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Foundation Degree (FdA) Photography

Key Details

  • Available at:
  • Study Mode:
    Part-time, Full-time
  • Course Length:

    Full-time: 2 years OR Part-time: 4 years

    Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 9am - 5pm

  • UCAS Codes:
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Foundation Degree (FdA) Photography

Degrees (Higher Education)

Part Time

If you are applying to study part-time you can apply directly to the campus of your choice.


Full Time

There are two ways to apply to study for a full-time higher education course - either through UCAS or directly to the college.

Applying through UCAS:
You should apply through UCAS if you are currently studying for A Levels, a vocational Level 3 course (i.e. BTEC) or an Access to Higher Education qualification, or if you wish to apply to more than one higher education provider.

Applying to College:
If you only want to study at the college, or if you already have the qualifications/experience to meet the requirements for your course, you should apply directly to the campus of your choice.


Course Description

Are you passionate about photography? Would you like to develop your skills to a professional level? This course gives you an advanced practical understanding of photography. You will learn the fundamental techniques, as well as being able to specialise with a range of optional units.

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.

In the second year, you will select units to suit your individual skills and interests.

Have a look at an online magazine produced by our students:

Modules include:

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • Analogue Process
  • Digital Workflow and Image Correction
  • Editing and Sequencing
  • Location Photography
  • Studio Photography
  • The Print

Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Digital Portfolio
  • Exhibition Management
  • Professional Practice
  • The Book

Additional information

More detailed information on modules is to be found in the ‘Additional Campus/Course Information’ section.

Entry Criteria

Academic requirements:

We welcome applications from anyone who can demonstrate a commitment to the subject and the potential to complete the programme successfully. This can be established by showing appropriate academic achievements or by demonstrating equivalent knowledge and aptitude. Relevant experience may also be taken into consideration.

All candidates will be interviewed and asked to display a portfolio of work. Overseas applicants will be able to submit an electronic portfolio.

If you have academic experience, the following entry qualifications are acceptable:

  • Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design;
  • Access to HE Diploma (Art and Design);
  • A Level Art or Extended Diploma in Art and Design (minimum 48 UCAS points);
  • City and Guilds Creative Studies or equivalent Open College Network Art credits at Level 3.
  • GCSE in Mathematics/Numeracy, grade C/4 or above (or Key/Essential Skill equivalent)
  • For applicants without these qualifications, evidence of numeracy skills at a suitable level to meet the demands of the programme successfully, will need to be demonstrated

Language requirements:

  • GCSE in Welsh or English as first language, grade C/4 or above.
  • Any degrees, diplomas or certificates eligible above should have been taught and assessed in Welsh/English
  • For overseas applicants, for entry onto Level 4: IELTS 5.5 or higher (with no element less than 5.0)
  • For overseas applicants, for entry onto Levels 5: IELTS 6.0 or higher (with no sub-part less than 5.5).

All places are subject to satisfactory interview.

If your qualifications do not meet the entry requirements listed above, we would still encourage you to apply for the course you're interested in, as many of our courses will consider learners based on their previous work and skills experience rather than their qualifications.


The course is delivered through a blend of the following:

  • Seminars
  • Critiques
  • Tutorials
  • Visiting speakers and lecturers
  • Visits to national and international exhibitions

You will work in purpose-built facilities, supervised by highly qualified tutors, many of whom are practitioners.

Throughout the course, your Personal Tutor will review your progress, help plan future assignment choices and discuss your portfolio development.

Students are responsible for organising their own work experience if it is a requirement on their programme, and they will be supported by the course team.


  • Full-time: 2 years, 3 days per week (typically 9.00 am – 5.00 pm)
  • Part-time: 4 years, 2 days per week (typically 9.00 am – 5.00 pm)


Visit our course fees page for information on full and part-time degree course fees.

Financial Support

Visit our financial support page for information on the range of support available.

Additional costs

Additional costs can include participation in study visits and students should budget approximately £250 for this.

Students may want to budget for personal photographic equipment. However, the department has a small stock of photographic equipment that includes digital and analogue cameras, both medium format and large format. The studio is supported with portable lighting kits. Equipment can be booked on a fortnightly loan system and longer term agreements can be considered if needed.

More detailed information on other costs associated with your course and work placements/work experience (if applicable) will be outlined in the programme validation document and explained to you at your interview.

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Incentive Scholarship

Find out more about the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Incentive Scholarship on their website.

For more information on the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Scholarships, or for assistance in completing the application, please contact Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Branch Officers on –

Start date



For specific course enquiries, please contact:

Geoff Wedge (Programme Leader):

Diane Roberts (Administration):

For general enquiries about our degrees, please contact:


Assessment is 100% coursework, including practical portfolio work and written assignments. You will also have the opportunity to exhibit your work to the public at the end of the course as part of the assessment process.

All modules are assessed during their delivery, with Personal Tutors and other staff providing regular feedback. For the studio modules, you will present your finished work to the appropriate staff. After the assessment of each module, staff will meet to discuss your progress and implement any support you require. Normally there will also be a group critique at the end of each assignment.

The course enables you to engage in the assessment process by providing evidence of what you have learned, and by tracking, recording and measuring your own development. Your self-assessment is accumulated in a personal file and helps to demonstrate your achievements. You will also build up an assessment profile based upon studio work, workshop tasks, reports, group tasks and presentations.


Where relevant, assessments will be marked and returned to students with constructive and developmental feedback. Effective feedback combines information which enables students to understand the strengths and limitations of their past performance, and information which enables them to recognise how future performance can be improved. Students will be provided with feedback in a timely manner and this feedback will justify how the grade has been awarded. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on the feedback given and identify their strengths, things they found challenging and areas for development that they will feed forward to their next assessment. Feedback will include linking evidence to assessment criteria to demonstrate how the student will have met the learning outcomes.


Completion of this course will provide a range of options in education and employment. You will have developed the skills required for employment or self-employment within a range of creative industries, including photographic art as well as design and publishing.

At Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, you will have the opportunity to progress onto a BA Honours degree course. You may have the opportunity to gain exemptions from part of the course.

Campus Information Rhos-on-Sea

Unit information

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 development 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%)

Other details

Course type: Degrees (Higher Education)

Level: 4+5

Programme Area:

  • Art and Design and Photography

Awarding Body: Bangor University


33% of the course is available through the medium of Welsh.

Art and Design and Photography

Learn more about this area and see our course level guide:

Art and Design and Photography

A student doing a drawing

Awarding Body


Full-Time course

Part-Time course