Further Academic Study


When considering how to best explore development of my final major project, it was important to know for what purpose any immediate work would have for my own future prospects.

This project is tailored towards both showcasing my development throughout my two years of studying contemporary art practice and to enhance my portfolio for further academic study.

I am looking to progress to either a photographic related top-up year or complete two years of a three year bachelors. Before I decide on which course is suitable for my development I wanted to discuss both my options and the course with related faculty members and course tutors.


To do this I attended the UCAS Design your future event in London on 10 November 2015. This event brings together all the educational establishments that offer art and design related courses. It was great to meet students and tutors from an array of areas across the UK and the different courses available to students.

I gained some valuable contacts to pursue further and look forward to open days ahead.

I decided some months ago to research possible options for further study. Out of the many establishments I looked at these are the 5 that I have selected, outlining the course and general outline of what is beneficial to me and future employment options in the industry.


Saturday 14th November 2015 – Open Day


BA (Hons) Art & Design Media Practice (one year top-up)
Having spoken to the course lecturer and touring the facilities, I had a good understanding of what the course could offer me personally and for future development. This one year top up course is designed to ready students for employment within the digital design industry. Projects are designed to deepen understanding of international design and provide students with organisational and visual communication skills. There was more emphasis on media as a whole rather than strictly photographic processes, using film to convey a message is an intriguing one and something that may evolve from my own photographic work.
The creative industries is heavily influenced by digital media and design and I feel moving forward this could be a viable option for me, however I still want to explore photographic courses that look into contemporary practices.


Key points

  • Explore areas such as editing, moving image and animation,        photography, film making, image manipulation, graphic design    and web design.
  • Benefit from specialist equipment and facilities including High      Definition (HD) cameras, editing suites, performance and            motion-capture technology, and television and sound recording    studios.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest production techniques and new    media developments, using industry-standard technology and      production facilities.
  • Submit your work for external design competitions.
  • Exhibit your work in your final year at our Degree Show in            Nottingham.


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Saturday 21st November 2015 – Open Day

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Documentary Photography

BA (Hons) Creative Industries (one year top-up)

A few months back the college received some correspondence from Paul Reas, Course Leader of Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales. I took the information and started to explore this as an option. The course sounded really interesting and relatable to my recent concepts throughout my course.

I attended the open day as they have several courses that cater towards my photographic preferences. It was important that I attended to discuss with tutors which course would be most beneficial to me and my circumstances.

After a brief tour of the campus and studios I attended an hour and a half lecture talking about the courses available in photography.

The photography course explores both digital and traditional photographic techniques. Subject areas will include fashion, advertising photography, the photographic arts and the use of technologies associated with the subject. Studying of the historical importance of photography through critical and cultural reference. I felt that it had some great connections to industry and work place experience that would be beneficial to moving forward, also helping to develop my individual style.

The documentary photography course looks into traditional documentary and photojournalism practices with visual culture. It was a great talk that really helped me to establish connections between my own work and that of what is explored throughout this course. Working with industry practitioners such as Martin Parr, who’s exhibition ‘Black Country Stories‘ I visited in the summer is a great evolution of my own practice and to get some real experience from related photographers is a must for future development.

At the end of the talk I discussed my options of study with Paul Reas and he explained that the top up course would be a third year practical year and it may be beneficial to look at joining the second year of one of the other courses.

Studying an optional two years is an option I will explore and will be able to make a decision once I have seen the other universities and course options that are available to me.



Saturday 28st November 2015 – Open Day

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Photography (Top-up)

After attending a campus tour and introduction to the university I went to the photography talk at 11am. It was interesting to see some of the direct comparisons with my current degree program and that of Southampton Solents photography course, which would give me a better option of transferring some of my current units to this course.

Transferable practices such as:

  • Learning methods integrate theory and practice, allowing            students to develop their critical thinking and photographic          practice hand in hand.
  • The course encourages experimentation. Through this,                students develop their creative and problem solving skills to        become flexible, responsive and enterprising.

There is a range of expertise within the faculty which they hope encourages diverse working practices. They also have key links to industry, giving students chance to pitch for real clients and agencies such as Magnum Photos, and is affiliated to the Association of Photographers in London (The AOP).

They actively encourage submission to competitions and have produced students that have gone on to win an array of accolades including a Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus Programme 2015 finalist; an Association of Photographers award winner; a LPA Award winner; and a winner of the the Photographers’ Gallery annual graduate competition, ‘Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed’.

Career paths from this course are varied and include in-house photography; freelance photography (for fashion, editorial or commercial clients); photojournalism; art direction; post-production; picture editing, research; photo shoot production, positions within the gallery and museum sector; and teaching. Many graduates go on to postgraduate study, pursuing PGCE, MA and PhD qualifications.

90.5% of graduates go on to either full time employment or further study within 6 months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2015).

Regular lectures are often supported by a programme of industry guest speakers, which in the past have included appearances from Richard Billingham, Catherine Yass, Charlotte Cotton, Ori Gersht, Brian Dillon, Peter Fraser, Dan Holdsworth, Chrystel Lebas, Jeremy Millar, Sophy Rickett, Margaret Salmon and Tom Hunter.

This course really related to my own current practice and showed me the next step in my development. Links with contemporary art practice as a whole will really help me to explore the most out of this course and my self critical analysis should compliment. I spoke to the lecturers after who advised me to explore both options of a top up and second year entry.


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Saturday 5th December 2015 – Open Day

BA (Hons) Photography

BA (Hons) Contemporary Art Practice

I decided to explore both options of both photography and continuation of contemporary art practice. The contemporary art practice course would be a great transition from my two years of current study to the final third year of this course.

However I still feel that as much the positives of working with mixed media and encouragement of multidisciplinary specialisms. I believe that I wish to pursue the photographic field more closely, I am still learning and developing as a photographer and joining a third year course such as this would not challenge me and push my own photographic work.

After a campus tour I went to view the third year photography studio. They had an array of work laid out for visitors to browse through, from first and second year journals to third year development of their end of year work. It was interesting to see the range of different styles, documentary, fashion, fine art and practical based imagery. I spoke to the course tutor directly to discuss my options, she added that critical analysis of your own work is key which I feel translates to what I am doing currently, I also added that I would need further teaching on basic processes with analogue techniques and other processes and whether this would be an issues, she advised that many second year students are still learning these processes. I took her email for future contact and then went to finish the day at the photography seminar.

The course is designed to prepare those students for employment, the area has one of the largest creative sectors outside of London. The course has links with industry and pushes students to question their themes and imagery. Class sizes are small which creates a more intense relationship with the tutors. Only 30 new students are successful and within that there are 4 tutors available and in studio most of the time. This was great to hear, having that direct access to tutors to discuss ongoing work and development is something that would benefit me greatly moving forward and finding my own style and market area.



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