Study a Photography degree with OCA

Our BA (Hons) Photography degree is a fantastic option for anyone with an interest in developing and applying their creative and technical skills to a range of projects that critically explore the role of photography.

As an open-access flexible degree, the course can be studied anywhere in the world, at a time and pace to suit you. You’ll be joining a creative community of students who support each other, coming together to share their unique ideas and work.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be provided with one-to-one tutor support and feedback, guiding you through the course materials to maximise your creative potential. Our tutors share a wealth of experience from across the photographic, creative and cultural sectors. Their combined skills and experience reflect the exciting range of possibilities and pathways which the study of photography can lead to.

A degree in photography with the OCA will support you in the development of your creative practice, research and critical thinking. These skills will enable you to question the value of the image in digital culture, producing work that is inspiring, engaging and meaningful.

So pick up that camera, whether it be new or old, and begin your photographic journey today.

Studying Photography

This degree programme gives students a unique opportunity to study photography away from a university campus with specifically designed course materials for distance learning. Wherever the learner is in their photographic practice this degree aims to equip them with skills, confidence, motivation and ambition through a learning design programme that starts from first principles through to the contemporary professional practice of the student’s choice.

This online offer contributes to the core concepts, methods and understanding the course delivers, fostering curiosity and experimentation and creative risk taking and nurturing a dynamic community of practice. This open access offer enables anyone – regardless of educational experience or ability – to begin their journey and deepen understanding of photography.

Optional Units

As of September 2021, the BA Hons Creative Arts course will deliver 3x 40 credit units in each Level of the course.*

Level 1

Level 1 develops students’ technical, creative and analytical skills with 3 x 40 credit units enabling choices to suit diverse student backgrounds and needs, and introduces the course ethos, photographic practices and academic skills. Students develop through considering subject boundaries of contemporary photography, moving image, visual culture & communications. Students create and develop imagery by looking at photography applied in context across genres and prepares them for progression to Level 2.

Level 2

Level 2 supports students to begin to develop their personal voice. and explores and deconstructs photographic practices, histories and ideas and genre conventions and contexts, as well as developing understanding and critically explores the ethics of photographic representation in individual and global contexts. Students will explores digital images and visual culture; consumption, dissemination, and contexts, making and exploring photography and found imagery. The increased emphasis on theoretical and critical studies in parallel with practical work at stage 2 prepares students for progression to Level 3.

Level 3

Level 3 provides a framework for students to develop a substantial and sustained body of work. Three informal learner routes through Level 3, ‘dissertation’, ‘external project’, and ‘holistic practice’ support students’ to negotiate individual paths.

*For current students enrolled to a Level of this degree prior to September 2021, existing units across all levels will remain available as ‘teach out’ units to ensure no students are disadvantaged due to the changes. Once enrolled to a new level, students will follow the new degree pathway.

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20/21 Photography Pathway

Students enrolling new to the course prior to September 2021 will enrol on the 2020/2021 degree pathway linked below. When enrolling to a new Level of the degree, they will study from the Level of the 2021/2022 pathway.

20/21 Programme Specification 

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21/22 Photography Pathway

The 2021/2022 pathway comes into affect September 2021.
For current students enrolled to a Level of this degree prior to September 2021, existing units  across all levels will remain available as ‘teach out’ units to ensure no students are disadvantaged due to the changes. Once enrolled to a new level, students will follow the new degree pathway.

21/22 Programme Specification

Click here

Foundations

£900

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,050

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,340

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,350

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £440 followed by 8 monthly instalments of £120.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,670

Per course unit (6o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £520 followed by 10 monthly instalments of £120.

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £510 followed by 14 monthly instalments of £120. The only exception to this is the Creative Writing Degree, where Level 3 is split two course units, and the deposit for each is £520, followed by 10 monthly instalments of £120.

Foundations

£1,050

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,500

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,690

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,500

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £590 followed by 8 monthly instalments of £120.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,845

Per course unit (60 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £695 followed by 10 monthly instalments of £120.

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £735 followed by 14 monthly instalments of £120. The only exception to this is the Creative Writing Degree, where Level 3 is split two course units, and the deposit for each is £695, followed by 10 monthly instalments of £120.

More Information

  • OCA degrees are paid for on a unit-by-unit basis and are around a third of the cost of a degree at a campus university. Unit costs depend on the level of the unit, and also whether you live in the UK or rest of the world.

    If you started studying with OCA before 01 August 2017, please contact accounts@oca.ac.uk as different fees may apply.

    If you are funding your course yourself you can either pay for units in full or you can spread the cost by taking advantage of our deposit and instalment facility for which a £50 fee is included in the deposit you pay.

    All OCA courses are listed with Student Finance England, Wales, and Northern Ireland allowing eligible students to apply for a Student Loan to cover the cost of fees. You may also be able to apply for a maintenance loan and/or Disabled Students Allowance to assist you with the cost of study.

    We’ve made this helpful guide to take you through the application process, making applying for Student Finance simple and straightforward.

    Download the Student Finance guide

    The OCA Learner Support Scheme can provide partial bursaries towards course fees for students who are not eligible for funding via Student Finance, based on financial hardship.

    Other sources of funding may include employer contributions, Enhanced Learning Credits (for Armed Forces Serving Personnel and Service Leavers) and Prisoner Education Trust.

    As a student with OCA, most reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks, or sent to you in the post.

    Other costs you may find on your degree include purchasing materials/books/texts to assist in your practice and research. Approximate additional materials/resources costs for Photography are £250 for Level 1, £500 for Level 2 and £400 for Level 3. Work is largely submitted to tutors and for assessment via email, however postal costs are expected to be around £40 per assessment for sending materials depending on quantity and weight of materials. Rates for overseas students will be higher.

  • Photography is an open access degree; this means that there are no formal qualifications or experience required to join the course. All you need is a passion for the arts and willingness to learn.

    All OCA courses require students to be IT literate, have a good internet connection, and have a good standard of English equivalent to CEFR B2. Further details on the entry requirements can be found in the Student Regulations.

  • Upon completing the BA (Hons) Photography degree, you’ll be set with skills to help you navigate the workplace.

    While you’re enhancing your photography profession, you can find a range of options to support your work. You could use your creative and research skills to work in visual communications, marketing, and many more roles. Prospects can help you with a variety of options of where your degree could take you.

    In 2017 the Department for Culture, Media, & Sport estimated there were some 3.12 million jobs in the UK creative economy, and 80,000 new jobs were created in 2017 alone. The creative industries are growing faster than any other sector in the UK.

To Join

Join our BA (Hons) Photography learners today and enhance your profession!

Simply fill out the form below to apply for this degree. If you have any questions about the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact our team!

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