Photography is universal with a trillion pictures now taken round the globe a year. It has an importance to individuals, groups and businesses like no other art form, capturing stories, representing dreams, driving political change, promoting ideas and brands. Professional photography, that stands out in this age of the image, is at a premium in a host of different sectors.
Hear from graduate Lorna Brown
Our course is wide-ranging and flexible, giving you the skills and experience to find the areas that excite you most, and you’ll be able to work in moving image as well as still. Great photography requires much more than technical learning; we’ll give you pathways and inspiration to develop a powerful, individual, creative approach. You don’t need to have studied photography previously to join this course but you need a photographer’s hunger to explore your world and imagine or discover others through a lens.
You will have access to the latest equipment and facilities as well as traditional darkrooms and film cameras. Our team of experienced lecturers and technicians have rich and varied professional experience. They will empower you with creative and technical skills, and a deep understanding of the context and potential of your own practice. After exploring a range of genres within studio and location photography, you can choose to pursue either the Editorial Photography pathway which includes: Documentary, Fashion, Portrait; or the Photographic Art pathway with a focus on: Landscape, Constructed Image and Fine Art.
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Your Creative Career
- Advertising Art Director
- Film/Video Editor
- Graphic Designer
- Magazine Features Editor
- Press Photographer
- Photo Retoucher
- Photo Editor
- Television Camera Operator
More about the course
You’ll be based at a specialist arts school, situated in the historic city of Hereford and enjoying a unique location in the beautiful county of Herefordshire. Our school is a vibrant creative community, 100% dedicated to Art and Media careers.
A range of inspiring modules will enable you to experience the diversity of photography so you can focus on either Editorial i.e. Documentary, Portrait, Advertising, Fashion, Sport; or Photographic Arts i.e. Landscape, Constructed Image and Fine Art.
This lively programme features industry links, portfolio reviews, visits to photo festivals and eminent guest speakers. You will have the chance to work on live briefs, giving you professional experience before you graduate. Many of our students start their career, with paid commissions whilst they are still studying.
Central to course philosophy is the development of individual practice, enabling you to create a unique and personal photographic ‘voice.’
You will work on live projects for major clients and engage through specialist lectures with some of the best UK photographers such as Simon Roberts, Anna Fox, Zed Nelson and Chloe Dewe Mathews. You will receive advice and portfolio reviews from important industry insiders such as Bridget Coaker of Troika Editions and Lorentz Gullachsen.
You will be supported by a team of experienced Lecturers and Technicians all talented photographers in their own right who bring rich and varied professional experience to the learning environment. We teach in small groups and provide individual tutorials and tutor support throughout your studies. Live projects and industry links with image agencies such as Alamy and Troika provide a professional edge to your studies.
Visiting lecturers include some of the most successful British photographers such as Tom Hunter, Tom Wood, Timothy Allen, Helen Sear, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Zed Nelson and Simon Roberts as well as dynamic ex-students.
Access excellent facilities and equipment such as 2 Photo studios, Quadpack flash, Full-frame Nikons and Phase1 studio kit. We have the latest MACs as well as darkrooms and offer traditional process workshops such as Cyanotype, Gum bichromate, Salt prints and more. Our facilities also allow you to print on a variety of special materials from fabric to metal.
You will take part in exhibitions and visit photo festivals both in the UK and abroad to broaden your horizons. We have collaborative projects with USA photography courses as well as projects at community level.
Our fellows include world class photographers Don McCullin and John Bulmer.
All students take Critical Studies, where you can gain fascinating insights into the subject you love. Through lectures and seminars you will develop an understanding of the history and art of Photography and its role in contemporary culture. You will learn about the most influential photographers since the invention of the medium and be able to use this knowledge to develop your own practice. We will help you to see your own practice in context with your peers and predecessors; leading to, not only a greater understanding of the rich and varied practice of photography, but who you are as a photographer. The things you discover in Critical Studies will help you answer the question: where do I want to take my practice?
- A stimulating creative media studio environment
- Excellent facilities including two photographic studios and a traditional darkroom.
- Small group teaching with great access to tutors and expert technical support.
- Professional exhibition experience, at regional or national level.
- Opportunity to work alongside media professionals on live briefs and participate in national photographic competitions.
- A range of inspiring modules to enable you to experience the diversity of photography.
- Visiting lecturers including some of the most successful UK photographers.
- Visits to exhibitions and visit photo festivals both in the UK and Abroad.
Alamy | Catcher Media | HSBC | Mind | Herefordshire Council | De Koffie Pot, The Photo Space Gallery | Hereford Boxing Club
- Successful completion of a UK based level 5 qualification such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).
- Portfolio submission or audition (as applicable) and successful interview.
Find out more about our new, purpose-built student accommodation in the heart of the City. The accommodation is located next to Hereford Railway Station and is mid-way between the two teaching campuses (College Road & Folly Lane)
HCA is an independent arts school surrounded by people who are passionate about the arts, media and performance. Find out more about why you should choose HCA.
I studied Photography at HCA but was also passionate about Fine Art. The tutors really supported me with both and helped me find my voice as a Fine Art Photographer. The course leaders were always available and their enthusiasm helped me develop and gave me a clearer vision of what inspired me.
If you need anything extra, tutors are more than happy to help you. You get a lot of inductions in using the dark room, especially in the first year – on the different formats and how to use them to create successful photos.
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What will you study
Introduction to Year one
You will be introduced to fundamental technical and creative aspects of photography through studio and location based modules which explore ideas of social documentary, landscape and portraiture. You will be taught digital imaging and darkroom techniques, as well as delving into experimental image making.
Introduction to Year two
Your second year further develops your theoretical and practical understanding. Practical modules engage with visual narrative through still and moving image. A constructed image module further develops studio skills and understanding of image making and image meaning.
Introduction to Year three
You take full direction of your practice through self-written projects where you define the destination. We will equip you with insights into essential business and legal aspects of for a career in photography. You will also engage in a final degree exhibition and portfolio reviews with eminent industry experts.
Throughout the course you will also be working on live projects set by clients, enter competitions, and take part in exhibitions and community projects. These provide essential real world experience and equip you with invaluable communication and collaboration skills for your future success.