Three years full time.
Four and half to nine years part time.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).
- Take advantage of our industry-standard facilities including both analogue and digital suites.
- Our students go on international trips to further their experience. They have previously edited Picture of the Day for the New York Times.
- Benefit from fantastic industry links, visiting professors and the Metro Imaging Award and Ambassador Scheme.
- Get involved with PhotoEast – an international photography festival.
- Develop and enhance your employability with regular work experience, such as our upcoming opportunity with Wolsey Theatre.
The Photography degree course at University of Suffolk offers students the opportunity to understand and explore in depth the practices, technologies and debates associated with the photographic image.
Students will develop their ability to produce photographic work in a range of media, using techniques that are sensitive to the works context and audience. Central to the philosophy of the course is an emphasis on producing creative, expressive and risk-taking work, which also engages with critical and theoretical approaches.
Image © Zoe Barrett
The course team comprises experienced lecturers, practicing photographers, writers, and artists using photography. Their work has been recognised nationally and internationally through publication and exhibition. The course is supported by a full time subject specific technical team.
In addition to the experienced lecturers and practitioners on our teaching staff, the course is supported by visiting lecturers and guest speakers of the highest calibre who have included Martin Parr, Gareth McConnell, Tom Hunter, Andreas Schmidt, Bettina Von Zwehl, Steve Macleod, Michael Collins and Eamonn McCabe.
Image © Carla Smith
The course normally offers two international trips in addition to visits to national galleries and sector specialists. During the 2016 New York visit, students take part in editing Picture of the Day at the New York Times, toured Magnum offices and met with Bruce Gildon to discuss his life and photography.
Other visits in New York also include MOMA, International Centre of Photography, Aperture and The Morgan Library.
The course has two awards with Metro Imaging, London. A second year student has the opportunity to be awarded the Ambassador Scheme which allows them to develop a body of work under the guidance of Metro Imaging. The prestigious Metro Award is given to a graduating student based on their final body of work and its potential development.
This award offers a year long bespoke mentoring scheme under the supervision of leading industry specialists with a view to resolving a body of work ready for exhibition and publication. It offers extensive networking opportunities and £1000 towards the costs of producing the work.
Both the course and the university have played a major contributing factor in establishing PhotoEast festival. This biannual festival is the first international festival of photography in the region.
In partnership with Panos Pictures, London, the festival, with the majority of it hosted at the University of Suffolk, brought together exhibits, seminars and workshops from a diverse range of internationally renowned photographers, writers and curators.
The graduating student's exhibiting also formed part of the show in addition to having the opportunity to be involved as volunteers.
In the first year, students will be introduced to historical, theoretical, cultural and political debates surrounding lens-based media. This study is directly linked to the use of all camera formats, as well as the specific qualities of analogue and digital photography.
In the second year students continue to develop technical and contextual skills. Students are encouraged to take risks with their work and start to develop their own individual practice. Specific contact points are developed with industry through placements, visiting lecturers, field trips and exhibition visits. The third year enables students to develop their own visual imagery, theoretical engagement and professional practice.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
This module will introduce you to the genres of documentary photography and is designed to bring together practice, technology and theory. Working to a set brief, you will progress your basic camera and darkroom skills and at the same time, will start to engage in the key debates and historical contexts that inform documentary and landscape photography.
This module will introduce you to the visual and critical concepts of space and place through the making of a visually engaging and conceptually coherent series of images. You will explore your own specific location that will be identified by random selection using map references. Finished work can be presented as photographic prints or through a range of electronic formats
You will become familiar with themes inherent to the genre such as identity and representation. Colour photography will be introduced and colour theory discussed. You will shoot on location and in the studio and will produce portraits using controlled lighting. Working with others will develop your communication skills and stimulate questions about photography as an act of social exchange.
This module is designed to introduce you to basic and more advanced technical skills involved in the production of photographic images (or equivalent). It will cover both analogue and digital processes and techniques including digital capture, scanning, file management, post-production and output, 35 mm B&W and studio and practice and location lighting.
This module investigates the construction and relevance of the main method of communication within photography - narratives. You will initially be encouraged to work in an experimental manner, to consider and explore a range of different methods of constructing a sequence of events. These include looking at set construction, moving image and computer generated imaging.
