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FdA Professional Photographic Practice

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RS2725 Open Day (5) (2)
UCAS code: 
Institution code: 
East Coast College (Great Yarmouth)


Two years full-time. 

Typical Offer: 

80 UCAS tariff points (or above)
CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC).



Photography provides a variety of opportunities to the commercially-aware practitioner. From fast-moving sports, photo-journalism, landscape, the natural world, promotional work through websites, magazines and brochures, to commissioned events such as portraiture, weddings etc.

FdA Professional Photographic Practice provides the opportunity to develop your photography/post-production skills alongside your awareness of opportunities within the sector and the necessity of self-promotional work through marketing, social media and portfolio development. Academic skills will be developed through contextual study of genre/individual practitioners and progression to level 6 is provided through BA(Hons) Arts Practice (progression route). Students will concentrate on their portfolio development and will have the opportunity to exhibit their work through the college’s annual art exhibitions and other promotional events.

Course modules

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.

Introduction to Photographic Equipment – Requisite

Students will develop their knowledge and skills in the use of photographic equipment including cameras, lenses, filters, lighting and their functions and purposes. Students will have the opportunity to experiment and produce practical outcomes. This will take place both on campus in the studio and on location.

Introduction to Photographic Genre Analysis – Requisite

Students will develop their skills in critique and will be required to investigate a series of genres of photography including landscape, documentary, fashion, nature, food and macro photography amongst others. Practical outcomes will be produced based on the students’ own interests.

Introduction to Photographic Software – Requisite

This module will introduce photographic software and the development of it through history. An introduction will be given on the traditional editing techniques using negatives and will follow through to modern resources including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. A range of tools and editing methods will be taught including masking, pixels, dpi, colour correction, panoramic and HDR editing, using layers, toning, dodge and burn and retouching.

Personal Development and Planning (Requisite)

This module will introduce the skills and activities required to work within the photography industry. A professional tool kit will be produced for use in future modules as well as employment and higher studies. Students will set themselves long term goals and be able to create a clear plan of how to achieve them.

Photography for Publication – Requisite

This module will focus on the production of photo-books, the importance of curation and publishing your own work. Research will be conducted into zines, portfolios, social media and online blogs with the opportunity to self-publish your own work of a chosen theme.

Photography for Exhibition (WBL) – Mandatory

This module sees the student produce professional imagery for a collaborative exhibition with other students. A portfolio will be produced alongside each student maintaining their roles and responsibilities for the curation and preparation of the exhibition. This will allow students to gain relevant knowledge into managing their own time, budget and resources.

Advanced Digital Manipulation and Enhancement – Requisite

This module provides the student with the opportunity to develop their skills in utilising industry-standard software across a range of disciplines within the photography sector. Students will have the opportunity to work with software including Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and others to produce and manipulate digitally generated images.

Moving Image – Requisite

This module introduces photographers to filmmaking and creative moving image including self-promotional videos, editing GIFs, filming events, capturing stills and making video demonstrations and tutorials. In the modern world where YouTube is a popular promotional network; this module will give students the skills they need to be able to produce professional short films.

Professional Inquiry – Requisite

This module aims to enhance the development of the students’ future professional practice through theoretical research and investigating links with the creative industries. It is informed by the Personal Development and Planning module in Level 4 and provides opportunities to research specific careers and potential postgraduate study as well as to engage in a case study relating to the individuals’ career aims and aspirations.

Research and Critical Thinking – Mandatory

The module will extend the knowledge and awareness of issues and current debates that shape, define and influence photographic practice and culture. Key texts will be read in a range of photographic areas which enables further development of research and critical analysis skills through the production of a literature grid, proposal and essay.

Final Major Project (WBL) – Mandatory

This module constitutes the programme’s final major project and work-based learning to collaborate all skills and knowledge gained from the two years on the course. This provides the opportunity for students to produce practice work for a final exhibition or for a live brief set by an external client.

Career opportunities

The majority of students on our FdA courses within Art and Design at the Great Yarmouth campus progress to the BA Arts Practice at Level 6. This allows a third year of study to complete a final major project and dissertation.
The 2017-18 cohort graduated with 80% achieving a 1st grade.

Previous Arts Practice graduates have started their own freelance companies as well as working for existing employers.

There are many career opportunities throughout the course which have included public exhibitions at the end of each year. These have previously taken place in locations including the Hollywood Cinema, Great Yarmouth and the Shoe Factory Social Club, Norwich.
Strong connections exist with the Norfolk Museum Service as well as Creative Collisions and students are encouraged and often approached to participate in workshops, exhibitions and other work-related  opportunities throughout the year.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a
  • Full-time International tuition fee:  £12,996 p.a 

Further Information

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 your 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.

Entry requirements

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you.   

Facilities and Resources

Arts and photography programmes are based in East Coast College’s purpose-built studios at the Great Yarmouth campus.

Studio 1 – This studio houses three computer bays and one set of Macs which all have up to date software including the complete Adobe suite, Final Cut Pro and Microsoft Office programmes. Within this area is also a digital printer suitable for large scale exhibition prints. There are rooms attached to the studio which provides the opportunity for photographers to use traditional black and white darkroom methods, a fully equipped green screen studio with lighting (including ambient) and a still-life table.

A technician is available to support students and to hire out a wide variety of camera equipment including Nikon cameras, 35mm-large format film cameras, tripods, LED lighting and video cameras.

Studio 2 – This studio is used primarily for the delivery of practical art subjects including printmaking, textiles, drawing, ceramics and art history. The classrooms on the perimeter of the studio provide a private space for research classes to take place. A sound studio, theatre, dance studio and scenic construction workshop are available to students as well as a technician to assist.

A common room and a study room for HE students only are available within the library and near reception. This allows for private study and social time with others.

There is a gym, library and restaurant on campus for use by all students.