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Photography BA (Hons)


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Key Information Set (KIS) Data is only gathered for undergraduate full-time courses. There are a number of reasons why this course does not have KIS data associated with it. For example, it may be a franchise course run at a partner college or a course designed for continuing professional development.


The photography industry is competitive. Our photography degree course develops your business skills at the same time as your creative flair and technical knowledge.

Explore the commercial and artistic sides of the industry and gain hands-on creative agency experience before you graduate. 99% assessed by coursework.

6 reasons to study here

Industry expertise : Be taught by professional photographers, writers or curators who are actively engaged in commercial work, publishing and exhibiting.
Develop creatively and technically : Work on location and in the studio, with digital SLR's, medium format digital cameras and our large format print and mount lab. Work across documentary, editorial, commercial and gallery-based photography.
Multi-million pound Elephant Studios: Studio complex includes industry-ready photographic studio, digital design suites, colour-grading suites, cinema, print room and kit room (with industry-standard equipment for student hire).
Student-led creative agency: South Bank Collective is LSBU's registered creative agency giving photography students commercial experience and entrepreneurial skills.
Networking opportunities: There is a regular guest lecturer programme, where professionals from different areas of the photography industry talk to the students about their own work, and their career path.
Happy students: No. 2 University in London for student satisfaction with teaching and assessment in Film Production and Photography  (Guardian League Table 2018) and for Academic support, learning community and student voice in Cinematics and Photography (National Student Survey 2017)

This degree course covers...

  • documentary, editorial, commercial and gallery-based photography
  • history of photography
  • photography in a digital culture
  • developing your portfolio
  • exhibiting your work, inside and outside the University
  • student work can be seen on our photography blog.

I chose LSBU because the opportunity to study in central London would help me to build contacts within the industry while I worked towards my degree.

Will Ainsworth, BA (Hons) Digital Photography (2013)

Before 2015 entry this course was previously titled Digital Photography.

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus

Case studies


Modules are assessed by projects, essays and presentations.

Methods of assessment for course overall: 99% coursework

Year 1

    • Documentary Photography
      In this module you'll work on projects that involve interaction with people and their environment;  you'll be introduced to visually exploring the world around you, using photography as a documentary practice to communicate to an audience. You'll be introduced to carrying out primary research into the subject of a brief, and visual and theoretical research into ways of using photography. 
    • Photo Imaging: Studio and Lab
      This module introduces you to a professional digital work flow, from image capture through to output for screen and print. Through a number of short briefs, based on commercial and editorial commissions, you'll develop their skills with digital SLR's, photographic lighting and digital post production. You'll be introduced to working with both natural light on location, and working in the studio.
    • Contemporary Photography Commissions
      In this module you'll develop awareness of contemporary photographic practice through a series of briefs that explore different types of photography commissions. The module will consist of 3 simulated live briefs and one commission set in conjunction with an external client.
    • Digital Image Construction
      This module develops your ability with digital image capture, in the studio and on location. Making use of digital post production techniques you'll develop retouching and image manipulation skills. Responding to briefs, both individually and as part of a team, you'll develop your ability to produce visually inventive, creative imagery for screen and print.
    • The Emergence of Photography
      This module offers a thematic approach to studying histories and theories of  photography, from the earliest experiments in the 1830s to the digital forms of today. Photography refuses any attempt to fix its identity, likewise any narration of the photographic is unstable, contested and in a perpetual state of flux. This story is a multifaceted adventure that takes us to the centre of art and visual culture of the last 200 years. The emphasis is on connections between theory and practice, word and image, and developing your abilities to articulate themselves when writing and speaking about images.
    • Thinking, Making and Writing in Creative Media
      In this module you will explore synergies and convergences across the disciplines of photography, design, film, music, fine art and digital media. By extending your frame of contextual reference and your ability to engage in critical and creative thinking, the module will provide a grounding in academic writing, production research and idea generation in the context of an understanding of discourse at an academic and professional level.

