About the FdA Photography programme
Photography is an exciting, historically important and culturally significant medium. Our FdA Photography is designed to appeal to anyone with an enthusiasm for photography and the desire to pursue photographic practice, either as a career or simply as a form of self-expression. In the first year of study, you will practise core photography skills, studio skills and darkroom skills, giving you an experience of both a digital workflow and traditional analogue/darkroom techniques. In the second year of study, you will apply these techniques to various genres of photography, providing you with an opportunity to work on client-based projects, pursue a self-initiated documentary project, and assemble a substantial self-directed photographic project. In the second year, you will also look at design and marketing for photographers, considering how best to market your photographic work and skills to potential clients and/or exhibitors.
The standard entry requirement for the degree will be 80 UCAS points.
Non-standard entry is intended to support students who may not meet the standard academic entry requirements of a HE programme, normally level 3 qualifications which attract UCAS points (for instance A-levels or BTEC level 3 courses). An applicant must be able to demonstrate recent work/experience in the relevant sector which would give them skills and knowledge comparable to applicants with Level 3 qualifications.
All such non-standard applicants will be interviewed, given a short-term photography-related exercise to complete and asked to submit a short essay; these tasks are intended to assess the applicant’s abilities both technically and academically. The submitted work will be judged, taking into account the applicant’s academic potential and relevant work/experience.
What you will learn
Modules at Level 4 are intended to introduce you to core skills and key concepts whilst allowing you freedom to find your own approach within whatever types of photography interest you. At Level 4, you will study the following modules:
- Photography Skills, in which you will be introduced to the equipment and given opportunity to practise using it;
- Studio Skills, giving you the opportunity to work in a studio environment;
- Darkroom Skills, enabling you to learn how to develop and print your work in a darkroom setting;
- Understanding Photographs and Study Skills, which will provide you with a comprehension of how photographs ‘work’ in communicating meaning to their audiences;
- Digital Workflow Systems and Employability, in which you will learn how to use modern professional software to manage, manipulate and archive photographs;
- The History of Photography, in which we will examine the history and evolution of the medium.
Modules at Level 5 are designed to provide you with a balance of practising photography within commercial genres against exploring the potential for non-commercial genres to extend the boundaries of photography. These modules are:
- The Camera as Storyteller: Documentary and Street Photography, a module focusing on documentary forms of photography and which considers the importance of storytelling to documentary/street photography, both in the form of single images and as photo essays;
- Authorship in Photography, in which you will look at the work of key photographers;
- Design and Marketing for Photographers, which focuses on how to market your skills as a photographer and promote your work to clients and/or exhibitors;
- Client-Based Projects: Working to a Live Brief, which will ask you to interpret a brief provided by a simulated client;
- Critical and Conceptual Practice: Self-Directed Project, in which you will be asked to produce an independent project in a form/on a topic of your choice and self-publish it.
Modules focused on photographic practice are intended to provide you with an appropriate skillset and a working methodology which, combined with a flexibility of approach, should be sufficient to enable you to enter into a career in photography, whether in the employ of others or via self-employment/entrepreneurship. These modules are focused on a number of genres, both commercial and artistic – including photojournalism and press photography, portraiture, advertising photography, industrial photography, fine art photography and documentary/street photography. These modules will be delivered alongside an ethos grounded in the principles of work-related learning; foregrounded at Level 5, the ethos of work-related learning will be presented to students via the setting of ‘live’, client-led briefs in appropriate modules and a simulation of work-based contexts.
Learning & Teaching Methods
This course is primarily designed for face-to-face learning, with attendance during lessons for the specified hours within the validation document. However, there may be periods of study where the government advises TEC Partnership that it is not safe to open campuses, or there is limited access due to social distancing measures. If the campus is closed, TEC Partnership will deliver your sessions online and offer you the necessary support and resources remotely. If there is limited access due to social distancing measures a blended model will be adopted, with some lessons taking place in small groups and others using online sessions and support.
Delivery will be predominantly via seminars and workshops intended to provide you with a space in which to practise your photography skills and comprehension of issues, with some lectures designed to introduce new concepts. Some modules will require you to complete learning tasks in your own time, outside of scheduled classes. In the second year of study, you will be expected to display an increasing sense of ownership over your own work, culminating in a project which is entirely of your own devising and utterly self-directed.
At degree level, photography has been delivered within the Institute since 2003. The Institute therefore has both a committed and experienced course team and the resources needed to deliver the course successfully. The new FdA in Photography provides students with experience of working in a variety of genres of photography, both commercial and non-commercial, whilst building confidence with equipment and key concepts. The programme is designed to appeal equally to students interested in pursuing a career in commercial photography, and those who are interested in photography as a means of cultural and personal expression, or who would like to practice documentary or fine art photography. Upon completion of the independent project in the second year of the course, you will have self-published your work and will therefore have something with which to market your skills as a photographer when you graduate from the programme.
Upon completion of the degree, you may progress on to a Level 6 ‘top-up’ programme giving you a full BA (Hons) in Photography, of which TEC Partnership is committed to offering. It is likely that the top-up programme will be validated under new TEC Partnership Degree Awarding Powers. From here, you may continue on to studying photography at postgraduate level, or progress on to a teaching qualification such as a PGCE.
Alternatively, you may leave the programme and seek work as a commercial photographer, working in the employ of a company or as a freelancer. You may also wish to set up your own business, working directly with clients as a portrait, wedding or events photographer, or you may seek work as a photojournalist. You may continue to practise your photography as a fine art or documentary photographer, distributing your work via galleries or publications.