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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.

Key to securing these opportunities is creating a rich and varied professional portfolio. Solent’s teaching team will guide you through this process, ensuring 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.

You’ll also get the opportunity to exhibit your work in our purpose built Solent Showcase gallery. Not only is this a great chance to get your work seen by the public, it also teaches valuable curation skills.

Regular lectures are often 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.

These speakers, as well as the regular teaching team, focus on contemporary photographic debates and industry best practise, as well as essential business skills and entrepreneurship.

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
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
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

Solent has produced highly commended students, including a Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus Programme 2015 finalist; an Association of Photographers award winner; a LPA Award winner; and a winner of the the Photographers’ Gallery annual graduate competition, ‘Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed’.

What does this course lead to?

Professional practice is an essential part of this course. We are an affiliated centre with the Association of Photographers (AoP) which offers students access to professional resources and networks. 

We also have links with international publications including Vogue, the Sunday Times Magazine, the Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian and the New York Times, as well as the BBC, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain and world renowned photographic agency Magnum Photos.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s BA (Hons) Photography programme is ideal for those who wish to continue their photography studies and prepare for a career as an editorial, fashion, promotional or fine art photographer.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry W651
  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year W6W4
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year

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 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2018/19 other costs were:

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.


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.
  • UK applicants are required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio.
  • Direct entry into the second or third year may be considered for this course.
  • 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.

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 19 in each individual 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.

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.


of students feel staff have made the subject interesting

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 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 
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Orientation
  • Image Lab
  • Representation
  • Photographic History and Theory 1
  • Photographic History and Theory 2
  • Visual Exploration

Year two

Core units
  • Photographic Concepts and Themes
  • Photographic Methods and Approaches
  • Image Text Analysis 1
  • Image Text Analysis 2


  • Photography and the City
  • Photography and the Figure
  • Photography and the Moving Image
  • Photography and the Landscape
  • Photography and Global Cultures
  • Photography and the Domestic and Public Sphere
  • Photography and the Styled Portrait
  • Photography and the Book
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units
  • Contemporary Studio Practice
  • Final Essay
  • Final Major Project
  • Professional Practice Portfolio


  • Creative Business Start-up

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


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


Practical exams

Students' work

Meet the course team

Lisa Dibben academic profile Lisa Dibben Head of Subject View profile
Tom Slevin academic profile Tom Slevin Course Leader View profile
Stephen Brigdale academic profile Stephen Brigdale Senior Lecturer View profile
Guy Moreton academic profile Guy Moreton Senior Lecturer View profile
Nina Sverdvik academic profile Nina Sverdvik 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.

The course has excellent links with agencies, such as Magnum Photos, and is affiliated to the Association of Photographers in London (The AOP). This affiliation entitles students to free student membership of the AOP, which supplies further links with industry and access to many professional resources.

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.


of students go on to work and/or study six months after finishing the course


of students feel the course has provided them with the opportunity to explore ideas or concepts in depth

Industry links

Professional practice is an essential part of this course. We are an affiliated centre with the Association of Photographers (AoP), and have an established educational partnership with the renowned worldwide agency Magnum Photos Ltd.

We also have links with international publications including Vogue, the Sunday Times Magazine, the Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian and the New York Times, as well as the BBC, the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain.


Work experience is encouraged, and you’ll be able to call on the course team’s strong ties within the industry to help find and secure 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; for example final-year student James Robinson was recently commissioned to produce images for Southampton Airport’s arrivals lounge.

Learning methods integrate theory and practice, allowing students to develop their critical thinking and photographic practice hand in hand. Solent Creatives, our in-house creative agency, gives students the opportunity to pitch for real industry clients and collaborate with other students on multidisciplinary projects. 

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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