Study an online 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.

The Open College of the Arts’ online photography course 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.

Looking for a great online photography courses in the UK? 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.

Course Structure

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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Programme Specification 2022/23 New Curriculum

This Programme Specification is for all units on the new curriculum.

Review Programme Specification Here

Programme Specification 2022/23 Running Out Curriculum

This Programme Specification details the units and learning outcomes that are being taught out.

Review Programme Specification Here

Programme Specification 2023/24 New Curriculum

This Programme Specification is for all units on the new curriculum.

Review Programme Specification here

Programme Specification 2023/24 Running Out Curriculum

This Programme Specification details the units and learning outcomes that are being taught out.

Review Programme Specification here

Photography Accessibility Statements

Accessibility statements give an indication of the type and format of content, teaching, and learning activities on the course, and how these are ordinarily delivered.

Review Accessibility Statements Here

Foundations

£935

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,500

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,500

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,500

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,360

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 necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,360

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,080

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 £860 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £280.

Foundations

£1,075

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£5,160

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£5,160

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£5,160

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,560

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 £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,680

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 £1,120 followed by 11 monthly instalments of £300.

More Information
  • With the OCA, you can study a BA (Hons) degree in our flexible online learning model at approximately one third the cost of a degree at a traditional physical university.

    Students study and pay for the course on a unit-by-unit basis, so you only pay for the course as you enrol to each unit.

    This course is eligible for a part-time tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or you can self-fund the course and break down costs even further through the deposit and instalment option.  Find out more about your funding options here.

  • You will require regular use of a computer or laptop and internet access. Most essential reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks.

    Students are responsible for sourcing and, where necessary, purchasing any additional software and resources specified. These can be around £400 at Level 1, £500 at Level 2, and £550 at Level 3. Where possible, open or freeware equivalents will be discussed alongside industry standard options.

    You will need access to digital camera and editing software to begin this course.

    You may be eligible for any student discounts on computer equipment and software by using your student email, and you can find out more information about student discounts here.

  • 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. You can review the study requirements here so you’re prepared for online study at higher education.

  • We accept enrolment for our BA (HONS) courses all year round, so you can start at a time that suits you. You don’t need to wait for a specific intake month, simply complete the online enrolment form and indicate your preferred start date.

    When applying for a Student Finance tuition fee loan, this may take 4- 6 weeks to process, so select a start date reflective of this. If you are also applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and would like this support to be in place before beginning your course, please allow 14 weeks from when you begin your application to your start date.

  • Our part-time degree courses are completed on average between 6 and 9 years. The degree is structured into three levels (instead of three years) so you’re able manage study around other commitments.

    Once enrolled, you’ll have a maximum of 12 years to complete your degree course. There are unit and level timeframes within the overall degree time frame, and you’ll need a minimum of 10 study per week to keep on track. To find out more about course duration and managing your time, click here.

  • Your course materials are accessible online through the virtual learning environment, OCA Learn, where you’ll also have access to student forums, a subject space, the student handbook and the online library. You’ll work primarily from a set text of course materials and resources, but can also sign up to webinars, workshops and study groups in addition to your core learning.

    Once you’ve completed the required assignments within a course unit and received tutor feedback, you’ll submit a portfolio of work to an assessment event. This gives you the opportunity to develop your work before you have it formally assessed to achieve credits towards your degree.

  • 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 May 2022 the Department for Culture, Media, & Sport estimated there were some 2.3 million jobs in the UK creative industries, and post pandemic the Creative Industries are growing faster than the UK economy as a whole.

  • The Academic Regulatory Framework (ARF) regulations are applicable to all taught courses offered by the Open College of the Arts
    (OCA), and leading to an undergraduate award of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

    You can review the ARF through the link below:

    Academic Regulatory Framework

To Join

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