BA Photography

This one-year BA Photography course from Robert Gordon University will enhance your photographic ability across creative, professional, fine art and design contexts through research, experimentation, innovation and enterprise.

The course is delivered through a series of activities and elective projects including editorial, documentary, photojournalism, moving image, film, advertising, fashion, corporate, portraiture, landscape, exhibition and curatorial. You will explore the work of key practitioners and further enhance your understanding of photography within historical, cultural and economic contexts. You will also have the opportunity to participate in new business start-up activities with our Enterprise Partners Network, which will encourage you to adopt an entrepreneurial outlook.

On successful completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to articulate onto the BA (Hons) Communication Design or BA (Hons) Contemporary Art Practice courses within a specialist photography pathway.

1st in Scotland for student satisfaction in Art and Design - Complete University Guide 2021

1st in Scotland and top 5 in the UK* for overall student satisfaction in Design Studies - National Student Survey 2022, *excluding colleges, small, specialist and private institutions

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

12 months

Years 1 & 2

The first two years are delivered by our partner Further Education Colleges.

Year 3

You will undertake project work that develops your expertise and interests in preparation for your Final Major Project in Term 2. You will then further your knowledge and experience within a professional context and develop outputs that lead towards potential career pathways.


We have on campus and virtual events to help you find out more about study, student experience and future career paths.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

Learning through doing is an integral part of this course and enables you to gain first-hand experience of the industry. The projects undertaken will test your intellectual and creative application of ideas and you will be introduced to new business concepts to develop your abilities in team and individual projects.

You will be provided with dedicated studio space at Gray’s to help develop your own thoughts and ideas, an integral part to your learning journey.

Activity Summary

Years 1 and 2 are delivered by our partner Further Education Colleges.

Year 3

  • Lectures - 25 students per group, 1-2 hours per week
  • Seminars - 12 students per group, 1-2 hours per week
  • Webinar - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Tutorial - 1-12 students per group, 1/2 hour per week
  • Project Supervision - 25 students per group, 1-2 hours per week
  • Demonstration - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Practical class or workshop - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Supervised time in studio / workshop - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Independent Study - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Field Work - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • External Visits - 25 students per group, variable hours per week
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - 25 students per group, variable hours per week 

How long is a BA Photography course?

This course can be completed in 1 year. This includes lectures, tutorials, independent study and other activities.

Independent Study

Throughout the course particular emphasis is placed on your development of independent learning through self-directed photography project/s. You will undertake independent study, reflecting on your previous 2 years’ experience of building expertise and specialist knowledge within your chosen pathway and towards a level approaching professional practice.

Staff Delivering on This Course

The dedicated academic and technical staff on this course have a wide variety of photography backgrounds and their knowledge and experience will provide you with a deep understanding of the discipline.

Industry experts contribute to the course as Professional Associates and through the Guest@Grays lecture programme, which invites national and international artists, designers and photographers to speak about their work. The course works closely with the University’s Library, Study Skills and Careers staff and academia from other Schools and departments of the university.


Typically students are assessed:

  • written assignments, including essays
  • 1 report
  • 1 dissertation
  • portfolios - varies
  • set exercises - varies
  • project outputs - varies
  • practical skills assessment - varies
  • oral assessments - varies
  • group critique - varies


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.


Job Prospects

On completion of the course, you will have the knowledge and skills to explore a photography career in the following industries: advertising, photo journalism, corporate, food, fashion and sport (studio-based and location-based).

Is Photography a good career choice?

Previous  BA Photography graduates of Robert Gordon University have gone on to pursue the following careers:

  • Work with major fashion photographers
  • Photography work with magazine publications 
  • Educational technicians and lecturers
  • Starting a photographic business

In addition, some graduates have re-located to work in London with major fashion photographers whilst others have travelled to secure internships in New York and London after graduation.


What is needed for a BA Photography course?

Entry to Year 3 (only)

Higher National Diploma: A relevant HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 3 subject to successfully meeting the partner course criteria.

All advanced entry applicants with the appropriate qualifications (or due to sit appropriate qualifications) and who successfully meet the criteria stated will be invited to attend an 'advanced' portfolio review/interview and participate in a selection process.

Applicants from Partner Colleges

A relevant HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 3.

Alternative Qualifications

Those who may not hold the standard qualifications, are encouraged to apply if they can evidence other appropriate/relevant creative work, qualifications and/or life experiences. Such candidates are advised to contact the Student Admissions Service  for further advice and guidance.

A portfolio review/interview is still a requirement for this type of candidate.

Interview / Portfolio Review

Suitable applicants will be invited in with their portfolio for an informal review/discussion with academic staff. This allows students to meet staff, see the teaching environment and allows the School to explore your ambitions through informal discussion. You may also be invited to attend an interview.


English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. 

Contact for further information.

Academic Year 2022-2023

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £6,750

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £6,750

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £15,450

Academic Year 2021-2022

Scottish Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £1,820

Rest of UK Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £6,750

EU Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £6,750

International Students

Full Time

On Campus
Over 1 year Year 1 £15,000

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and Living Costs
  • Printing
  • £60 Studio fund – Year 3
  • £50 – £150 Materials
  • £200 Field Study (optional)
  • £750 International Travel (optional)
  • £350 Camera (optional)
  • £400 Laptop (optional)
  • £350 Tablet (optional)

Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Widening Access Accommodation and Welcome Pack Offer

If you are applying to RGU for September 2022 and meet widening access criteria, you may qualify for free accommodation in your first year of study, along with our welcome pack to support your transition to university. Find out if you are eligible:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 


We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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