Photography Courses

Our distance learning Open courses in photography develop your practice and critical understanding of photography, fostering high level technical, ethical and professional standards.

Choosing your Open courses

We have a range of degree level photography Open courses you can study from home to match your interests, as well as a Open Foundations in Photography course if you’re not yet ready for degree-level study. Choose from the list of Open courses available, enrol online and within a few days you will receive your materials and you can start your creative arts journey with the OCA.

If this is your first Open course and you are confident you are ready for Higher Education study through distance learning, we would recommend you start with Expressing your Vision as your first course on our Open BA (Hons) Photography degree programme.

Interested in the BA (Hons) Photography Degree? Learn More

Course structure

Our degree programmes are made up of three levels which equate to HE Levels 4, 5 and 6. We also have a Foundations level for those who are not quite ready for Undergraduate study.



Level 1 (HE4)

Level 2 (HE5)

Level 3 (HE6)

 Open courses in photography:

  • Can be studied individually for personal development or together towards a degree.
  • Provide an intellectually stimulating programme of study based on high quality study material and tutors who are experienced photographers.
  • Develop your technical skills and creativity.
  • 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.
  • Foster high-level ethical and professional standards and an awareness of the possibilities offered by developments in photography.
  • Provide an environment in which you have the possibility of changing your view of the world and your interaction with it.
  • Can be studied from home or anywhere you find yourself.

As you move through the levels, you will start by building a strong foundation and as you develop, will begin to produce progressively more independent work and finally have the confidence and ability to become an independent practicing photographer. On successful completion of the BA (Hons) Photography degree, you will have gained a broad knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of photography and emerging aspects of the discipline and those at the forefront of debate.

Photography students’ gallery

“When I decided to do a BA in photography in 2012, I was looking for a course which would provide me with technical knowledge while being a gateway to discover the world of contemporary art. As I have two young kids, distant classes were the only solution and the OCA program proved to be the best option for me. I discovered the pleasure of creating more meaningful images while interacting with a passionate community of students and tutors. Today, photography has a very special place in my everyday life, from where I can explore whatever triggers my curiosity and imagination.”

Stephanie D’HubertPhotography

“I currently work as a touring technician and spend a lot of time traveling around the world with various acts. Being on the road provides great opportunities for creating images, which is one reason for wanting to improve and learn more about photography. The idea of one day solely being employed as a photographer is the long term aim. OCA’s structure allows me to study anywhere in the world which, for me, is fantastic.

Once on the course I received an incredible level of support from my OCA tutors. This is what makes OCA for me. The tutors go that extra mile knowing working and distance learning can be a struggle. They find time to encourage, motivate and stimulate which when studying remotely is invaluable.”

Ozzie HendersonPhotography

Free online photography course

The OCA has produced a short online photography course called Key Ideas in Photography, written by OCA photography tutor Robert Enoch. This course comprises five short video lectures on some of the fundamental ideas that underpin and motivate contemporary photography. This course is a taster for anyone thinking about taking a degree in Photography.

Click on the image below to sign up to this free photography course.

Short Photography courses camera image