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Photography and film courses

Whether you are interested in creating still images (photography) or moving images (film) you will need to learn a mix of creative and technical skills. Photography courses include composing and taking photographs and digital or darkroom techniques to manipulate images. Film courses can include directing and camera work, sound and lighting as well as post-production techniques, such as editing, colouring and visual effects. Alternatively, on film studies courses you can study the history and social impact of cinema.

Studying photography and film at university

Example course modules

  • Production skills
  • Creative ideas for film and television
  • Film and television: history and contexts
  • Storytelling for the screen
  • Representation and construction in photography
  • Society and media
  • Professional and reflective practice
  • The business of film and TV
  • Portraits
  • First fictions

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 57%
    Male : 43%
  • Mature : 19%
    School leaver : 81%
  • Full-time : 97%
    Part-time : 3%

What students say about photography and film

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • Photography
  • Art
  • Design technology
  • Media studies

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
It's been a difficult recession for this subject, so unemployment rates are currently looking quite high overall, with salaries on the lower side – and recovery may be long and slow for these graduates. But even despite the figures, most graduates are working after six months, and the most common jobs are in the arts – as photographers, audio-visual technicians, operators and designers, as directors, as artists and as graphic designers. Training in presenting sound and graphics is useful in other industries as well, so you can find graduates in advertising, in business management, in events management and in web design and IT. Be aware that freelancing and self-employment is common in the arts, as are what is termed 'portfolio careers' – having several part-time jobs or commissions at once.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Artistic, literary and media occupations

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Video editor
  • Professional photographer
  • Broadcasting production assistant

Other real-life job examples

  • Interactive media designer
  • Marketing assistant
  • Multimedia web designer

What employers like about this subject

The study of photography and film will help you to learn a range of subject-specific skills, including the use of audio-visual technology; how to plan, develop and realise creative works and a grounding in the theory of photography and/or film. Transferable skills you can gain from film and photography degrees include communication skills, commercial awareness, self-motivation and flexible and independent working, and these skills are sought after by employers from industries such as film, publishing, television, public relations, photography, design, computing, education and the arts.