Photography is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary practice with many histories, identities and dimensions. At the Wolverhampton School of Art (est. 1851), we explore these diverse legacies through contemporary practice and critical theory. The BA Photography philosophy is that images should be about something rather than of something and examines making images through practical assignments and a number of key photographic themes such as: identity and portraiture; place and location and narrative and performance. These assignments and themes are developed through six modules: Level 4 Recollections and Situations; Level 5 Interventions and Encounters and Level 6 Live and Show. The modules allow you to explore the relationships for example between photography and the self-portrait; studio image and fashion; our personal image in emotional photography in health and memory as well as interpretative recordings of landscapes, documentary and portraiture.
All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option (Sandwich Year). A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The school assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills. The School is committed to raising student awareness of the opportunities that exist post-graduation.
International students will need to apply for the BA (Hons) Photography course with professional placement before joining the course to ensure visa requirements are met.
What happens on the course?
BA (Hons) Photography is assessed on 100% coursework.
The course structure offers the freedom and support to explore, challenge and interrogate established photographic genres, that will allow you to engage and promote your ideas and concepts through a number of key assignments, analogue and digital materials and resources whilst examining both creative thinking and making and concept and technique that form the basis of a critically engaged practice. Simultaneously these conceptual ideas, contextual knowledge and understanding are a core experience of live industry briefs and external projects that you will engage with and create as part of your portfolio.
Studio and workshop culture is core to our courses and you will be encouraged to become part of the art and design community through time spent working in the studios, workshops and labs available to students across the week. Our contacts with galleries, curators, publishers and editors offer the opportunity for you to work on live projects. As a result, individual student development is enriched through valuable professional experience and the production of specialist portfolios, both necessary in the competitive and demanding professional world.
All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement (sandwich year) option. A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies.
Level 4 – Recollections and Situations
You will be introduced to the key themes and materials of the BA Photography Programme through a number of practical assignments. You will be encouraged to begin thinking independently about the selection and choice of theme, ideas and materials employed in your assignments whilst receiving instruction in the photography workshops and equipment. Assignments will allow you to produce portfolios of images about identities and place.
Level 5 – Interventions and Encounters
You will begin to self negotiate projects and materials as you begin to define your practice as a photographer and image-maker. You will begin thinking independently about the selection and choice of theme, ideas and materials employed in your assignments whilst receiving instruction in the photography workshops and equipment. You will create work that is outward facing, has and audience and is published. Assignments will allow you to produce portfolios of images about self -identity and space.
Level 6 – Show and Live
You will self manage projects and materials as you define your practice as a photographer and image-maker. Your independent selection and choice of theme, ideas and materials employed in your assignments will drive your practice. You will create work for and audience and its publication. Assignments will allow you to produce portfolios of images about your professional needs in contemporary formats: exhibition, promotion and publication.
Why not check out what our students got up to for their final projects at our annual Degree Show 2019
The School of Art houses a range of purpose built studio spaces and workshops with an extensive range of professional equipment not available in schools and colleges. Students at the School of Art are taught by practicing artists and designers working in academic and technical roles. These specialist practitioners teach both fundamental skills, support experimental and speculative practice and ensure practice is underpinned by knowledge and awareness of contemporary contexts.
The course is taught by internationally exhibiting specialists in portraiture, performance, landscape, phototherapy, personal identities, archives - stories and narratives and the everyday. You will work alongside staff and other professionals to become self-motivated and critically-aware of the developing careers within contemporary photographic practice. Live projects and off-site shows provide additional professional experiences and networking opportunities whilst considering the audience, appropriate publication and future employment.
During the your degree, you will work in our exceptional darkrooms (black and white, colour), digital scanning and editing suites, a digital printmaking facility, and spacious, purpose-built studios that are all supported by subject-specific technical specialists. We provide all photographic equipment –from cameras to darkrooms and lighting kit - in order to facilitate the successful production of your work throughout the course.
The BA (Hons) Photography in particular is distinctive in its approach because you will:
Contribute to a creative student culture
Share and collaborate your ideas and practice within an Art School
Work with staff who are published, exhibited and knowledgeable
Employability is core to the ethos of the School of Art’s learning and teaching, and BA (Hons) Photography provides opportunities from Level 4 to experience and engage with professional and industrial contacts. At Level 4 students are encouraged to encounter and experience all aspects of their specialist area and further embed themselves into the subject through visits and speakers. At Level 5 students will have the opportunity to experience professional practice and will work on subject-specific briefs led by external clients/organisations. At this level there will also be an emphasis on off-site/live projects/placements that offer opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative practice. Level 5 is designed to give students the opportunity to risk take and experiment within their subjects but also to meet and network with other students across the School of Art. Level 6 emphasises self-negotiated projects and provides students with the time and support to develop their individual voices as artists and designers. There is also provision for interdisciplinary teams working together on ambitious final outcomes where appropriate, and student will be supported to maintain placement learning and external networks established at Level 5. In addition, the University offers a Career Development Week each year, which is intended to provide cross-curricula activities that enable students to extend or galvanise their skill and employability goals.
What skills will you gain?
The Photography course provides you with all the necessary skills that enable you to thrive in the exciting and fast-moving creative industries. Typical employment for our alumni includes work as magazine editors, exhibiting photographers, artists and curators, freelance studio and fashion photographers, editorial and documentary photographers including sport and those who work in the broader industries of publishing, museums and galleries, community artists, curators and educators. These diverse career paths are introduced to you through a number of ‘live’/professional projects giving invaluable professional experiences and real assignments during study. A number of our students opt for further study either at Masters level or study for a PGCE and these individuals are seeking to develop their skills in practices such as arts and health, art curatorial practices and other Masters degrees by research.
All of our students have the opportunity to engage with an additional ‘Employability Award’ associated with their degree, and a high percentage of our students achieve the gold standard.
All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option (Sandwich Year). A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the students’ prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The school assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills. The School is committed to raising student awareness of the opportunities that exist post-graduation.
These modules are correct at the time of publication. Modules may change over time due to validation and continuous monitoring policies. Applicants will be notified in writing of any significant changes to their chosen course(s).
Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review. Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory reference.
Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.
Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.
Additional Field trips - £300 - Annual European gallery and cultural trips, previous destinations: Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Venice. Price will vary according to location
Additional Events/Performance - £300 - All Students participate in the final year Degree Show. Costs will vary according to the medium and mode of your practice but considerations will be around materials, installation and presentation
Further information on these additional costs will be provided prior to the start of your studies
The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
Tuition Fees Loan: If you wish, you can take out a Government Student Loan which covers the full course fee. You pay it back once you’ve left university and your income is more than £25,725 (from April 2019). More information on repayments can be found at: repayments.It’s available to eligible full-time higher education students and does not depend on family income.
The amount of the Tuition Fees Loan is paid directly to the University of Wolverhampton by the Student Loan Company.
Visit student finance on the gov.uk website to find out more.
Self-funding: If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: see How to Pay.The funding available to you depends on when you started your studies and if you have been to University previously.