Photography - Foundation Degree

Photography - Foundation Degree

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This course is validated by The Open University.


The Foundation Degree in Photography is delivered in the studios and darkrooms at the Park Lane Campus, as well as in the University Centre. The course is designed to enable you to find your own career trajectory in a range of photographic disciplines; be this documentary, fashion and portraiture, fine art or as a commercial photographer undertaking weddings and family portraits.


The course comprises of eleven modules (over both levels). Photographic Production Skills, Photographic Practice, Photographic Ideas and Concepts in the level 4; and in level 5 Contextualising Your Photographic Practice and Extended Photographic Project are at the heart of the course making up 50% or more on each level. During these modules you will be shown how to use natural and studio lighting on location and in the studio, different formats of camera, both analogue and digital; along with inspiration from a range of different photographers. The course provides a sound underpinning of photographic historic and contextual studies on each level (Photographic Discourse in level 4 and Contextualising Photography in level 5), as well as modules investigating the photographic industry. Students are expected to step up their work in the second year and to undertake work experience in the second year alongside their studies. Leeds City College operates a supportive pastoral program and encourage students to become individual practitioners. Class sizes are small, with a positive and friendly delivery, the course is taught eleven hours per week and this means that you are in a class with a tutor.


We feel that students should exhibit their work as much as possible, with students taking part in at least two exhibitions per year. The course offers a number of visiting speakers throughout the year, these have included Ian Beesley, Murat Özkasim, Juno Calypso, Danny North, Simon Roberts and John Angerson.


The course runs several trips each academic year, these have included: London, Paris, Budapest, Berlin and New York City. The focus of these trips is see engaging works at a range of galleries as well as to see and photograph different cultures. We also visit Art and Photography festivals including the Liverpool Look Festival and Derby Format Festival.


Staff who deliver on the course is a mixture of academic and practicing photographers. All staff are currently working on and exhibiting projects.


Photograph taken by Curtis Young, BA Top-Up student.

Duration 2 Years
Study mode Full Time
Start date 16/09/2019
Campus Quarry Hill Campus
Course code 72276-10
Fee £7,250 (per academic year)

What you learn

The modules you will study are designed to give you a grounding in photographic skill, processes, ideas and concepts. This is underpinned by academic, historical and contextual modules, with a focus on work related learning.


Level 4 (Year 1)

Introduction to the Photographic Industry (20 Credits)

Photographic Discourse (20 Credits)

Photographic Ideas, Concepts and Processes (20 Credits)

Photographic Practice Portfolio (20 Credits)

Photographic Production Skills (20 Credits)

Professional Development (20 Credits)


Level 5 (Year 2)

Collaborative Practice (20 Credits)

Contextualising Photography (20 Credits)

Contextualising Your Photographic Practice (20 Credits)

Extended Photographic Project (40 Credits)

Working in the Photographic Industry (20 Credits)



Benefits / Skills you will develop

The course is designed to build upon your previous knowledge and skills in photography developing your ideas through contextual studies; and preparing you for the photographic industry through work based sessions.


How you will be assessed

You will be assessed in a variety of modes. This will vary depending on the style of module, you will be expected to undertake written work in the form of blogs, workbooks and essays. Presentations and portfolio reviews, along with practical submissions.

Where is the course delivered (facilities / classrooms)

The course will be delivered at the Quarry Hill Campus.


Programme Specifications

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please see the following link:


Entry requirements

A typical offer would normally be made up of appropriate level 3 qualifications, such as full A levels or BTEC L3 Diploma. This could be translated as 2 x D at A level, or a Merit profile in a relevant BTEC National Diploma/Certificate, together with 5 of GCSE grades at C or above including English (Maths isn’t required). However, factors such as previous experience and performance at interview can support the application.

We welcome applications from mature candidates who may not have met the academic criteria, but can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application.

In the absence of formal learning qualifications applications are welcomed from persons who can demonstrate relevant work experience, including work in a voluntary capacity. 

The course structure actively supports claims for Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria. Speakers of other languages will need to possess an IELTS band score of 6.0 (with no-less than 5.5 in any one element) or a recognised English Level 2 qualification.

Students on the course will be expected to go on work placement as part of the programme of study.

All students are to present a portfolio and supporting academic text. This is undertaken during an interview or correspondence for distance applicants.

Additional Costs

There are additional costs associated with the practical elements of this programme, which may include:

  • Photographic film & paper
  • Printing costs
  • Framing and display of work
  • Optional trips and visits

These costs will be led by the nature of the work that you produce, however you will be expected to meet the costs of production of photographic projects.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for any of the Leeds City College full-time Higher Education programmes for 2019 entry, (unless otherwise stated) please do so via UCAS at

The UCAS code for this course is W640 and the Leeds City College institution code is L21.

What's next

On successful completion of the Foundation degree, you may wish to continue on to the one year BA (Hons) Photography Top-Up from which you would gain a full degree qualification.

Alternatively if you are wishing to consider a career as a freelance photographer, we work closely with the enterprise team within the college who offer mentorship for selected graduates to set up in business, which is ongoing for up to a year after graduation.

This has resulted in the opportunity of solo exhibitions and work with clients.

Campus Locations

Park Lane Campus

Park Lane
West Yorkshire
0113 3861997
Nearest train station
Leeds Central Station, 0.7 MilesWebsite

University Centre

Park Lane
West Yorkshire
0113 216 2406
Nearest train station
Leeds Central Station, 0.6 MilesWebsite

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