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This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Photography BA (Hons) (Top Up)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: W641
Code: IA3530A14
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

This BA (Hons) Photography (Top Up) course is for those students who want to top up their foundation degree (FdA Photography) to Honours level.

During the course you will continue to develop a professional portfolio of photography work through a series of creative and challenging assignments.

In the Honours year you will focus on developing an individual programme of study that builds on the technical and creative skills acquired on the Foundation Degree and encourages you to provide creative responses. Theoretical study and critical analysis support practical work.

What will I study?

You will complete 4 mandatory modules in order to complete the programme.

The modules enable you to specialise in a particular area of photographic interest to suit your career aspirations in consultation with the module and programme leader.

You will be taught by a mixture of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and simulations but at this Honours level will undertake a large amount of self-study including online, distance and e-learning, field, industry and research visits as well as the opportunity to undertake live industry-briefs and enter competitions which aim to increase your exposure to the demanding photography environment.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 6 Modules include:

  • Specialist Project
  • Forums and Functionality
  • Dissertation
  • Final Major Project and Exhibition


Entry Requirements

Students who wish to undertake the Top Up programme will be required to have successfully completed the Foundation Degree in Photography – validated by Lancaster University. Students must achieve a pass or above in the Foundation Degree in order to join this Top Up degree.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a range of techniques during this programme. These include: your dissertation, presentations, portfolio productions, producing final solutions to photography briefs, as well is your final, end of year exhibitions.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Formative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

Our graduates have gone on to work in extremely diverse roles. Some have gained employment in photographic studios including image management or production roles. Many graduates are now self employed as freelance photographers.


Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Photography (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.


Career Options


If you are artistic and love taking photographs, this could be a perfect career for you. As a photographer you would use cameras to take still photographs. You would use your technical skills and artistic ideas to take images of people and products. You will also take pictures of places or events.

A photographer is usually a creative person. You’ll also need to be able to make people feel relaxed.

Most professional photographers take a college or university course to develop their technical skills.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Photographic Technician

Photographic technicians produce images from digital files, either as prints on photographic paper or on a wide variety of other media, such as mouse mats, t-shirts, mugs and posters. If you are interested in photography and can work accurately, this job could be ideal for you.

In this job you would need to have good colour vision. You will also need to have computer skills and be good at dealing with customers.

There aren't any set entry requirements to get into this job, but some employers may prefer you to have GCSEs including maths and science, or qualifications of a similar level. There are college and university courses in photography you can do that could help you develop the skills you would need.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Image Consultant

Image consultants advise individuals and companies on all aspects of personal appearance and how to make an impact. If you have excellent ‘people’ skills and an appreciation of style and colour, this could be a job you would love.

You’ll need to be interested in helping people and be able to put them at ease. You would also need to be persuasive, and able to demonstrate the benefits of your advice to clients.

There is no set entry route to become an image consultant. Experience in areas like sales and marketing, public relations and retail could be useful. You can also work towards qualifications accredited by the Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI) which will help you gain the skills you need to be successful in this job.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Fashion Design Assistant

If you've got creative flair and would like to work in fashion, this job could be ideal for you.

Fashion design assistants support designers by helping them create new materials, styles, colours and patterns for fashion brands and labels.

In this job you would need to have an eye for pattern and colour. You would need to manage your time well and prioritise your work. You should also know what's coming in and going out of fashion.

To get into this job you can work your way up through a company or take a higher education course before joining a fashion business. Getting work experience, paid or unpaid, is especially important for this job.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire