Year One/Level 4
Offers students the opportunity to engage with, and explore, the materials and techniques of both contemporary and traditional photography. Learners will also be introduced to new ways of thinking about their own and others photographic practice
Modules studied at Level 4:
- Perspectives on Photography
- Photographic Foundations
- Photo Essay
- Photographic Studio
- Practice Darkroom Practice
Year Two/Level 5
Offers opportunities for increasing independence and specialisation in photographic practice. Students will be challenged to work in increasingly sophisticated ways reflecting their own aims and ambitions.
Modules studied at Level 5:
- Photographic Contextualisation
- Expanding Photographic Possibilities
- Specialist Photographic Realisation
- Negotiated Practice Multimedia
Year Three/Level 6
Allows students to fully realise their potential, culminating in an exhibition and portfolio that sees them ready for their next steps into industry, or post-graduate study.
Modules at studied at Level 6:
- Professional Photographic Practice
- Advanced Independent Practice
- Dissertation - or - Reflective Practice Dissertation
Learning & Teaching
A blend of teaching methods are used throughout the course, including lectures, workshops, seminars, demonstrations and practicals.
The nature of the Learning and Teaching changes during the course and reflects the positive progression of each student's photographic understanding, as well as their intellectual, creative and personal development. The amount of lecturer-led teaching is greatest in Level 4 and this develops, during the course, into increasingly student-led project work, supported by the lecturing staff through group critiques, and one-to-one feedback.
This strategy of experiential Learning and Teaching is to support the overall aims of the course and thereby enable the student to perform self-directed study, and fully gain a preparedness for entry into the industry upon graduation.
The course is taught at the Cardiff Arts Academy in the centre of Cardiff. Students will be using industry standard facilities, including Apple Mac suites furnished with Adobe Creative Cloud software.
Generously sized and equipped Photographic Studios, with professional lighting and backgrounds are available. There is also a full Darkroom facility. Students will also have access to Professional Scanners and Digital Cameras.
Formal, timetabled sessions are delivered at Cardiff Arts Academy for an average of about 13 hours per week, which includes a tutorial. This would normally be over the course of two/three working days.
A drop-in facility is available outside of these sessions, and access to specialised areas, such as Darkrooms/Photographic studios is managed by a booking system. Independent and directed study hours of up to 30 hours would be expected per week.
The course is delivered by a highly qualified staff team with significant teaching experience. The team is professionally active, engaging in freelance photographic work, taking part in exhibitions, and publishing photographic books.
Students are invited to join an organised international study trip each year. Recent visits have included; Berlin, Krakow, Budapest, New York. There are also UK visits to galleries, and photography location shoots. .
A module Handbook will be issued to students for each module. This will set out in detail the requirements of the module. Within each module there will be one, or more assignments. At present no modules on this course contain more than two assignments. All modules are assessed by coursework. There are no separate examinations.
Practical Photographic modules are normally assessed by portfolio submissions, supported by evidence of research and development. There will be some group work at both Level 5 and Level 6 since students will be participating in photographic exhibitions.
One module per Level will be Photographic Theory, and the assignments will contain written elements such as; case studies, essays and dissertation.
After submitting their module assignments all students will be given a written module assessment sheet with summative feedback/feedforward and details of the percentage received. All module assignments will be 2nd marked or internally verified.
During assignments students will be offered verbal feedback and support. Where indicated, usually in longer modules, students will receive written formative feedback in line with the School of Art & Design.
At each Level of the course Learning Resource Centre training, support and access will be provided. The course will also use a Virtual Learning Environment to offer students remote access to learning materials.
Employability & Careers
Whilst your learning is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable photographer and intellectual, your curriculum is similarly structured with your potential in mind. As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with significant focus on real world experience.
The Level 6 module Professional Photographic Practice, where engagement with the industry is a requirement, acts as a vital preparation for you to begin freelancing from the moment you graduate.
Throughout your time at the Arts Academy, partnered with CSAD, you will be meeting and hearing from professionals within your industry, honing your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Certain projects will prepare you for the teamwork you will need later on, whilst industry style briefs will prepare you for deadlines and the demands of tight specifications.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design. Applicants should also have GCSE English Language at grade C or above/grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England):
- A minimum of 3 A levels at grade C or 96 points. Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate considered as third subject
- RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma in an appropriate subject grade MMM
- Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
- 96 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
- 96 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H3 grades from any subject. H4 at Higher Level is the minimum grade which can be counted towards an offer
- 96 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma within a relevant subject
- Other appropriate qualifications and a photographic portfolio of relevant work will be considered if applicants do not have the above (or equivalent).
In addition, applicants will normally be interviewed with their portfolios to ensure that they are suitable. The course will also recognise prior learning in line with the guidelines set out in the School of Art & Design.
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and a portfolio based interview.
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at
www.ucas.com. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at