Subject Guide

Photography Degree

Uni Compare  · Oct 28th 2020

Individuals are exposed to images in all aspects of their everyday life, from newspapers and magazines to the tube adverts they see on their daily commute.


When you graduate with a photography degree, you can choose between a multitude of creative career paths. Photography degree courses prepare you for jobs which combine visual finesse with technological expertise, so let’s check out some of the possible opportunities and can even begin your passion for Photography, if you study a foundation degree in photography or a photography degree distance learning.

Photography degree

What to do with a photography degree

If you studied your course via distance learning, such as an online photography degree or Open University photography degree, you already have the self-motivation and organisational skills to thrive in self-employment, there are all kinds of a photography degree online available as well. How about starting up as a photographer for events hire, or setting up your own studio?

Photographers can specialise in various subjects, so think about which one speaks most to you: wildlife photography, press photography, war photography, sports photography, scientific photography, food photography, advertising photography, film and photography degree, travel photography, fashion photography degree, medical photography, and of course: portrait photography (weddings, family portraits, school photographs, or actors’ headshots).

Some involve travel (war, travel, scientific); some are emotionally taxing (war); some require further knowledge or qualifications (medical, scientific); some involve glamorous red carpet events (press); while others demand excellent people skills (portrait) or even 360 degree photography or an online digital photography degree.

Your particular interests and skills should guide you towards a specialism, as well as some research on what’s in demand at the time and in your area, (if you plan to work locally). Self employment and freelance work can be financially unpredictable, much like any degree photography, but if you’re consistent, organised, and good at your job, then word of mouth recommendations and repeat work will add to your security.

Perhaps, though, you’d like to learn more before you enter the workforce. If you plan to study for a master degree in photography online, do some research on the best university for photography degree postgraduate options, and scroll down to our section about further study after photography degree courses and see if a master degree in photography is for you.

Graduates of this degree can work as a self-employed photographer, an in-house photographer for an organisation or company or with an agency.

What can I do with a photography degree?

Other than photography, what else can you do with a degree in photography? Well, photography degree courses can help you onto other pathways too.

Let’s think about some of the options.

If you’re a bit of a tech wiz, consider becoming a graphic designer. Using software and design packages, you’ll conceptualise and create logos, posters, book covers and more based on the client’s brief. If you think you’re a good communicator and you’re happy to work at a screen all day, this could be a really fun and satisfying career.

If you’ve got strong arms and endless patience, a career as a camera person for TV or film could take you to some interesting places, meeting all kinds of people. You would get to use your creative eye and precision when getting shots, and you would be working with a team of others (which can be a bonus for the often solitary working life of a photographer).

Related roles ideal for a photography degree graduate include digital marketing, web design, film directing, video editing, stylist, advertising art director, VFX (visual effects) artist, or visual merchandiser.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a complete change after your photography degree UK, scour job sites for graduate training programmes. These are offered by a wide variety of organisations and welcome graduates from an array of subjects and getting a degree in photography can make applying for jobs much much easier.

Photography is a broad degree subject, with photos appearing in several forms, including advertising, art and news. Therefore, students who are interested in studying photography at a university will be able to choose to specialise in the area, from photojournalism to a professional artist. Photography degrees have a mixture of creative, practical and technical skills – there are plenty of options.

What A Levels do I need?

Each institution and degree for photography will state varying prerequisites for prospective candidates. However, most courses will ask for at least 220 UCAS tariff points or CCC in subject grades. Also, A-level subjects in art and design subjects will either be mandatory, or extremely helpful to an individual’s application.

Furthermore, universities will be interested in your experience, or a portfolio of work to see what you’re capable of and your dedication to the subject. Specific subjects that may be asked of students to have include, art, design, photography and media studies.

Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and degree courses to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission onto a course and to secure a place.

Photography degree

What are my study options?

A degree in photography lasts for three years in full-time study, or six years for a part time Photography degree study to obtain a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Photography. However, some institutions offer a four-year sandwich course where individuals can spend their third year working at a practical placement, it’s vital for students to understand what to expect if the course has placement, a placement year is an ideal way for students to gain experience as well as build a strong portfolio, which you can also do with a photography degree courses distance learning. There are some institutions that promote students to study abroad for a year and are likely to be part of the Erasmus programme, although this will likely limit you from studying a degree in photography online.

There are several varying degrees available, from digital photography, film and photography, photojournalism and the option to study photography alone, all as a BA degree.

What should I expect from studying Photography?

Photography will broaden an individual's theoretical knowledge as well as develop their creative processes through practice and extensive research. Some universities use the first year to ensure all students are brought to the same level of knowledge, ability and understanding. Therefore the course may cover material that you already know, or that you feel is not necessary, but institutions implement these steps to guarantee that you have the right information to form a strong foundation, which students can then expand on in the last two years, which is also the basis of a photography foundation degree.

Although it is an arts degree, photography will include theoretical and technical knowledge, as well as ask students to produce written work. Most courses will ask candidates to produce written coursework, or a written piece to accommodate a practical piece of work, ensuring that the students are learning the theoretical side of the degree and can write coherently as well as express themselves, and their points clearly.

Each degree will feature varying modules to take throughout the three years of study, and even if two degrees at two different universities have the same title for a module, it does not necessarily mean that they include the same material, this is why it is essential for students to visit university open days, it will give them a feel for university life and to help choosing a degree course that suits their personalities best.

However, some module examples include creative ideas for film and television, storytelling for the screen, production skills, society and media, business of film and TV, portraits and representation and construction in photography.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed on their written and practical achievements; there will be projects and briefs to complete for assessment. Individuals will produce coursework, sit examinations and work in groups as well as give presentations.

What skills will I learn from studying Photography?

Candidates who study photography will learn plenty of skills during their time at university, from photography techniques, camera and lighting skills combined with all practical elements associated with the area.

Students who attend university gain a number of transferable skills they can implement too many areas of their life after graduation, including time-management and organisation skills from working towards deadlines and social skills from completing group projects and presentations.

If you’ve got strong arms and endless patience, a career as a camera person for TV or film could take you to some interesting places, meeting all kinds of people.

Why study Photography?

Photography is a creative and fun career which offers individuals an opportunity to make a living from their hobby and passion. Photographers are unique in the sense that they form a personal expression through their work, but also a form of communication and media, or art, graphics and design. Furthermore, there are plenty of uses for a photographer’s unique skill set.

Graduates of this degree can work as a self-employed photographer, an in-house photographer for an organisation or company or with an agency. Additionally, photographs play a vital role in society understanding the past and present.

What happens after I graduate?

After graduating, students can enter the world of work, or choose to continue their studies into postgraduate qualifications. Plenty of photographers work freelance as portrait artists or fashion or wedding photographers.

Will it help me get a job?

Students who study in this area will obtain practical skills to allow them to find work efficiently after they graduate. Individuals should be aware that freelancing and self-employment may be common in the arts sector, and there may be a time when they have a handful of commissions or part-time jobs at one given time.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Photography?

Graduates of photography can obtain photography degree jobs as photographers, audio-visual operators, designers, technicians, directors, graphic designers, artists, advertising, marketing, events management, business management and web design.

What can I study after Photography?

Masters of Arts (MA) degrees include photography, visual communication, film and photography, digital photography, history of art and photography, photographic studies, freelance photography, and photojournalism – students should understand and research what is a masters degree is before they take on a photography masters degree.

undergraduate Uni's

Get your questions answered by sending them an enquiry now.