Photography does not stand still. It evolves and expands, continuously. On this course you will find ways to do the same – and to make images that say something new about the world.
You will develop your own approach at Hereford College of Arts. We don’t have a house style.
We do have the specialist studios, expertise and equipment to help you bring your distinct perspective to life, and into print, and onto screens – so you leave with a portfolio that truly stands out.
This degree will give you the technical skills and the professional confidence to bring your own creative vision to live projects and industry briefs. Get insight into how to thrive within the industry – and how to find your place in it – from a diverse range of professional photographers.
COLLABRORATION IS A SUPERPOWER
Working on projects with professional studios and agencies will give you real-world experience in how to understand clients, and how to pitch your ideas in a way that will wow them.
At HCA you will be a part of a truly creative campus. Working alongside other creatives, you will have the chance to share coffee queues with like-minded artists, and collaborate with technical specialists from courses like Graphic + Media Design, Textile Design and Digital Content Creation.
Whether you want to become a freelance photographer, an art director or work as part of a studio team – this culture will give you a great foundation for working in an increasingly multi-disciplinary world, and an exciting, broad range of visual influences to draw on as a professional image-maker.
IMAGES WITH IMPACT + EMOTION
We use images to describe, convince, influence, and communicate complex, multi-layered narratives and concepts.
We interact with images on a never-ending number of platforms and we use them with energy and joy to express ourselves and to connect with others. This course will teach you the theory that underpins our very human relationship with images, and the technical skills to make work that has impact.
CONNECTED TO THE WORLD
HCA graduates from this course have gone on to work for National Geographic, Wired Magazine, the National Trust, and have won competitions with the likes of Source Magazine, Belfast Photo Festival and the Signature Art Prize.
Our Honorary Fellows include the likes of Don McCullin and John Bulmer, and our visiting lecture schedule includes the likes of Kemka Ojuku and Martin Parr.
Your Creative Career
Graduates on this course will receive a BA (hons) Photography.
Career paths include:
> Art Director
> Image or Video Editor
> Photographer (Product, Portrait, Fashion, Documentary, Campaigns & Branding, Landscape, Fine Art, etc.)
> Photographic Assistant
> Digital Retoucher
> VFX/CGI Artist
> Publisher or Commissioning Editor
> Picture Researcher
> Content Creator
> Studio Manager
> Visual Designer (advertising)
> Media Producer
What You Will Study
During your first year of study, you will be introduced to a number of techniques and ideas related to the world of photography and film. You will learn to create and post-produce images, film and sound to a professional standard. You will be exposed to current theories and learn to develop your own visual concepts, based on research and collaboration projects. You will explore analogue photography and alternative processes in the darkroom and apply them to your projects.
In your second year of study, you will start working with external clients in live briefs, giving you a first taste of the pace and dynamism of the creative industries and the companies, we work with. You will also continue working on collaborative projects alongside other students from other creative courses, producing social media content, short films and images; learning to negotiate production and final outcomes. You will also continue your intellectual journey, applying newly acquired theory to your own personal projects.
In your final year of study, you will concentrate your efforts on your chosen specialism: Editorial, Documentary or Fine Art Photography, working on self-initiated projects to develop your personal style and participate, with your final visual outcomes, in industry competitions, as well as preparing your portfolio and taking part on our degree show. During this year you will have the choice to engage more in-depth with our industry partners and take part in more intense live briefs linked to local clients and communities.
Practice in Context 1
Looking at the world of photography and discovering all the diversity and history within the medium, using this knowledge for reflection about your own images and to support developing new personal ideas.
Learning photography specific skills: Working in a professional studio, using digital and analogue cameras, understanding and experimenting with printing techniques, etc
Advance techniques using software for editing and postproduction, experimenting with analogue and alternative processes, learning how to promote your work effectively in different platforms including social media and introducing you to working with film and moving images
Foundations for Learning
It is all about learning to learn. Discover and use research to empower your ideas and expand you knowledge about the arts but also preparing to be a successful students and future practitioner.
