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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BA (Hons)Photography (Top-Up)

Apply through Clearing
Available through clearing
UCAS code: PH14
Institution code: S30
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study a photography top-up degree at Solent University

Develop your experience in photography to gain a full honours degree. Focus your skillset using studios, digital editing suites and traditional film processing ready for your professional career.

  • 0th
    in the UK for teaching for cinematics and photography studies (NSS 2023)
  • Top0
    in the UK for learning resources for cinematic and photography studies (NSS 2023)
  • 0th
    in the UK for learning opportunities for cinematics and photography studies (NSS 2023)
  • 'Top-up' your existing photography skills and qualifications into a full honours degree.
  • You will be taught by academics who are active photographic practitioners, writers, and researchers, and have published and exhibited widely in the UK and internationally.
  • We have strong industry links with agencies and establishments such as the Association of Photographers in London (The AOP), theprintspace, East Photographic, Canon, Sony, and the APHE.
  • Opportunity for real-world experience with student-led initiatives (Pentaprism Magazine) and paid work as a freelancer through Solent Creatives, our in-house creative agency.
  • Free access to an extensive media loans programme. This includes high-end DSLR cameras, extensive range of lenses, 35mm cameras, medium format cameras, large format 5x4 cameras and lenses and a full stock of accessories: light meters, tripods, flash guns.
  • Great guest speakers. Previous guest speakers and industry professionals have included Laura Pannack, Richard Billingham, Thom Atkinson, Peter Fraser, Oliver Whitehead, John Spinks, Steffi Klenz, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Alexandra Lethbridge, Sam Laughlin, Felicity Hammond and many others.

Course overview

If you’re an experienced photographer, this one year degree will give you the opportunity to ‘top-up’ your existing skills and qualifications into a full honours degree, spending the year producing work for your portfolio.

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.

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Call: 023 8201 5066Email:

Contact international admissions

Call: +44 (0)23 8201 5066Email:

Student work

Our creative degrees allow our students to develop a critical eye for design with a knowledge of different design approaches and problem solving techniques. Take a look at some of the great work they produce.

Course features

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • Top-up option

    If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year

Who is this course for?

This intensive one-year top-up programme is ideally suited to students who are qualified at a HND level and would like to upgrade to a full undergraduate honours degree.

Applicants should aspire for careers in editorial, fashion, promotional, freelance or fine art photography.

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.

Solent stories

Hear from Solent alumni about where their careers have taken them and how studying at Solent prepared them for their future.

Read more stories
Solent has helped by filling my CV with great experiences that have given me confidence and improved my work

Meet the team

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.

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, an extensive range of lenses (including many ‘L’ series and Prime lenses), 35mm cameras, medium format cameras (6x5, 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 standard and students can also freely use our in-house colour film processing machine. Additionally, we offer finishing and film processing rooms, a modern multimedia lab featuring 24 iMacs with Adobe Creative Cloud and Final Cut Pro, plus large professional photographic studios and associated make-up and styling rooms.

Make your application

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