photography.

As a ‘Bridging’ course, it serves as an introduction for those with existing practical skills but who might not yet have explored and developed their critical/academic abilities. To assist you in attaining these abilities in preparation for Higher Education study, this course contains an additional 6th part and tutorial point to help you prepare a successful APEL application. The fee of £1,075 includes the cost of an APEL application.

Course fees

Usual Fees


or £325 deposit followed by 8 x £100 monthly instalments (£50 instalment fee included)

20% Discounted Fee


As a Bridging unit to HE study, this course will initially be running as a pilot, and as such there will be a 20% discount available (by either cohort or traditional route) until 30 April 2018. Therefore the following pricing will apply between now and 5pm on 30 April 2018.

£860 in full or £310.00 deposit followed by 6 x £100.00 monthly instalments (£50.00 instalment fee included)

Course unit aims

This Photography course aims to:

  • Explore a broad range of contemporary practices in photography.
  • Introduce you to research skills and key ideas in photography.
  • Use critical thinking and reflective writing skills to develop your learning.
  • Develop your ability to read and evaluate your own and other practitioners’ photographs.

Course unit outcomes

On satisfactory completion of this photography course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the broad range of contemporary practices in photography.
  • Apply your research skills to explore the theoretical underpinnings of photography.
  • Apply your understanding of contemporary photography to your own practice.
  • Reflect upon your own learning experience.

Course Sample

To get an idea of what the course covers and how it is structured, please download and look through the sample PDF.

Bridging e-approaching Photography sample
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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

Programme Leader for Photography

Jesse Alexander

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.

Creative careers

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

By studying this course, you will be well positioned to move on to OCA’s BA (Hons) Photography degree. With our flexible distance learning 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 careersEnquire

Express Interest in this Course

Please fill in this form to express your interest in studying this course. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form.
  • This course runs as both a cohort (all students move through the course at the same pace to given Assignment deadlines) and as a non-cohort (students move through the course at their own pace). Select which of these you're interested in.
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  • If you have a certification not listed above, please enter it here together with the institute or society it was through.