Photography is now the most important visual media – everyday billions of people share their lives using photography on social media, while all goods and services use photographs online and in print. And within this expanded field, quality photography has more impact than ever before.

This useful and innovative course nurtures the skills, creativity, knowledge and ideas necessary to prepare students for a broad range of photography careers - from art, to commercial sectors like fashion, editorial or advertising. A solid grounding in photographic history will enable students to develop confidence in their specialism. Students will be encouraged to think critically, take risks and explore their creative potential, with opportunities to experiment with analogue and digital photography, moving image, text or sound. Throughout, students will be supported to recognise transferable skills that may open doors to related fields – from marketing & brand development to jobs within the cultural sector.

Students will receive creative opportunities fronted by one of the leading photographic institutes in the country. Open Eye Gallery’s cutting-edge approach will engage them artistically and explore opportunities within community, education and public gallery sectors. Curators, critics and programmers at Open Eye Gallery will input throughout the course with a strong focus on personal and professional development.

Students will engage in learning on campus and in Open Eye Gallery, providing access to the experiences and career pathways of tutors and professionals with extensive experience in art-world and industry photographic practices.

Fielden Campus
Full Time
2 years
September 2021
Awarding Partner:
Manchester Metropolitan University

• GCSE English Language and Mathematics A* to C or 9 to 4 where numeric grades are being awarded

• 64 UCAS Tariff Points

• Students that have passed a recognised Access programme will also be considered
Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) who are able to demonstrate relevant skills or knowledge gained in employment or vocational activity will be considered and may be invited to interview.

Your suitability for Foundation Degree study may be assessed by interview.

Year 1: Landscape and Environment (30 credits)
Develop your practical abilities using a range of techniques and processes on location, drawing on research of historical and contemporary practitioners.

Year 1: Photographic Practices (30 credits)
Build your skills in equipment and processes to confidently explore developing concep

Year 1: Portrait, Identity and Narration (30 credits)
Explore how photography can be used to identify and represent both individuals and groups, and examine the way in which the photograph is used to implicate identity through the portraiture and representation of individuals or group

Year 1: Professional and Academic Development (30 credits)
Develop and re-enforce your critical, analytical, academic and linguistic skills, as you prepare for future graduate level study and potential, professional careers.
Bright, S. (2010) Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography

Bright, S. (2011) Art Photography Now

Goldin, N., Heiferman, M. (2012) The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Kobre, K. and Gangelhoff, B. (2008) Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach

Jaeger, A.-C. (2010) Image Makers, Image Takers : The Essential Guide to Photography by Those in the Know
Courses at UCEN Manchester combine a variety of teaching and learning activities including seminars, lectures, tutorials, practical workshops and independent work individually as well as in groups.

In addition, these primary teaching and learning methods may be supplemented with field trips, work placements, guest lectures, presentations and group activities as applicable to each subject area.

UCEN campuses have libraries equipped with computers and printers for students which can be used in addition to the classrooms and course specific workspaces such as technology suites, workshops, laboratories and artistic/photographic studios.

As well as the software available to students on campus computers such as the Adobe suite, students are also able to use Microsoft Office remotely from their own laptops and access course materials using the Virtual Learning Environment.

Level 4

45% Coursework
55% Practical

Level 5

60% Coursework
40% Practical
You’ll have the skills and knowledge to work directly in the photographic and digital media industry with a range of careers to follow, from commercial photography, through freelance and magazine photojournalism to more specific areas such as scientific photography, medical photography and culinary photography.
There are two main costs you will have whilst studying and if you are a home student studying on a full-time course, you can apply for student finance to cover both of these:

 Your tuition fees for each year of your course.
 Help with your living costs e.g. rent, food, clothing, course materials, entertainment.

You can find more details, including the actual tuition fee charged on our Fees, Funding and Finance Page.

Learn more
There are extra cost associated with the course including an equipment list, extra printing, End of Year Show printing and preparation and Trips.

Examples below:

Equipment list: £150-£200
Printing: 1st yr £150 - 2nd yr £250
Optional Software: Creative Cloud £16 p/m (equipped on all campus Macs)
Optional trip: £300+

All students are subject to UCEN Manchester’s Terms and Conditions from the date they accept an offer to study here, full details of which can be found here. The UCEN Manchester Admissions Policy and Procedure can be found here.

UCEN Manchester News

BBC focus on UCEN Manchester tutor and artist Rachael

The programme will feature Rachael's creative journey to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

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