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Digital Imaging and Photography - BA (Hons) Top up

  • Validated by:
    University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

  • UCAS code: 8B80
  • Institutional code: H65

The BA (Hons) Top up in Digital Imaging and Photography has been designed to build on existing photographic and digital imaging skills and support undergraduates to become confident and articulate image-makers. The aims of the programme are to:

  • Allow students to build upon previous level 4 and 5 qualifications or industrial experience to further widen participation in higher education and develop their ability to produce innovative work of high quality with an awareness of professional level requirements and expectations
  • Provide the framework to support undergraduates to build on their strengths and interests and to further develop these in sufficient depth to provide a sound grounding for professional and/or postgraduate work
  • Guide students to acquire further knowledge and understanding, develop personal attributes and master essential technical and transferable skills so that they are able to work independently in the photography / digital imaging sector or other related areas
  • Develop students’ academic and research skills where appropriate, preparing them for study at Master’s level and expand their experiences and outlook in relation to the world of professional creativity

You will study a range of practical, professional and contextual approaches to digital imaging and photography and will learn through the production of personal and commercial briefs designed to facilitate increasing levels of independence, inspiring ownership of process, product and skills. Students will have full access to well equipped studio space and both digital and traditional photographic facilities, including the latest Apple Mac computers, Adobe software, large format digital printing and traditional darkroom.

Core modules, include:

Portfolio Development
Undergraduates will be asked to reflect on the area of industry they intend to work in after graduation. They will be required to research the ideas, techniques and working practices specific to this professional arena in order to gain a realistic appraisal of what they will need for working in such a competitive field.

Where possible, undergraduates will build links with relevant professional organisations, bodies or practitioners. In response to this research, they will then develop two bodies of photographic work and relevant promotional material aimed at their intended industry / client base.

Contextual Studies (Design Futures) (Elective)
This module further develops core themes and key concepts developed before with relevant contexts underpinning and complementing the undergraduates’ photography and digital imaging activities. The following should only be seen only as an indicative structure as the module is student directed.

  • An understanding and identification of the relevant photography issues
  • Definition of research areas
  • Analytical discussion to consider research implications
  • Innovative and original conclusions and define a potential future scenario

As the culmination of Semester 1 activities, undergraduates will produce a visually rich report that communicates the main threads of discussion and concludes with a potential future scenario that could provide a context for further design work.

Professional Development
Extensive independent research will be conducted in this module. It will focus on relevant professional / business related practices that underpin their field. They will produce a report and a twelve-month business plan detailing their professional development for the final semester and the period directly following graduation. Students will develop their professional skills through either undertaking a relevant work placement or through undertaking work with a client. They will be encouraged throughout to work with relevant University bodies to further their professional understanding and opportunities.

Responsive Module
This module enables the course to respond flexibly to external opportunities raised by emerging events such as local partnerships, industrial links or cultural phenomena. This will provide opportunities for professional development, engagement in the community or entrepreneurship and this may involve collaboration between undergraduates across programmes or institutions, locally, regionally or nationally. Alternatively, it will enable the programme to respond to emerging issues or events from its own sector - for example the biennial 'Look15 - Liverpool International Photography Festival'. It may also be in the form of specific practices that are at risk of under-representation within the programme or the defined need to address a specific cohort area of development.

Honours Project
The Honours Project will to enable the student to draw together the specialist and supporting studies they have developed up until this point into a coherent integrated project based upon a significant major theme. Specific content may be determined as part of the project negotiation process.

What can I do if I complete this course?

All students who successfully complete this degree may have the opportunity to progress onto a Master’s level qualification at the University of Central Lancashire or another higher education provider, or may wish to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the Hugh Baird University Centre. Alternatively, graduates may wish to progress directly into employment.

Career Path

On successful completion of this qualification, potential career paths may include:

  • photojournalism
  • editorial
  • documentary
  • portraiture
  • advertising
  • fashion
  • music
  • architecture
  • location
  • newspaper
  • picture research
  • teaching and technical support


One year, full time or two years, part time.


Primary contact:
David Lockwood
Programme Manager
Tel: 0151 353 4444 ext 5522 or email: david.lockwood@hughbaird.ac.uk

Other contact:
Tadhg Devlin
Tel: 0151 353 4444 ext 5544 or email: tadhg.devlin@hughbaird.ac.uk


You don’t need to pay your tuition fees up front – Tuition Fee Loans cover university or college tuition fees and are paid direct to the university or college, by Student Finance England. They are available to all eligible students regardless of household income. The amount you pay back is dependent on how much you earn and not how much you owe and you won’t need to start paying them back until you are earning more than £21,000 per year. Student Loans will also help to support your living costs.

For more information, visit www.gov.uk/student-finance

The standard full time tuition fee rate for this course in 2017/18 and 2018/19 for Home and EU students is:

  • £8,500 per year

The standard part time tuition fee rate for 2017/18 and 2018/19 for Home and EU students is:

  • £1,000 per 20 credit module

The University Centre’s tuition fees are reviewed each academic year.

Additional Information

The University Centre also offers the two year Foundation Degree in Digital Imaging and Photography at level 4 and 5 that precedes and prepares you for this course.

Terms, Conditions and Disclaimer

We reserve the right to make changes and improvements to the provision of courses and other details. There are minimum numbers of students required for each course to run. Should there be insufficient numbers to run a particular course, then every effort will be made to enrol you on a similar, appropriate course. For full details of our terms, conditions and disclaimers, click here.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 09:30
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