Study a Photography degree with OCA

Have you ever been captivated by an image? Have you ever wanted to capture an extraordinary moment or wondered what it is that makes that photograph so moving?

Our BA (Hons) Photography degree evokes your thought processes, views and experience on photography, challenges you to find the answers to the whats, whys and hows of the photography world.

With this degree, you’ll have the opportunity to explore how your decisions affect your photographs and the way in which others perceive them. You’ll learn new reasoning skills and be inspired by new ideas behind photo taking. You’ll be able to select your own route through your degree from a choice of specialisms within photography, which include landscape, documentary, identity, photographic culture and moving image.

This programme supports the creation of fresh and challenging work, aimed at enhancing your knowledge, skills and practice, to produce imagery with meaning. So pick up that camera, whether it be new or old, and begin your photographic journey today.

Course Structure

The degree is split into eight units; three at Level 1 (HE4), two at Level 2 (HE5), and three at Level 3 (HE6). There are some core units that all students take, many more optional units, and some prerequisites for units at higher levels.

As a flexible degree, you can complete the programme in three to nine years, with a maximum of three years to complete each level of the course.

Core Units

Level 1 begins with two core units, Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, and Photography 1: Context and Narrative. Photography is a visual language – like any form of communication, it is important to understand the structure and vocabulary in order to express yourself and communicate effectively.

The Photography 1: Expressing your Vision unit will help you to understand the importance of your decision making when taking photographs and how this can have an effect on the range of meanings that your photograph can communicate.

The Photography 1: Context and Narrative unit builds upon the visual skills acquired in Expressing your Vision. It aims to help you to create meaningful photographs by looking at the use of photography across different genres and contexts.

Throughout Level 1 and on to Level 2, there are a few Optional Modules to choose from, which are defined below.

At Level 3, you’ll study a flexible negotiated programme which consists of three core units. Here you apply your research within Photography 3: Contextual Studies, and use it to inform the development of a photographic investigation in Photography 3: Body of Work, before finally presenting your work to the public within Photography 3: Sustaining Your Practice.

Optional Units

Following completion of the two core units at Level 1, you have the option to either choose to study Photography further, or to choose a complementary discipline from the areas of Creative Writing, Fine Art, Moving Image and Visual Communications:

  • Photography 1: Identity and Place
  • Moving Image 1: Setting the Scene
  • Moving Image 1: An Introduction to Film Culture
  • Visual Studies 1: Understanding Visual Culture
  • Book Design 1: Creative Book Design
  • Visual Studies 1: Creative Arts Today
  • Writing 1: Writing Skills
  • Graphic Design 1: Core Concepts
  • Visual Skills 1: Visual Dynamics
  • Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking

There is also the opportunity, should you have chosen to study it at Level 1, to study Moving Image with the Moving Image 2: Moving Image Methodologies unit.

At Level 2 you have the choice of two elective units from the list of units below:

  • Photography 2: Landscape
  • Photography 2: Documentary
  • Photography 2: Self and the Other
  • Photography 2: Digital Image and Culture

Download the full programme specification

Click here

Foundations

£875

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£3,945

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,260

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,260

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,315

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).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,630

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).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,260

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.

Foundations

£1020

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,380

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,600

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,600

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,460

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).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,800

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).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,600

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.

  • 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.

More Information

  • 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!