Year 2

    • Fashion, Editorial and Advertising photography
      In this module you'll explore the use of digital photography in fashion, editorial and advertising contexts. You'll generate a project and create a portfolio of images, of a conceptual and technical quality suitable for one of these  contexts. Skills appropriate for commercial uses of photography will be delivered through workshops in medium format digital cameras, digital post production, and output for web and print portfolios. On completion of the  project you'll present your portfolio of work to a panel in the format of a portfolio review.
    • Photography and the Gallery
      In this practice based module you'll create a body of photographic work for a gallery context. The module examines the wider political, cultural and social context of the galley and explores photography's relationship to both the gallery and fine art practices. You'll produce work of a conceptual and technical quality to be shown in a gallery based exhibition.
    • Self-Publishing and the Photobook
      In recent years developments in digital technology and advances in home printing and print on demand services have led to a rapid increase in photographers self-publishing      books, outside of the traditional publishing models. At the same time independent and mainstream publishing houses have increased their output of photobooks. In this module you'll explore the photobook as a means for disseminating work and creating an audience. Each student will photograph, design and create a photobook. Collectively you and your group host an event at which your books can be seen and purchased by an audience.
    • Professional Practice and Promotion
      In the first semester of this module you'll work as a group to explore ways of disseminating their work in a professional context. In the second semester you'll develop a portfolio and undertake a period of work experience. Through the development of a physical and/or online digital portfolio you'll start to bring together different projects including individual practice based work and a record of your group work and work experience. A visiting lecturer  program will support this module providing insight into a multitude of possible career options and different forms of professional practice.
    • Contemporary Photographic Debates
      This module explores the critical and cultural contexts for contemporary photographic practice, with an emphasis on the relationship between photography and network culture. Now that the majority of photographs are produced, shared and viewed online, how are the meanings and functions of photography and media changing? How, as photographers, are we responding to and reflecting upon our increasingly online and screen-based lives and realities? In order to answer these questions, you'll be introduced to a range of work by practitioners and writers, and encouraged to reflect on the relationship between theory and practice in your own work.
    • Collaborative Practices (Shared Option)
      This Module allows you across multiple creative media disciplines to collaboratively address a conceptually framed brief, and to see a project through from initial idea to final production. The module will operate in option mode with a number of briefs set each year, reflecting current topics from which you can opt for a first and second choice.

    Year 3

    • Pilot Major Project
      This module develops your individual photographic practice, and your ability to locate their practice within the contemporary photography industry. Research into historic and contemporary photographic theory and practice enables you to develop a critical framework in which to consider your work. Having chosen a context for your work (e.g. a commercial portfolio, the gallery, the book, the screen) you'll develop and complete a self-directed photographic project within this area.
    • Major Project
      In  this module you'll complete a major, self-directed body of work, for an identified context. In the production of the work you'll undertake in-depth research into both the subject of the work, and the contemporary photographic context in which you plan to locate the work. The final presentation will be suitable for this context and demonstrate an understanding of the contemporary photography industry and how their work relates to a particular area of the industry.
    • Professional Practice
      In this module you'll develop your professional skills in preparation for entering the industry, or for progression to postgraduate study. Through the development of a physical and/or digital portfolio you'll develop a professional identity and edit different practical work together in a coherent manner, targeted towards identified audiences. You'll undertake a period of work experience and identify a professional mentor and seek feedback on your work from industry professionals. A visiting lecturer programme will support this module providing insight into a multitude of possible career options and different forms of professional practice. As part of the module you'll participate in individual or group projects that will develop your professional practice skills.
    • Research Paper
      The  final year research paper module gives you the opportunity to conduct original research in an area of their degree or field of interest. The research paper allows you to use any of the theories, topics and methods encountered on your course. You'll manage your own learning under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Lectures will offer general advice and guidance on research methods and describe different ways of approaching and structuring the research paper. The way your own research paper is organised and structured is best decided in consultation with the your supervisor.

The course at LSBU has not only increased my technical ability and confidence within the visual medium but has also developed my skill-set and business mind preparing me for the start of my photographic career.

Will Ainsworth, BA (Hons) Photography (2013)


The course will equip you for a wide range of careers in the photographic and creative industries, for example: documentary, editorial and commercial freelance photography; fine art photography; colour management and retouching; picture editing; photography agent; or to go into education. 

You'll learn skills that enable you to set up you own creative business, and the transferable skills learnt on the course will enable you to work in a range of other roles in the creative industries. 

Employability is embedded in all modules, particularly in the professional practice modules which help you develop a portfolio and teach skills such as promotion and how to cater for a specific audience. All students undertake work experience during these modules.

I'm interested in exploring mental health through photography, something I did for my major project and an area I am definitely going to return to, that might involve returning to LSBU for a Masters degree!