This module encourages you to produce work within a framework that draws closer to the professional activity of a fully competent practitioner. This module seeks to develop and extend the students professional capabilities by providing a platform for the execution of significant body of work.
This module builds on and develops the techniques acquired in Photographic Techniques in addition to introducing new techniques. This module is taught by lecturers and industry specialists.
Professional Practice 1 will introduce students to practical, investigative and analytical skills, which will allow you to gain an insight into business, legal, ethical, operational and methodological issues relevant to the creative industries. This will include issues of self-employment and entrepreneurship, professional networks and highlight the importance of networking.
This module will allow students to develop, define and undertake a final major project. The methodology for this process has been defined at level 4 and 5. The work undertaken in the previous modules will form the basis for further investigation. You will develop an in-depth proposal that will guide you through the production of your project.
This module prepares each student for the professional sector. It teaches students how to research and write funding applications and business plans in addition to examining a broad range of relevant professional practices.
Self-directed research is undertaken – under academic supervision - on a topic chosen by you. The research leads to the production of an extended piece of academic writing which demonstrates sound research, advanced subject knowledge and a well-informed ability to think about and interpret visual images.
Career opportunities in photography include editorial, documentary, portraiture, advertising, fashion, music, architecture, newspaper, medical, wildlife, police photography, reality based visualisation or computer generated imaging and publishing.
Other areas graduates can move into are fine art practice, picture research, editing and curatorial posts, gallery or project management, technical support and PR.
Take a look at our Student Successes and what they have to say about studying Photography at the University of Suffolk.
What our students say
“I used the old photography area last year and this year has been so much better. It was a lot nosier and felt busier, now it’s much more peaceful to work in and to concentrate. There’s a lot more space too, with the shared dark room before we used to be bumping into each other as we were in one room all together. Now it’s much better. The course has really been life changing, the facilities are great and you learn so much.” Charlotte Gardner.
Watch our graduate Alastair Barlett talk about his time here and what he enjoyed most about studying Photography.
Fees and finance
- UK full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
- UK part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
- International full-time tuition fee: £14,598 p.a (inclusive of lab-based fee)
At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.
* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).
All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.
You will be required to show a portfolio of your work. Please see the section 'Portfolio Guidance' below.
Your portfolio is your opportunity to shine in an interview: it is your chance to show us what inspires and excites you. We encourage you to include any visual and written work in your portfolio that will show your creativity and skills in visual communication.
When compiling a portfolio applicants should consider:
- Consider groups/bodies/projects as well as individual pieces
- If relevant bring work made with using ‘other’ mediums. E.g. drawing work is just as relevant for a photography interview if important to the applicant
- Bring a sketch/work/ideas book
- Bring samples of written work, if possible
- Presentation - whilst presentation is important, it is the work itself that is going to be judged. Concentrate on the content!
- What is relevant: does your work match the course you’re applying for?
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
At the University of Suffolk staff strongly believe in supporting, and fusing, both historical processes and emerging technologies in order to further the learning experience, and produce deeper and more engaging work.
On the course you will have access to:
- Individual enlarger booths allowing for either colour or B&W printing ranging from 35mm - 10 x 8 including a digital enlarger
- A standalone darkroom for B&W and colour exhibition printing, alternative processes and toning
- Automated processing of both colour and B&W papers.
- Film processing rooms
- Free C-41 colour processing
- A fully equipped large photographic studio, capable of being divided into sections, or expanded into single spaces depending upon requirements, catering for both analogue and digital (tethered) shoots.
- Full selection of flash lighting and accessories for use both in studio, and on location.
- 35mm, Medium Format and Large format Film Cameras.
- Cropped, Full Frame (35mm) and Medium Format Digital camera systems.
- Apple Mac Laptops available for tethered shooting, proofing and retouching, equipped with the latest versions of creative suite.
- The Lightroom supports both analogue media and digital image making and is equipped with both flatbed and hi-end multi format film scanners, Apple Mac retouching and scanning stations, large format printers, mounting surfaces and large scale cold roller mounting press. All computers in the Lightroom are equipped with the latest versions of Photoshop as well as other image editing programmes, allowing students access to a wide range of imaging tools. The Lightroom supports a fully colour managed workflow.