The first year delivers an intense programme which builds your skills across a range of areas. This combines the traditional values of professional practice – such as fine printing, studio management and critical analysis – with the modern necessity of full digital workflow.
A key element of the second year programme is the specialist practice module. You are able to consolidate skills built from year one to support a specific interest or pathway in photography such as documentary photography, commercial photography, digital photography, analogue photography or any other proposal that meets the module criteria.
At the end of the course, you will have a comprehensive portfolio of printed work alongside a digital platform representing their work, such as a web page or blog. It is expected that you will have participated in an off-site exhibition and will have designed and self-published at least two books. All of the projects are underpinned by an element of critical research and analysis.
For every 10 credits, students should engage with around 100 notional hours of learning. This will be approximately 30% direct learning contact, 70% independent student learning.
The modules on this course include:
Year 1 (Level 4)
Analogue Process (20 credits, compulsory)
This module will enable learners to work with analogue photographic hardware and materials. The focus will be on the calibration of cameras, film and darkroom creative output. Learners will learn to process and print black and white film with considerable emphasis on sensitometry (ability to communicate specific instruction for Professional Lab Processing), E6 (transparency) and C41 (colour print) technologies will also be covered. (Portfolio 100%)
Contextual Studies 1 (10 credits, core)
This module aims to introduce learners to the fascinating history of photography, the different forms it has taken and its relation to current practices. This will help inform personal photographic practice and provide a clear idea of how to contextualise work in a historical framework and to begin to recognise how photography plays a part in the construction of meaning. (Essay 60%, Presentation 40%)
Digital Workflow and Image Correction (20 credits, core)
This module aims to develop skills and understanding in sourcing, creating, developing and managing digital images for specific purposes. Learners will work with a range of input devices and software programs and be encouraged to explore approaches to digital imaging that considers layout, design, and digital distribution. (Essay 40%, Visual portfolio 60%)
Editing and Sequencing (10 credits, compulsory)
This module involves the development and presentation of the final first year portfolio of practical work. The learner will develop outcomes from the skill building modules in order to present a set of photographs that have clear intention, are sequentially arranged, include text, rely on a specific format and demonstrate relevant production values.
Employability-based Learning 1: Applying Theory in Practice (20 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to enable you to carry out a number of employment-related tasks, negotiated jointly with employers/industry representatives and Grŵp-based staff. (Portfolio 100%)
Location Photography (10 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to develop learners' understanding and develop skills in location photography techniques. The emphasis will be on planning and preparation in relation to the site, lighting, equipment and visual style. Learners will research various approaches to location photography in order to recognise technical and visual strategies associated with particular disciplines, such as landscape photography, fashion, advertising, and photojournalism etc. (Portfolio 60%, Reflection 20%, Risk assessment 20%)
Research and Study Skills (10 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to develop the study skills of the learners, enabling the production of sound academic writing, the introduction of critical thought and basic research skills. It will enable students to develop skills in academic writing, the use of academic conventions, information research, reflection and the management and organisation of their work. (Portfolio 100%)
Studio Photography (10 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to introduce learners to the studio as a ‘space', and the idea of ‘studio practice', based on the technical, theoretical and creative considerations within that space. Emphasis is on technical understanding of studio lighting and equipment, and the many creative possibilities of the studio environment within specified and considered frameworks. (Evaluation 20%, Photographic assessment 60%, Risk assessment 20%)
The Print (10 credits, compulsory)
The module draws on skills developed in both the Analogue and Digital Workflow and Image Correction modules. The learner will pay particular attention to output quality by understanding the photographic print as a realisation of creative vision. There will also be an emphasis on finish and presentation. (Photographic assessment 80%, Presentation / Analysis 20%)
Year 2 (Level 5)
Digital Portfolio (10 credits, compulsory)
This module will explore the range of possibilities for developing interactive digital portfolios. Learners will consider their individual professional practice and explore a number of stand-alone and web-based options for constructing a digital portfolio. (Evaluation 20%, Portfolio 80%)
Employability-based Learning 2: Professional Reflection and Personal Development (20 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to analyse the value of your learning within vocational and work-specific contexts. In so doing, it will require you to reflect upon your learning experience in terms of how it has enhanced your academic and vocational knowledge and skills, self-esteem and current and future employability. (Professional Development Plan 50%, Reflection 50%)
Exhibition Management (10 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to develop skills and understanding in exhibition management through student interaction with individuals and organisations, participating in the exhibition process, both as manager and contributor. (Evaluation 40%, Exhibition of photographs 60%)
Professional Practice (20 credits, core)
The module will enable learners to research practices within their specialist area and to develop strategies for marketing and promoting their own work. The emphasis will be on future progression to employment or further study. (Presentation 40%, Professional portfolio 60%)
Research Methods and Study Skills (20 credits, compulsory)
The module aims to enable students to apply a range of research skills appropriate to study of the creative industries in general and photography in particular. (Research proposal 100%)
Specialist Practice (20 credits, compulsory)
This module offers an opportunity for learners to develop a bespoke pathway for year 2. Learners present a proposal at the beginning of the second year, outlining their intentions against outcomes. The aims are to develop learners’ skills and understanding in the preparation and contextualisation of their specialist photographic practice, through independent self-directed study and critical reflection. (Evaluation 20%, Portfolio 70%, Proposal 10%)
The Book (20 credits, compulsory)
This module aims to build on the narrative image sequencing and desktop publishing skills introduced over the first year of the course. Students will examine the book as a tool for distributing and promoting their work alongside considerations of narrative and design consistency in book production. (Evaluation 20%, Photo Book 60%, Presentation 20%)