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About the course

The rising popularity of photography has seen a wealth of opportunity spring up for creative photographic practitioners. A degree in photography from Solent University will help position you at the cutting-edge of this medium, preparing you to enter the world of work with highly developed and refined creative and technical skills.

BA (Hons) Photography scored 96% overall student satisfaction for the National Student Survey 2020.

Throughout the course you will be supported to develop your creative, imaginative and critical abilities – skills that are essential in a creative career – you’ll also explore a range of photographic subjects and will embed photographic skills through dynamic projects.

Solent’s experienced teaching team will guide you in creating a rich and varied professional portfolio, and will ensure that you have the creative freedom to make a portfolio that best represents your own unique style, while at the same time demonstrating that you are a competent, adaptable and employable practitioner.

Regular course lectures are supported by a programme of industry guest speakers, which in the past have included appearances from Richard Billingham, Catherine Yass, Charlotte Cotton, Ori Gersht, Brian Dillon, Peter Fraser, Dan Holdsworth, Chrystel Lebas, Jeremy Millar, Sophy Rickett, Margaret Salmon and Tom Hunter.

Your studies will take place in the multi-million pound Media Academy – featuring state-of-the-art teaching and photography facilities including digital and analogue studio spaces. You will also learn in the Photography Base Room – a dedicated, flexible teaching space.

Think a career as a photographer might be for you? With first-class facilities and a unique emphasis on freelance work, Solent University’s photography programme is a great first step towards your dream career.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

The course team offers a blend of skills, knowledge and expertise; they have a rich breadth and depth of experience and backgrounds. As such, they are able to support students and their development.

What does this course lead to?

Many graduates have gone on to work in commercial, editorial, fashion, portrait, documentary, photojournalism, landscape and fine art photography. Graduates also enter related fields, including post-production, museum and galleries, book and journal publication, picture editing, education (FE and HE) and have also gone on to postgraduate study.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s photography degree is ideally suited to students who are interested in developing their technical skills, working on creative and challenging projects, and developing their knowledge and understanding of photography and visual culture.

Students will consider theory and practice across a range of briefs from set tasks to self-initiated projects. Applicants will have ideally studied a previous creative subject and will be required to show a portfolio and developmental work at interview.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

You will be required to pay for any materials you use on the development of your projects, however in-lesson course materials are provided.

Year one:
Compulsory darkroom equipment/materials, workbooks, study trips and printing: £300
Optional international study trip: £250-£300

Year two:
Compulsory photographic materials (film, paper), digital printing, mounting, workbooks, study trips, memory sticks and printing: £300-£500
Optional international study trip: £250-£300

Year three:
Compulsory photographic materials (film, paper), stationery, digital printing, mounting, framing degree show, study trips, memory sticks, printing: £300-£600
Optional international study trip: £250-£300

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into the second or third year may be considered for this course.
  • UK applicants are required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer ot our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Follow the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  3 years  Apply 

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Image Lab
    On this module you will work creatively to produce a digital photographic print. You will develop essential technical photographic skills as well as improving your understanding of contemporary photography.
  • Orientation
    Working creatively producing photographic prints exploring the city, you will learn essential analogue photographic skills developing film and working in the photographic darkroom.
  • Photography History and Theory I
    The aim of this module is to cultivate a broad knowledge, understanding and informed awareness of the relevance of the historical background to the medium of photography and its continuing effect on and relation to contemporary practice.
  • Photography History and Theory II
    This module builds on from Photography History and Theory 1. It extends and deepens consideration of photographic themes, genres, practitioners and theories.
  • Representation
    You will investigate both traditional and contemporary approaches to figurative and non-figurative photographic representation working in the photographic studio using the latest digital camera technology.
  • Visual Exploration
    For this module you will produce a series of images for an end of year photographic exhibition. This assignment is intended to develop your skills in contextualising the image within contemporary photography as well as refining and developing your analogue camera and darkroom skills.

