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Photography BA (Hons)

This highly creative and dynamic programme will equip you with skills to operate with academic and professional excellence across a broad range of creative industries.

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Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments - rather than lots of exams at the end of the year - and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging.

Read more about block teaching


On this course you’ll discover the full breath of the field of photography. Explore areas such as the history of photographic images, moving image, contextual studies and digital media, with professional practice at the heart of your learning. You’ll learn in industry-standard facilities, developing technical skills in various technologies with support from expert tutors. Work on live external client briefs and learn how to curate and exhibit your work to a professional standard.

You’ll create meaningful content that responds to contemporary global concerns and you are encouraged to be incredibly creative and experimental in your approach. Working at the forefront of emerging trends, you’ll develop your skills as a creative problem-solver. And, along with visits to exhibitions and the chance to attend study trips in the UK and overseas, you’ll further enhance your knowledge and passion for your subject.

As a graduate, you’ll have the skills to adapt to this ever-changing field and to create innovative work for careers across the global industries of media, communication and the arts.

Key features

  • Develop your creative, technical and academic skills to produce exciting, thought-provoking and dynamic work.
  • Be at the cutting edge of developments in photographic practice and study a curriculum that is relevant to industry needs.
  • Learn from experts and technical specialists in photography, video and audio with extensive professional experience.
  • Boost your portfolio through working on live briefs for external clients and work experience opportunities at businesses such as the National Space Centre, FABRIC (formerly Dance4), Soft Touch Arts and Gymshark.
  • With an emphasis on curation and exhibition, you will have opportunities to showcase your work to develop your portfolio and professional skills.
  • This course will open doors to a wide range of exciting career paths, from practicing as a fine artist and freelancing across the commercial sector, to collaborating with the design, marketing and fashion industries. 
  • The award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides the space where ideas can develop and flourish. You will be able to work with state-of-the-art digital video editing suites, video and stills studios, digital imaging labs, HD digital recording facilities and large format and traditional black and white darkroom.
  • Benefit from block teaching, where most students study one subject at a time. A simple timetable will allow you to really engage with your learning, receive regular feedback and assessments, get to know your course mates and enjoy a better study-life balance.

See our student work

Student work gallery

Student success:

Fitness fan Lucas thrives during dream placement at Gymshark

Students from DMU create promo video for one of the country's biggest arts festivals

More courses like this:

Fine Art BA (Hons)

Design Crafts BA (Hons)

Art and Design (Foundation Studies) BTEC Diploma

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W640

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £15,750

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 112 points from at least 2 A ‘levels 
  •  BTEC Extended Diploma DMM
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points or
  • T Levels Merit

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit and GCSE English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and portfolio

Interview required: No

Portfolio required: Yes

Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments


First year

Block 1: Photography Ideas and Practice

Block 2: Moving Image Ideas and Practice

Block 3: Contextual and Visual Research

Block 4: Presenting and Contextualising Your Work


Second year

Blocks 1 and 2: Experimental and Emerging Practice

Blocks 1 and 2: Critical Research and Contemporary Visual Culture

Block 3: Studio Practice: Themes and Techniques

Block 4: Curation and Exhibition

Third year

Blocks 1 and 2: Final Major Project Development

Blocks 1 and 2: Critical Research

Blocks 3 and 4: Final Major Project

Blocks 3 and 4: Professional Practices



Our curriculum is designed to support you to become confident, critical, creative, adaptable, articulate and aspiring.

In your first year you will explore the role of the still and moving image within culture and the techniques of creating high-quality imagery. You will gain a foundation in both historical and contemporary production processes of still and moving images, alongside starting to develop your creative skills to become a producer of meaningful content. You will also begin to build an understanding of display and exhibition practices of producing work for an audience and learn how critical research informs your work.

The second year builds on the first year to give you greater ownership of your work, extending your knowledge of production and techniques. You can choose to focus on cutting-edge technical and creative explorations within a fine art setting or develop your understanding of social documentary techniques by visually responding to contemporary cultural issues. You will begin to build your professional knowledge of curating images by producing a real museum-quality exhibition.

In the third year you will become a full-fledged producer and content creator whose creative identity is backed by solid theory and practice. You will be given industry-specific training in freelancing and commercial work via real-world and simulated briefs. Substantial research and reflection through research-focused modules, coupled with experimental approaches in production, will prepare you to complete a major self-directed project.

Throughout the course you are supported by an experienced and friendly staff team. Our staff are all practising photographers, artists, researchers and video practitioners, with a wealth of experience in the industry. Guest lecturers from a variety of lens-based backgrounds give you an insight into commercial and artistic professional practice.

You will be assessed through portfolios, group work, critiques and essays, with opportunities to receive feedback on your work in each module.

Contact hours

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, studios, group work and self-directed study. You will normally attend around 14 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 25 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.


Facilities and features

Art and Design facilities

The award-winning Vijay Patel Building brings all of our art and design courses together providing inspiring, flexible spaces, studios and facilities which invite creativity and innovation.

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our state-of-the-art digital video editing suites, video and stills studios, digital imaging labs, HD digital recording facilities and large format. These digital facilities are complemented by a traditional black and white darkroom.

The open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines, and there is also an AV loans centre with an extensive range of professional stills and video equipment to use free of charge. Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


This course gives you the option to enhance and build your professional skills to progress within your chosen career, through a placement. Our dedicated team offers a range of careers resources and opportunities so you can start planning your future.

We have excellent industry links, ensuring you work on relevant projects and clients’ briefs to grow your experience and build your external reputation before you graduate. This invaluable experience can enrich student capabilities as well as their projects for their final year.

There are also opportunities to exhibit your work – graduate Peter Tatsis was selected by international professionals to exhibit at the highly regarded photography festival FORMAT. 


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global you can take advantage of a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken DMU Global trips to Paris and New York. In years two and three, students have had the opportunity to pitch to win an international work opportunity photographing a DMU Global project, the latest one being DMU’s Square Mile India project in Ahmedabad.


Graduate careers

The course is designed to develop the skills needed to succeed in a professional creative market across a variety of roles. As a graduate, you will have the creativity and flexibility to respond to new directions in this dynamic sector.

Photography continues to be a principal element of most visual culture today, including journalism, marketing and business, branding and fine art.

Our graduates go on to careers in independent production, editing, curating, cinematography, multimedia industries, art directing, publishing, advertising, journalism, picture research, teaching and arts practice. You will also develop business skills to succeed as a freelance practitioner.

Recent employers include Paul Smith, Sky, Vogue, Nike, Universal Pictures, Sky, Trigger Global, Lacoste, John Lewis Partnership, the BBC, Mail Online, Apple, Rolling Stone, The Independent, i-D Magazine, and Vogue.

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