UCAS code: W640

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years with a work placement

Part time: 6 years, maximum 8 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Arts

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Develop your own ways of seeing with our well-connected, career-focused Photography BA. From day 1 you will begin to form your own digital photographic practice in the area of photography most relevant to your future career.

Approaching photography from all angles, you’ll study its history, theories and ethics. You’ll explore how the role of the image has evolved in the 21st century and develop your own distinct photographic identity.

You’ll develop skills to help you communicate your ideas, and build your professional practice centred around your passions. You’ll discover how to speak a visual language that’s understood by multiple creative industries.

Whatever your career aspirations, targeted modules build your professional skill set. Make the most of our well-established relationships with award-winning photographers and internationally known associate lecturers.

By the end of the course, you’ll know how it feels to be a working photographer in your chosen field.

Take a look at our students' work on Instagram

Order a Prospectus Ask a question Attend an open day or webinar

Student sitting with laptop

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Real-life experience

    You’ll build professional skills and a strong understanding of life within the creative industries by learning from expert practitioners.

  • Time to be heard

    Master how to present your ideas, inspirations and images to fellow creatives within the professional creative industries.

  • Explore the world

    Find yourself shooting on location in the UK and overseas, as well as in your own environment. There’s plenty to see beyond the studio.

  • Never miss a beat

    We understand travel comes as part of the job, so when you’re away on assignment you can join modules via our online virtual classrooms.

  • Create your own practice 

    Our studios are open 24-hours a day during term-time.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Course details

Course structure

This course provides flexible bespoke learning to help you build transferable skills whether you’re preparing to shoot fashion, food or football.

Year 1 is your time to explore passions and interests away from photography. Could your future be in galleries, among magazine pages or catching the action from the touchline? We’ll give you a complete set of skills and insights to help you decide.

In Year 2 you will begin to specialise, evolving your interests and career trajectory. We’ll help you build your own website, and speak out on social media. A relevant work placement will set you firmly in the professional world.

Final year modules are designed for you to showcase your creative confidence and independence. In your final essay you’ll demonstrate your knowledge and ability at critical analysis. Your self-directed body of work will be exhibited at the end of year degree show, where you will launch your career.

See all this in action by visiting our student portfolio @photooxbrookes on Instagram.

Student taking pictures with a camera

Learning and teaching

The first year provides opportunity to explore your passions and interests outside of photography. You will use your interests to identify an area of specialisation. This will provide you with the basic skills and insights fundamental to aspects of photographic practice and theory. You will have the opportunity to explore moving image creation, visual narrative, darkroom practice and digital workflow.

In the second year you will develop your specialisation, further evolving your own interests and career trajectory. You will create your own website, an online presence through social media channels and undertake a work placement within the creative industries.

Your final year is made-up of modules that encourage confidence and independence. It culminates with an in-depth critical analysis dissertation, and an opportunity to develop a self-directed body of work with which to showcase your development. An end of year degree show will allow you to present your portfolio to industry.


You are assessed on coursework only. This will include a final body of practical work and a dissertation. 

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Photography Project 1: The self & the other

    Delve into the discovery of identity in this wonderfully captivating ‘The self & the other’ photography module. Through a range of exciting workshops, seminars, group analysis discussions, tutorials and showings, you’ll be introduced to foundational digital skills for photographic practice. You’ll analyse studio-based portraiture to unfold the core ideas on the subject matter, while considering the social, physical, personal, ethnicity, and generational aspects of selfhood and otherness. 
  • Photography and Context

    You’ll be introduced to the fundamental, conceptual, communicative, contextual and technical elements of presenting photographs under a specific theme, specialisation or context. You’ll add skills and knowledge to your repertoire that will include printing, scale, hanging, expectation, environment, dissemination, and exhibition of work. You’ll also be introduced to the realms of viewership audience development.  

  • Histories and Theories 1: The politics & poetics of looking

    You’ll be introduced to some of the key theoretical ideas that frame critical debates around making and viewing photographic images, stimulating discussions from historical and contemporary perspectives. You’ll boost both your academic and study skills, equipping you with foundational skills in research, critical thinking, academic writing and image analysis. 
  • Photography Project 2: Location & environment

    Imagine being out in the field, on location, setting up your digital camera equipment and creating just the right lighting effects to capture the perfect landscape photograph. This module will guide you to achieve just that, building on the introductory skills you will have explored in Photography Project 1, and developing your creative and technical capacities specific to photographic work on location. 
  • Professional Contexts 2: Modes and sites of publication

    The display of your work online is just as important as how it is displayed in a live gallery exhibition. In this module, you’ll learn the tips and techniques on how to best position your work on digital platforms to get maximum results. You’ll build on the skills and insights you obtained in Professional Contexts 1, developing a broader approach to the presentation and distribution of your photographic work by addressing both web and page-based formats.
  • Histories and Theories 2: Space, place & culture

