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Digital Imaging and Photography - Foundation Degree (FdA)

  • Validated by:
    University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

  • UCAS code: W641

  • Institutional code: H65

The Foundation Degree in Digital Imaging and Photography has been designed to provide specialist skills using photographic and digital imaging (including moving image) processes and technology relevant to contemporary creative and commercial practice. The aims of the programme are to:

  • Equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding for versatility and confidence, relevant to the needs of clients and employment in the photography / digital imaging sector
  • Provide students with an effective balance between education and training by promoting self-development and creative expression, intellectual enquiry and the visual communication of ideas underpinned by the acquisition of transferable, technical and practical skills and knowledge
  • Give students a progression route to advance, where appropriate, towards other qualifications, for example the one year BA (Hons) Top up in Digital Imaging and Photography, or future employment within photography and digital imaging industry

You will develop your photographic skills, together with knowledge and understanding, through practical projects based on professional practice. Students will have full access to well equipped studio spaces and both digital and traditional photographic facilities, including the latest Apple Mac computers, Adobe software, large format digital printing and traditional darkroom.

Techniques of traditional and digital photography will be explored, within practical work related projects and with opportunities to create industry links.

Core modules, include:

Year 1

Introduction to Photographic Practice
This module will engage the undergraduates through a series of hands-on workshops and short assignments exploring a range of genres and technical / creative issues such as location, studio still life, fashion/portraiture, photojournalism and film, and produce practical examples of these themes. Both traditional photographic materials (chemical based) and digital, lens-based production equipment will be used to produce practical outcomes.

Visualising Ideas
We will explore the role of ideas in the creation of visual imagery. Undergraduates will be asked to reflect on contemporary photography and debate how we make sense of the visual material we produce and encounter in the world around us. Throughout the module, students will gain a sense of what a critically grounded practice is and how to develop one.

Digital Imaging
This module is designed to provide a structured development of digital photography and image manipulation. Utilising a range of photographic and digital post production techniques, students will develop high quality images through manipulation and enhancement, and open up a range of creative possibilities in producing ‘hyper-real’, ‘painterly’ or enhanced artificial outcomes.

Live Projects I
Live Projects provide an opportunity to undertake a range of internal live and/or competition briefs. Students will start to develop the necessary communication skills to effectively interact with clients, audiences and or /collaborators and to begin to investigate the skills needed to identify and address relevant project/client issues and needs.

Experimental Practice
This consists of a series of daylong and weeklong exercises to explore a range of techniques, approaches and ideas about image generation and display. Group briefings, lectures and exploratory crits to assess visual methodologies with the aim of encouraging experimentation. Day trips and gallery visits to encourage students to critically reflect on issues around the display and distribution of imagery.

Year 2

Advanced Photographic Practice
In Year 2, we will build on year one work and will offer the undergraduates a combination of optional advanced hands-on workshops and assignments which will further explore a selection of genres and technical / creative agenda on the subjects of location, studio still life, fashion/portraiture and photojournalism. Students will select a combination of options that suit their developing directions and produce practical assignment work on these themes with consideration for a specific audience.

Professional Practice
Undergraduates will be expected to undertake extensive independent study and set themselves a major practical based research project to develop an in depth understanding of the photographic industry. Outcomes will be agreed between the student and course tutor and will include a presentation investigating an area of the photographic industry relevant to the students’ own work.

Critical Practice
Building on the work undertaken in year one, we further explore how critical theory can aid photographers to develop an informed appreciation of their practice. By thematically exploring the contemporary photographic arena, the module asks students to reflect on their work within current issues and debates. It will analyse the relationship between theories, practices and professionally resolved outcomes by examining contemporary practitioners.

Advanced Digital Imaging
This module aims to inspire exploration of contemporary digital imaging practices and examine their application in professional photography and moving image. Building on the skills established in Year One's 'Digital Imaging' module, undergraduates are encouraged to further explore and develop the creative and technical applications of contemporary digital image making. Students will develop specific skills and understanding with photography and digital media, combined with the ability to work with both still and moving image with related software and hardware.

Live Project II
The second Live Project module provides an opportunity to undertake a range of live, competition and/or community-focused briefs. It will develop the necessary independent communication skills to effectively interact with clients, audiences and or /collaborators and to explore the conceptual and analytical skills needed to identify and address relevant project/client issues and needs.

Open Project
Through this module undergraduates will devise, develop and execute an in depth, critically informed and largely resolved photographic project. Students set themselves a major practical brief in the photographic medium with outcomes agreed with their course tutor. There will be a series of group briefing and crits to aid the development of these projects. This module involves extensive independent study and students will be expected to show evidence of the planning and management of their projects.

What are the entry requirements?

Entry onto this course is through a successful interview with portfolio of work. Additionally, we will normally expect applicants to have one of the following qualifications and minimum of 64 UCAS points:

  • Pre-Degree Foundation in Art and Design
  • A Levels (Grade A-C) in a relevant subject
  • BTEC Level 3 qualification, grade Merit or above

Students are also accepted who have appropriate non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience. Applications are welcome from mature students with appropriate experience. Mature students who do not fall into one of the above categories will be invited to attend an informal interview at which their previous learning, industrial experience, needs and aspirations can be thoroughly explored. If it is felt that they are in a position to benefit from the course, they will be offered a place.

Direct entry to the second year is possible for suitably qualified applicants.

View Additional Entry and Selection Criteria

What can I do if I complete this course?

Students who successfully complete this Foundation Degree may choose to complete a further one year of study to gain a full honours degree and will be offered a guaranteed interview for any relevant Honours Top up programme at the Hugh Baird University Centre. Alternatively, they may wish to apply for a top up year at another higher education institution or progress directly into their chosen career path.

Career Path

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

  • photojournalism
  • editorial
  • studio still life
  • portraiture
  • landscape
  • fashion or architectural photography
  • picture research
  • gallery and technical support


Two years, full time or three 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:

  • £8,000 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 one year BA (Hons) Top Up in Digital Imaging and Photography at level 6 as progression from 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 Monday, 17 July 2017 09:54

£500 Bursary Gift

For new first year full time Foundation Degree students. Terms apply. Find out more.

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