Year two

Core modules
  • Image Text Analysis I
    This module is a student-centred investigation into research methodologies in the fields of photographic theory and visual studies and into the application of theories to creative visual production and critical writing.
  • Photographic Concepts and Themes
    Through this module you will learn about areas of important photographic concepts and themes and be able to make practical responses to them whilst refreshing, enhancing and learning new photographic processes and techniques.
  • The Figurative Image
    This module explores the representation of the figure through photographic portraiture and introduces the issue of identity, fashion, gesture, styling and location.
  • Image Text Analysis II
    This module develops on from Image Text Analysis I through further consideration of the practice of research and the relationship between theory and practice.
  • Photographic Methods and Approaches
    This module reflects and responds to methods, approaches and production processes occurring in contemporary photographic practice. You will engage with learning and understanding photographic contexts, responding to them, and developing your own practice.
  • Photographic Ecologies 
    On this module you will learn to critically explore the relationship between photography and landscape as a visual, literary, philosophical and ecological practice.

Year three

Core modules
  • Contemporary Photographic Practice
    On this module you will learn to critically explore and personally develop a sustainable photographic project that is informed through a sophisticated understanding of the wider contexts of contemporary photographic practice.
  • Contemporary Photographic Journal
    This module runs in parallel with Contemporary Photographic Practice. You will collate your research and development whilst confirming your individual positions as practitioners working within the diverse field of contemporary photographic practice.
  • Professional Practice
    On this module you will learn the research skills needed to explore the creative industries and the particular sectors that you wish to work in, from this research you will begin to build up a picture of needs of your sector, and the skills that the sector requires in its employees or freelancers.
  • Final Major Project
    Through this module you will be required to critically engage with your subject, articulating your ideas through a major body of work that will be presented and celebrated in a public Degree Exhibition in Southampton.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures


Assessment by coursework

Students' work

Meet the course team

Nina Sverdvik academic profile Nina Sverdvik Course Leader View profile
Guy Moreton academic profile Guy Moreton Senior Lecturer View profile
Tom Slevin academic profile Tom Slevin Senior Lecturer View profile
Andrew Cross academic profile Andrew Cross Associate Lecturer View profile
Simon Griggs academic profile Simon Griggs Technical Instructor View profile
Peter O'Keefe academic profile Peter O'Keefe Technician Instructor View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Course facilities include an extensive media loans programme, providing access to high-end DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5D MKII, an extensive range of lenses (including many ‘L’ series and Prime lenses), 35mm cameras, medium format cameras (645, 6x7 and 6x9), large format 5x4 cameras and lenses, and a full stock of accessories – light meters, tripods, flash guns, remote-controlled boom-mounted flash systems and more.

You’ll also have access to our digital reprographics lab, featuring commercial-standard and large-format printers, flatbed scanners, three Hasselblad drum scanners scanning up to 5x4 size and a colour-calibrated ProMac-based reprographic suite.

Our recently rebuilt colour and black-and-white darkrooms are of the highest industry standards and students can also freely use our in-house colour film processing machine. Additionally, we have finishing and film processing rooms, a modern multimedia lab featuring 24 iMacs with Adobe CS6 Suite Master Collection and Final Cut Pro, plus large professional photographic studios and associated make-up and styling rooms

There are a number of opportunities available to students for paid work. This ranges from working as a freelancer for Solent Creatives to working as a photography supervisor. Students gain a number of transferable skills that support interest working in and across the creative sector.

Your future

You’ll learn skills that will equip you for careers within artistic, commercial, industrial, medical and editorial photography. There are many industries that employ professional photographers, including: creative and marketing agencies, photographic libraries, marketing departments in large organisations, newspapers and periodicals, museums and other arts organisations.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Freelance photographer
  • Fashion photographer
  • Digital photographic retoucher
  • Specialist photographer for commercial organisations.

Industry links

Professional practice is an essential element of this course, and we are an affiliated centre with the Association of Photographers (AoP).

The course team maintains close links with industry, which has enabled past students to work with organisations such as the renowned worldwide agency Magnum Photos, Southampton City Art Gallery, the NHS, and East Photographic.

The course also regularly features industry guest speakers, which has recently included; Charlotte Cotton, Ori Gersht, Peter Fraser, Dan Holdsworth, Tom Hunter, Sophy Rickett, Margaret Salmon and Richard Billingham among others. Most recently the course has had guest talks from Alexandra Lethbridge, Sam Laughlin, Chloe Dewe Matthews and Tom Lovelace.


There is no formal placement element to the taught degree, however work experience is encouraged, and the course team will provide advice on finding a suitable placement. Recent students have assisted on local and national shoots during their studies, and our Solent Creatives agency provides significant opportunities for freelance work on live client briefs. 

There is also the opportunity to enter external competitions during your studies, and the chance to work as a student supervisor in the University photography facilities.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day