A more in-depth introduction to working with a conceptual approach to images, you will be working on Series of photographs and sequencing to produce a layout and finally a photobook project. You will start the production of a short film, understanding in detail how to produce and post produce moving image, involving editing and sound design and recording.
This is an autonomous project, generated, design and produced by yourself. Including exhibiting your final outcomes to a wider audience.
Developing Creative Professional Practice 1
As part of this module, which involves working on live briefs with external clients, You will attend a series of talks by artist from different disciplines to understand and prepare yourself for the world of work and a successful future as an artist.
Practice in Context 2
A more detailed and expanded body of research and reflection about photography, linked to your own personal projects.
Developing Creative Professional Practice 2
Expanded exposure to work with external clients and organisations in the region to improve your professional skills but also to look into networking and funding and starting your own collaborative projects. A second series of speakers delving into anything related to creativity and the business of being creative.
Practice in Context 3 – Digital Content Creation
An extended work of research and reflection on photography designed to support your own final project.
A personal project in preparation to your Final Major Project. An opportunity to test ideas and experiment with different techniques.
Practice 6 – Extended Digital Content Project
A final major project that will demonstrate your maturity and quality as a visual artist and will be exhibited to a wider audience to celebrate your achievements as a photographer.
Image making is a seriously desirable skill.
94% of Photography graduates in the UK are employed within 15 months of graduation. Get started today.
At HCA you have the freedom to go beyond the brief – and make images that have impact. It’s a great culture to help you develop as a creative.
What is the pace of the course?
Students make images every day and use them constantly.
The course offers a dynamic blend of practical/technical sessions both in the studio and on location, theory and research seminars, and collaborative group critiques for evaluating students’ work. However, there is also allocated time for reflection and experimentation.
Guided one-to-one tutorials provide an opportunity to delve into individual projects and ideas in detail. Additionally, our team of technicians offers a wide range of workshops that cover various skills and techniques.
What role does moving image/video have on the course?
To address the changing demands of this industry, photographers regularly engage with moving images as an integral part of their work. They employ them for documenting and promoting projects, as well as producing content for clients.
Our students will be well-versed in both disciplines, embracing their roles as visual artists. They will have the opportunity to develop their personal projects across a range of media and platforms, harnessing the expansive nature of photography and aligning with current industry trends.
Do I need a background in Photography to apply?
The Photography course is for people who are interested in working with images. Whether you consider yourself an artist or a content creator, if you have a strong desire to communicate through images, this course aims to not only improve your technical skills but also broaden your perspective and ability to convey messages through visual mediums.
It is open to individuals who want a future in the creative arts and to those who want to invest in their own creativity.
We consider applications from students from a range of backgrounds – and your passion for the subject, your portfolio and your potential are as important as academic qualifications.
Why study Photography at HCA
1 / You decide what’s in the frame. Develop your own approach without being restricted to Fashion Photography, or Product Photography or limited by a house style.
2 / Outstanding teaching and access to resources. HCA scored among the top universities and colleges in the independent NSS survey – with graduates ranking HCA way above the sector average for how teachers explained the subject, how much access students had to subject-specific facilities and resources and how they felt able to explore a subject in-depth and express their opinions and ideas.
3 / Build up your portfolio in a supportive environment through supervised live briefs and projects, and cross-course collaborations. Develop technical skills and professional confidence without having to sit exams.
HCA courses were rated among the best in the country at challenging students to achieve their best work. – NSS 2023
Explore student work
Want to know more?
Want to know more about the course, or just chat through if it would be a good fit for you? Just hit the button to email our course leader Manuel Gross and start a conversation.
- Minimum age 18.
- Successful portfolio interview.
- Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
- 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
- Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking) is required.
- Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
- Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities – the college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience. Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.
- Alternatively, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.
NB for Top-Up students different entry requirements apply – please see our Top-Ups application page for more information.
HCA is an independent arts school surrounded by people who are passionate about the arts, media and performance. We also have a dedicated wellbeing team, and academic support team who you can work with on campus to help you make the most of your time here.