BA (Hons) Photography

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Start your journey as a contemporary, creative and intelligent photographer and gain experience in a vast range of photographic practices.

  • Napier code:


  • UCAS code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BA (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

This course is industry facing and provides the professional, technical, contextual and creative skills necessary for a career as a photographer.

You're encouraged to think critically and creatively, developing your skills so that you that you are able to convey your ideas through your practice.

As you progress you will increasingly define your own area of study. By identifying and working to your strengths, you'll develop an individual creative practice so that by graduation you'll be capable of a high standard of creative output.


Edinburgh Napier is extremely well resourced and we teach to a high technical standard. This is a means to an end in facilitating the translation of ideas through the art and craft of photography.

The course has recently moved to a newly-built specialist photography facility, which includes six fully-equipped photography studios, a black and white darkroom, high-end professional digital scanners and printers, portable photography lighting and a large range of cameras and camera equipment.

Recent graduates and students have been selected for commissions for the National Galleries of Scotland, 2014; Graduate Artists in Residence at Stills: Centre for Photography, Edinburgh, 2014; the Residency Workshops: Creativity and Photography at Fotofestiwal Lodz 2012; an Internship in the Curatorial Department of Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina, USA; the Documentary Photography Residency at the British School at Rome.

What you study

Year 1

  • Key technical concepts of photography
  • Creative techniques of photography
  • Research and communication skills
  • Introduction to the histories of photography

Year 2

  • Studio and environmental portraiture
  • Still life
  • Constructed photography
  • Editorial
  • Landscape
  • Histories and theories of photography

Year 3

  • Individually tailored photography projects to specific briefs
  • Advanced methodologies relevant to photography
  • Exhibiting, presenting, printing and digital distribution
  • Critical and analytical skills required to support research
  • International exchange opportunities

Year 4

You'll research, develop and produce a body of photographic work, portfolios of research, including a dissertation and engage with core professional development skills required for your career.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

You’ll be prepared for a position in the highly competitive media and creative industries in Scotland and around the world.

Students from the course are established in many areas of the industry and internationally.

Graduates enter the fields of freelance photography including advertising, architectural, commercial, editorial, fashion photojournalism, social photography. You could engage with public relations, act as a picture editor, work as a curator or give back through the widening areas of visual education.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

BBBC including English or other literary subject*. Art recommended.

A Level

BCC including English or other literary subject*. Art recommended.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre 2017: B1, B3, B3, B3 at HL including English or other literary subject*.

2017 onwards: H2, H3, H3, H3 at HL including English or other literary subject*.


Pass HNC in related subject with B in the graded unit.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades MMM (Merit, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

BTEC (QCF) Diploma

Minimum grades D*D (Distinction*, Distinction) in a related subject.

International Baccalaureate

27 points overall with 6,5,4 in HL subjects including HL English at 5.

Minimum year 2


Pass HND in related subject with Grade B in the graded unit.

*Literary subjects accepted are: Modern Studies, History, Psychology, Sociology, RMPS, Theology, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Latin and Classics.

Portfolio and interview also required for all years of entry.

Entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which students are normally considered. While the achievement of the entry requirements does not always guarantee a place, it will guarantee consideration. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio and admission and point of entry depends on the quality of the portfolio, and the results of an interview. After applying applicants will be provided with a set of portfolio guidelines and given a date by which to submit their portfolio.

Applications from mature students are welcomed and, where appropriate, the minimum entry requirements can be replaced by the recognition of prior learning and experience, such as knowledge and skills gained outside of formal learning situations.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students.Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol on our nursing courses (except Veterinary Nursing).

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,000
Overseas £13,740 £13,900

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

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