Melissa Kasilian, BA (Hons) Digital Photography (2013)                                 

The course works closely with the Student Enterprise Centre, and with their support students on the photography course have set up and now run their own photography agency, launching publicly in January 2015, called the South Bank Collective. The agency finds and manages commercial photographic jobs that the you can work on. As well as providing paid work, it gives you the experience of different roles within photography, from marketing, communicating with clients, costing jobs and working collaboratively.

You'll develop a professional portfolio of your work throughout the three years and organize exhibitions in the second and third years of the degree to showcase your work to the public.

I started out assisting Julian MacDonald's in-house photographer on my placement, but since then I have taken over the role myself. For the last four years I have worked freelance for Julian as his photographer/retoucher/graphic design consultant.

Will Ainsworth, BA (Hons) Digital Photography (2013)

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

  • direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
  • Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
  • mentoring and work shadowing schemes.


You'll undertake work experience in both the second and third years of your degree. You'll be supported in finding work experience by the staff team, the university's employability service, and the guest lecturer programme.


Daniel Alexander

School/Division: Arts and Creative Industries / Film and Media
Job title: Course Director: Photography

Daniel Alexander is a photographer, researcher and lecturer. He is Course Director of the BA (Hons) Photography Course.

Prof. Andrew Dewdney

School/Division: Arts and Creative Industries / Film and Media
Job title: Professor of Educational Development

Andrew works within the Centre for Media and Culture Research and his current research is focusing on the impact of online networked cultures upon analogue archives and their representations in museums and galleries.

Paula Roush

School/Division: Arts and Creative Industries / Film and Media
Job title: Senior Lecturer - Photography

Paula is an artist, researcher, teacher and the funder of MSDM (mobile strategies of display and mediation), a platform for research on art, technologies and politics.

Katrina Sluis

School/Division: Arts and Creative Industries / Film and Media
Job title: Senior Lecturer - Photography

Katrina's research interests include Photography, Digital Media, Experimental Media Arts, Visual Culture, Computer-Mediated Communication, Intermedia, Fine Art, Digital Curation, Software Studies, Internet Art, and Critical Theory.


  • Photography Studio

    Photography Studio

    The Photography Studio is a double-height space with a photography lighting grid, air conditioning, green room (for make-up and wardrobe) and two colourama separate systems with a range of backdrop options (including vinyl and paper).

  • Print Lab

    Print Lab

    A photographic specialised print lab that includes five A2 printers, an A0 printer, a mounting press and six MacPros with specialist monitors.

  • Grading Suites

    Grading Suites

    The Grading Suites have neutral wall colours and lighting to provide optimal conditions for the colourist. The premium suite (Grading Suite 1) includes a Dolby calibrated screen to ensure ideal conditions.

  • Mac Lab

    Mac Lab

    The Elephant Studios at LSBU Mac Lab is fitted with Quad-Core and Dual GPU MacPros, available for digital media workshops and unsupervised student work.

  • Borough Road Gallery

    Borough Road Gallery

    The gallery is a home for visual art and a unique part of the University's heritage. Opened in 2012, the Borough Road Gallery contains valuable and significant works of Post War British Art in a public collection, produced by the celebrated artist and teacher David Bomberg (1890-1957).

Teaching and learning

Teaching is designed to support and develop your technical, theoretical, creative and professional abilities. The following are some of the forms your teaching and learning will take:

  • Lectures on both the practical and theoretical side of photography
  • 2, 6, and 12 week long practical brief led projects
  • Small Group seminars
  • Studio Lighting workshops
  • Location Lighting workshops
  • Post production workshops
  • Ideas workshops
  • Group tutorials for practical work
  • Exhibitions

All technical teaching is delivered on digital photographic equipment including Digital SLR's and Medium Format Digital Cameras. You can print your work in our professional print and mounting lab with both A2 and A0large format printers. The course doesn't have analogue cameras or darkrooms, if you want to shoot on film then you can make use of our hi-res scanners to scan negatives.

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
Lectures and seminars Self-directed learning Work-based placement
Year 1 25% 75% 0%
Year 2 28% 69% 3%
Year 3 21% 76%3%

Entry requirements

2018 Entry

  • A Level BCC or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DMM or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions 36 Merits or;
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above)
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.


Offers for this course will be made on the basis of your UCAS application and a portfolio of work (15- 25 images). You'll be notified by email with advice about how to upload your online portfolio, once we have received your UCAS application. 

