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BA (Hons)Commercial Photography

Birmingham City University
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



This diverse and exciting course will provide you with the skills to become a creative specialist in the constantly evolving field of commercial photography. You’ll develop a professional identity and signature style through an innovative programme which combines technical theory and conscientious practice, with opportunities for technical and creative experimentation.

You’ll study a range of genres, including fashion, portraiture, product, and moving image, and gain a good practical and technical knowledge of these areas of photography. Your talent will be nurtured in an environment of creative collaboration. Your study will be supported by guest lecturer visits from the commercial world of photography, and you’ll engage with industry specialists on our industry portfolio review days.

You’ll engage in work experience, study visits, live projects and briefs, and independently sourced placements. You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad in our exchange programme, with Erasmus links across Europe and Thailand. Study trips include, London, Berlin Paris and New York.

Programme structure

In the first year of the course we will provide you with the foundations of photographic practice. This will include essential technical skills using our state-of-the-art facilities, an understanding of how to harness and develop your creativity, means of communicating a message through your work, and an appreciation of the ethical and social issues that all modern photographers should be aware of.

The first year is a generic foundation into the technical, conceptual and historical contextualisation of photography in order to give you the broad understanding of the medium that is required. It also allows you great flexibility in your career path as at the end of the first year you will choose either the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course or the BA (Hons) Photography.

In the second year, you will further develop your signature style, moving rapidly towards your chosen career goal. This will be achieved by developing your portfolio, your photographic intelligence and your industry knowledge. Furthermore, you will start to define the type of photographer that you want to become, becoming increasingly expert in that area.

Industry-standard briefs will help you to understand the commercial photographic market today, while a collaborative module allows you to work with Graphic Design and Illustration students from the School of Visual Communication, from which many long-lasting personal and professional relationships have been formed.

You will also be encouraged to collaborate with those outside of the school, building industry links that enhance your work and skills. Examples of collaboration include models, makeup artists, stylists, fashion designers, filmmakers, jewellery makers and product designers. You will also gain essential business skills to prepare you for undertaking paid work for real clients. Live briefs are a key part of the second year, so you that you experience what it is really like to work as a professional photographer.

In the final year you will, under expert tutor guidance, define your own projects, ensuring that your university work is tailored perfectly to you. You will work towards a final outcome, again chosen by you, such as a book, magazine, exhibition or industry standard portfolio. As before, we will help you to develop your business profile and to become a practicing commercial photographer before you have graduated, which only goes to strengthen your portfolio and your employability.

We will be there to support you both professionally and pastorally. As well as our own expert tuition, we have a wide range of world-class photographers and portfolio reviewers who will inspire you to take your work to the next level. You will have access to the huge network of contacts that the University has, both nationally and internationally, as well as our close links with other courses within the University.

You will also undertake a piece of critical writing that examines the business practices of your chosen career.This will equip you with the necessary knowledge to approach the commercial photographic market, preparing you for your future aspirations and increasing your level of employability, allowing you to flourish not just while studying, but for many years after.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States