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BA (Hons) Commercial Photography

Develop the professional skills for a successful career. From building a distinct portfolio through to pitching and quoting for commissioned work, and an in-depth look at the production stages involved in all areas of the commercial photography industry.

  • UCAS Code:
    W641
  • Institution:
    B50

Why study BA (Hons) Commercial Photography?

  • Study and challenge a range of photographic genres including documentary, editorial, advertising, fashion, product and portrait photography 
  • Produce individual and collaborative authored work to a high commercial standard 
  • Develop specialist knowledge, skills and opportunities required to pursue your commercial ambitions 
  • Gain an understanding of the photography industry through examining a range of historical, social cultural, ethical and topical debates 
  • Enter national and international competitions such as those organised by the Royal Photographic Society, the Association of Photographers and the British Institute of Professional Photography

Find out more about the content of this course.

Please note: This course is delivered at Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury. You can view a virtual tour of the campus or book to attend an Open Day online.  

State-of-the-art-facilities​

You'll work in fully equipped studios and have access to state-of-the-art facilities including a post-product computer suite, a range of high-end professional cameras (all formats) and lighting equipment. You'll also have the opportunity to use the latest digital imaging software as well as traditional techniques for post-production work, increasing the opportunities for creative solutions to contemporary communication challenges.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2022, September 2023

Location:

Wiltshire College and University Centre, Salisbury

Duration:

3 years full-time with a 2-week placement, or 4 years full-time with a minimum 30-week placement

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: 104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. A portfolio is also required in support of your application for September 2022 entry. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry. 

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Download the programme specification (pdf 704kb)

Placements

We recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. That’s why we offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We will provide a great deal of support to help you find the most appropriate work placement for the subject you’re studying and the career you’re interested in, which means you could be based anywhere in the UK, or even overseas.

All you need to know about placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2022 entry

Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs)

GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.

A-level and AS levels 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate

We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.

Access to HE Diploma 102–118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 28–31 points.
Scottish Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable). 

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2022 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 61-71%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 60-70%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 60-70%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6 or 7. Grade depends on the course

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2022 entry: IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

This course will suit applicants who:

  • Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Show experience of Photography
  • Have an appreciation of the academic underpinnings of photography
  • Possess a strong awareness of the visual communications industry
  • Demonstrate good technical and communication skills.

How to apply

Careers

There is always demand for talented photographers and this degree will prepare you for work in this varied and exciting industry. Once you graduate, you can apply for roles with established studios, with large organisations that require staff photographers, with photo libraries or agencies, or can forge your own career as a freelancer.

Careers advice and resources

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. 

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.