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Undergraduate study

Course overview

Learn all the tools photography has at its disposal in the digital age to make striking images for the gallery, industry and beyond. Aspiring professional photographers will develop both technical and conceptual skills as they explore many styles and forms of image making. You can focus on fine art, fashion, commercial, or editorial photography and take part in both on and off-campus exhibitions, visits to local and regional galleries, workshops and visits from guest speakers working in both fine art and industry.

Explore the practice and theory of photography, practice your art in a supportive community, and enjoy access to professional staff and resources.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 scholarship.

An optional work placement year is included, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.
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Course details

In Year 1, you gain a thorough foundation in both historic and contemporary production processes of still and moving images and develop the relevant ideation and creative skills to become a meaningful producer of content within the disciplines of photography.

Year 2 is devised to advance and facilitate greater ownership and authorship of production work, and you will enhance your production knowledge and techniques through core production modules in photographic narratives and photography production. You will begin to build your professional portfolio and understanding of enterprise, learning industry standards and industry-facing concepts. You engage with the history, theory and contemporary contexts of production, expanding your visual vocabulary and ability to think creatively.

In Year 3, you become fully-fledged producers and content creators and your ideas and sense identity and authorship are backed up by solid theory and practice. You are given industry-specific training in freelancing and commercial work via real-world simulated briefs. Solid research and reflection, coupled with experimental approaches in Hybrid Project enable you to complete a major self-directed photography project, preparing you for the world of work.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Bootcamp Technical Post-Production

You develop general digital production skills with an additional focus on post-production. You explore effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches required to create a variety of digital media artefacts across a variety of digital delivery platforms with more relevance to the subject specific disciplines. You learn a variety of advanced sector specific and industry standard digital delivery methods and production techniques surrounding the acquisition, manipulation and operation of media production hardware and software applications. You have supervised contact time as well as access to freelance resources. You are assessed on two pass/fail components. The first assessment is a series of practical exams that determine your proficiency across a range of digital media production disciplines. The second is a digital portfolio of the culmination of work developed during the module.

Bootcamp Technical Production

You explore effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches to create a variety of digital media artefacts across a variety of digital delivery platforms. You learn a variety of sector specific and industry standard digital delivery methods and production techniques surrounding the acquisition, manipulation and operation of media production hardware and software applications.
You have supervised contact time and you also have access to freelance resources. You are assessed on two pass/fail components. The first assessment involves a series of practical exams to determine your proficiency across a range of digital media production disciplines. The second is a digital portfolio, which is a culmination of work developed during the module.

Digital Image

You are introduced to photographic technologies and concepts related to a print-based digital environment. You will acquire skills related to digital camera systems, image processing and printing while progressing your understanding of the concepts of lens-based image making. Emphasis is placed on learning core principles of digital photographic technology and fundamental visual skills for photographers.

Photography Workshop

The creative side of photography through a series of open-ended and thought-provoking briefs are introduced. Weekly briefs will challenge you to consider the ways in which the photograph can be used as a representational tool and help them expand their photographic vocabulary. You will also have the opportunity to engage with photography through tutor-led field trips where practical skills can be tested and refined.

The Dark Room

You are introduced to the fundamentals of photographic and lens-based imaging. The emphasis is on applied skills and understanding basic principles of lens-based image making. Short, topic-orientated production assignments explore photography as an art and documentary form and lead to a basic understanding of image making with cameras. The course includes lecture, studio, and critique sessions.

Visual Perspectives

We live in a visual culture. This modules explores how we see and take meaning from images across a range of media platforms including television, cinema, the press and the visual arts.


Year 2 core modules

Documentary Production

Following your earlier learning within the Bootcamp module, this module builds on the foundations of group working, technical skills and the creative development of documentary content. You are encouraged to experiment, push yourself creatively and not be afraid to pursue ambition, excellence and innovation.

You focus on the production process rather than just the final product – this ensures that you are appropriately rewarded even if an ambitious project ultimately 'crashes and burns'.

This module culminates in you working as part of a production team to create a five to ten-minute documentary to a set brief. You submit this documentary for assessment.

History and Theory: The Work of Photography

You consider a chronological overview of developments in analogue and digital photography from 1839 through to the onset of digital photography. The module treats photography broadly as a cultural activity with emphasis on its historical, documentary, and social value as well as its own aesthetic developments during this period. Attention is given to the relationship of photography to other media and to the development of photographic theory

Photography Portfolio

You are introduced to the business side of photography through a series of industry-focused briefs designed to develop your working knowledge of the practice of photography in both artistic and commercial contexts. You will also be taught the principles of photographic business plans, consulting with clients, managing shoots, creating websites and image galleries, marketing, branding, ethics and the legal responsibilities and liabilities of working photographers today.