When putting together your portfolio think carefully about how best to represent your work and your interests in photography. If possible ask your current tutors for advice when putting your portfolio together. Generally it is best to show work from projects, rather than lots of unconnected images. These could be projects you have completed as part of your education, or personal work that you have done.

We also consider applications from those who have gained relevant skills through a wide range of vocational qualifications or responsible experience.

How to apply

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

All full-time undergraduate students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using the University's Institution Code L75. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

All part-time students should apply directly to London South Bank University and full details of how to do this are given on our undergraduate How to apply webpage.


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursary Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

The fee shown is for entry 2017/18.
UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £12500
AOS/LSBU code: 4495Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £27750
International £37500

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.


We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct tuition fee discounts and we encourage all eligible students to apply for our Access Bursary. Up to 300 new home full-time undergraduate students meeting eligibility criteria could receive a £2,000 cash bursary by joining us in the 2015/16 academic year. Find out more about all our scholarships and fee discounts for undergraduate students.

International Scholarships

As well as being potentially eligible for our undergraduate scholarships, International students can also benefit from a range of specialist scholarships. Find out more about International scholarships.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

  • Amy Warwick, BA (Hons) Photography

    Amy Warwick, BA (Hons) Photography

    Amy Warwick explains how studying BA (Hons) Photography has encouraged her to produce her on photozines and set up her own publishing house - Blame Your Parents

  • Lisa Drew, alumna, BA (Hons) Photography

    Lisa Drew, alumna, BA (Hons) Photography

    How Elephant Studios and the South Bank Collective have helped one student enhance her photography skills

  • Arturas Bondarciukas, BA (Hons) Digital Photography

    Arturas Bondarciukas, BA (Hons) Digital Photography

    As a keen young photographer who wanted to turn professional, Arturas has found that studying photography at LSBU has given him the skills and experience to follow the perfect career path.

  • Alexandria Tilley, BA (Hons) Digital Photography

    Alexandria Tilley, BA (Hons) Digital Photography

    How our facilities in Elephant Studios at LSBU are helping prepare one BA (Hons) Digital Photography student for her dream career.

  • Amelia Hallsworth, alumna, BA (Hons) Photography

    Amelia Hallsworth, alumna, BA (Hons) Photography

    Amelia is balancing her freelance work and her day job, but they both are allowing her to pursue what she loves.

  • Melissa Kasilian, alumna, BA (Hons) Photography graduate

    Helped by an outstanding portfolio and a First Class Honours degree, Melissa Kasilian, BSc (Hons) Photography, landed a role as an interior photographer after graduating from LSBU.

  • Bradley Chippington, BA (Hons) Photography

    Bradley Chippington, BA (Hons) Photography

    London proved to be the best city to study the BA (Hons) Photography - he's worked for Kenton Magazine and volunteered as a photographer during London Fashion Week during his course.

  • Will Ainsworth, BA (Hons) Photography

    Will Ainsworth made a last-minute decision to apply through Clearing for the BA (Hons) Photography and has never looked back.

  • Arts and Media film

    Arts and Media film

    Watch a video of the 2013 degree shows at venues such as the British Film Institute (BFI) and Bermondsey Project Space.

  • Akaash Meeda, BA (Hons) Film Practice, student film

    Akaash Meeda's final year project went on to win the Audience Award at the United Film Festival London 2013 for best short film.

  • Borough Road Gallery

    Borough Road Gallery

    The gallery is a home for visual art and a unique part of the University's heritage. Opened in 2012, the Borough Road Gallery contains valuable and significant works of Post War British Art in a public collection, produced by the celebrated artist and teacher David Bomberg (1890-1957).

  • Keyworth Arts and Media Centre

    Our Keyworth Arts and Media Centre has eight laboratories holding 123 Apple G5 Intel computers that run all the major software packages you'd expect to find in a professional environment, from Apple Final Cut Studio and Autodesk 3DS Max to Virtools and istopmotion.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Applicant Open Days

To help you and your family feel confident about your university choice we run Applicant Open Days. These are held at subject level so students start getting to know each other and the academic staff who will be teaching them. These events are for applicants only and as an applicant you would receive an email invitation to attend the relevant event for your subject.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

Preparatory Reading List

  • Image Makers, Image Takers, Anne-Celine Jaeger
  • Setting up a Successful Photography Business, Lisa Pritchard
  • Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs, Henry Carrol
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Open Days and Events
Teaching excellence framework
Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK/EU

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6100

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
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