    This module will equip you with the ever-expanding conceptualisation of space, place and culture. You’ll get to grips with the relationships surrounding these elements, and you’ll build on your foundational knowledge of your work on Histories and Theories1. 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Photography Project 3: Mediation & moving image

    In an ever-changing photography landscape, the technical and compositional parameters are always moving. This module will gear you up to navigate the complexities of a transient world, where you’ll build on your knowledge from Photography Projects 1 & 2, and explore the proliferating possibilities of the moving and still photographic image realm. You’ll get involved in practical workshops, group discussions, seminars and tutorials, which will provide you with supportive learning platforms. 
  • Professional Contexts 3a: Photography and the Creative Industries

    You’ll focus on specific commercial, cultural and communication contexts in this module. You’ll elevate your artistic flare for contextual photography and connect your knowledge to other modules in the semester (Histories and Theories 3 and Photography Project 3).
  • Professional Contexts 4: Professional Practice

    In this module you’ll learn how to apply the skills you’ve learnt through practical work and lectures within a professional context. You’ll develop your abilities to thrive in a professional photography practice, and attune your capabilities in relation to the commercial and creative demands of the creative industries. 
  • Histories & Theories 3: Media, culture & communication

    You will consider the multi-faceted nature of media, culture and communication, while you build on your theoretical perspectives introduced in Histories and Theories 1 & 2. You’ll explore notions of representation, political and ethic dimensions of media and their responsibilities, and key media and cultural theories. 
  • Photography project 4: Visual narratives & cultural contexts

    Develop a critical and vocational awareness of the visual narrative and cultural contexts behind photographs in this fascinating module. You’ll explore relationships between writing and photographic images, creating a thematically defined and contextually aware series of photographs. You will also begin planning for your Level 6 Final Major Project. 
  • Professional Practice

    You’ll be given the opportunity to apply all the knowledge you have obtained from your lectures within a professional context. Through client-led briefs and a work placement, you’ll elevate, frame and attune your professional practice to the commercial and creative demands of the creative industries.
  • Histories & Theories 4: Ethics, politics and visual narratives

    This module will further open your mind to the role that photographic imagery plays in setting the visual narrative across differing cultural contexts, and their relationships to editorial and documentary genres. Marvel at how ideas can be drawn from anthropology, ethnography and auto-ethnography, and immerse yourself in philosophical debates that shape and inform the stories that photographs tell. 

Year 3 (placement year)

Optional modules

Career Development Placement

Elevate your professional profile and professional confidence through experiential learning opportunities. You’ll get the opportunity to engage with external organisations on work placements, internships and industry experiences or alternatively study abroad. You’ll be in charge of your own learning and self-direction through identifying opportunities that align to your professional ambitions.  

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Final Major Project

    As part of this quadruple module, you’ll get the opportunity to undertake an intensive and extended period of self-directed, practice-based work that completes the projects proposed in Photography Project 5. You’ll compile your best work into a substantial portfolio of original, professional standard photographic, stills and/or moving image work that showcases your creative, professional and conceptual development during the course. This is your chance to frame your public-facing professional profile and career entrance strategies, culminating in an exciting end-of-year exhibition presentation. 
  • Written Research Project

    You’ll consolidate your critical, contextual and evaluative thinking throughout the course. You’ll be provided with a supportive, structured environment in which to produce an extended piece of written research. Your research can stand in a relationship to the photographic practices that you are concurrently developing in Photography Project 5. 
  • Photography Project 6: Independent Practice

    In this module, you’ll be given the exciting challenge of undertaking a period of in-depth research, and the development of your degree show. You’ll be in close contact with your tutors as you develop further ideas and outcomes for your exhibition and future employability. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Employers will recognise and value your industry knowledge and strong technical competence. Your specialisations and industry understanding will help you stand out from the crowd.

Having established your own creative practice, you’ll be a skilled visual communicator with your own voice and identity.

Take maximum advantage of the course’s strong links with local, national and global creative industries to boost your network further.

Many graduates establish themselves as self-employed photographers or go on to a range of careers within the creative industries. That extends to publishing, television, film, post-production, research and marketing.

Developing your career – either through professional practice or further study – could take you into roles including:

  • photographer
  • director of photography
  • cinematographer
  • publisher
  • creative director
  • stylist
  • art director
  • photo editor
  • documentary filmmaker
  • post-production
  • content strategist.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Grant Scott

Grant Scott, BA Photography Subject Coordinator, specialises in photography, the moving image, visual narrative and professional practices, and teaches across the course. He is a working photographer and has written three books on photography including 'The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography'. Grant is also the founder/ curator of www.unitednationsofphotography.com and the presenter/producer of the weekly podcast 'A Photographic Life'.

Read more about Grant

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400


Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

The BA Photography was launched in 2019 and we are excited that our first cohort completing the course will be graduating in the summer of 2022. As such, there are no National Student Satisfaction (NSS) survey scores for the BA Photography at Oxford Brookes just yet. In this case, we are obliged to show a satisfaction score for a wider group of courses. The satisfaction score shown below does not include any students from the BA Photography course.

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.