Photography project

This module is a practical and creative investigation into a minor project of your choice, taking into consideration personal growth in relation to practical and conceptual photography skills, and proficiencies related to personal growth within professional practice. You research, execute and exhibit a photography project that explores your chosen specialism within the field: a commercial, documentary or fine art photography project, presented with an audience in mind. Taught sessions and lectures expand your technical and conceptual skillset. Studio seminar sessions focus on presentations and discussions of work in progress with your tutor and peers. You are assessed by 100% ICA, which is an individual portfolio of work produced throughout the module (70%) and a final project group presentation (30%).

Popular Culture in Context

Every film, TV show or story we see or read has been influenced by its context, when and how it was made, and has a range of different meanings that make it what it is. The novel Frankenstein is not just a horror tale, but also one of the earliest science fiction stories. It is also a exploration of what makes us human, and the movies it has spawned have created a new genre. This module puts a range of popular media texts under spotlight.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

Final Project: Photography

You will focus on an extended self-directed photography project that will synthesise the theories, practices and industry skills learned in previous years. It demonstrates the ability to analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply what has already been studied on the course whilst demonstrating critical and evaluative skills and professional awareness. You work in regular consultation with an advisor through the research and development stage to the making of your final conceptual and visual production of images. The critique and public display of this project is an integral and mandatory part of the process. You are guided to develop an appropriate sense of work-discipline coupled with a professional outlook. You are expected to take responsibility for the planning and execution of this project, including the consideration of associated legal, social, ethical and professional issues.

Hybrid Photography Project

Advanced hybrid forms employed in digital imaging are the focus of this module. It emphasises creative production combining still or moving images with audio, basic programming, and digital modes of presentation. Lectures and workshops allow students to acquire production skills necessary for creating innovative web content, site-specific installations and gallery exhibitions. A variety of presentation modes are introduced including projection, digital displays, real-time processing, and digital streaming.

Photography Freelance and Commissioned Work

You develop insight into the commercial photographic sector, helping you prepare for a career as a freelance or commercial photographer. You will develop and manage a series of photographic production projects to professional standards within the constraints of client-centered briefs, adhering to legislative and ethical requirements.

The Researching Practitioner

In this module, you complete a self-managed research project that investigates an area of the arts, and may link to an areas of study in practice, academia, teaching pedagogy and/or business and entrepreneurship.

The module develops your autonomy in decision-making including negotiating the project topic, form and assessment format. You can use and advance on your research, analysis, evaluation, critical reflection and communication skills through a field of study that is relevant to your own interests and potential future career prospects.

You engage in a range of experiences of staff and external professionals’ research projects. You are also encouraged to join and contribute to a community of scholars and place your work in conjunction with the current arts industry and research landscapes.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

An academic staff team of specialist practitioners and theorists work in partnership with technical staff to ensure you have access to a diverse and extensive range of photographic and fine art expertise. You have contact with professional guest speakers, have the opportunity to establish a support network for photographic practice and undertake study visits directly related to the field. Studio and industry-focussed tutorials throughout the programme are designed to help you develop clear and realistic objectives for continued professional development and employment. Individual and independent learning priorities become an integral component in final year study modules and are supported by a fully established Negotiated Learning Plan.

How you are assessed

The continuous assessment structure allows key assessment deadlines to be located at the mid-point and end-point of each academic year.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Typical offer
96-112 points

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator. If your qualifications are not listed, contact our admissions team as we may accept alternatives.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Summer University modules.

Maths and English
Acceptable qualifications in maths and English include:
• GCSE grade 4 (or higher)
• Level 2 Key Skills (Communication and Application of Number)
• Level 2 Functional Skills.

We also accept alternative equivalent or higher level qualifications.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

A large variety of unique options are open to you after graduating with a BA (Hons) Photography. The creative, research and professional skills gained open a broad range of careers possibilities, including:

  • freelance and corporate photography industries (advertising, fashion, editorial, blogging, product and special occasion, documentary and art photography)
  • photo-related industries (art buyer, picture editor, publisher)
  • art-related (curator, archivist, gallery admin)
  • further education and academic (teaching, research, education)
  • art directing
  • entrepreneurship.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W640 BA/Photo
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Study photography at Teesside University

    Photography lecturer Mark Kasumovic discussed the benefits of studying photography with media colleagues

  • News

    Link to View the pictures. National recognition for digital platform showcasing student work
    Teesside University’s digital media platform TU-Xtra has been shortlisted for a prestigious national student radio award.

    Read the full story

  • News

    Mark Kasumovic. Link to View the pictures. Life through a lens
    An award-winning international photographer has left his home in Canada to set up a new photography course at Teesside University and help inspire the next generation.

    Read the full story


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 335008

Online chat

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


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