Foundation Degree in Photography

The Foundation Degree in Photography at Coleg Y Cymoedd, Nantgarw is a full-time, two-year course, awarded by the University of South Wales. In addition, we offer a part time route, delivered over four years, please contact us for more details. Students are encouraged to complete a final year at the Atrium, University of South Wales to achieve a full honours degree. Students who wish to study at Nantgarw will have access to the University facilities (including the library and student union) and they will be able to attend guest speaker talks, allowing an overall integrated experience.

This course will give students a wide range of creative and technical photographic skills through stimulating assignments, including digital photography, extensive studio and location work (including field trips) and traditional silver-based film photography. Regular visits are made to local museums and galleries in London to inspire students and to ensure they are examining the way in which various artists and photographers work.

What Will I Learn?

The course is designed to ensure that students gain the right skills, experience and confidence to apply for relevant jobs within the creative industries and/or to understand how to apply these skills to their own business on completion of the course.

Students will gain a sound knowledge of the history of photography and of modern developments. There is a strong emphasis on practice, with varied and interesting assignments in photojournalism, documentary photography, fashion photography, studio photography, landscape photography, commercial photography, fine art approaches and alternative photographic styles. At the end of the course students should be able to: • Gain an understanding of photography as an art form and/or as a career pathway • Learn how to use the camera to its full potential i.e. manual settings and equipment needed for specific purposes • Understand image editing and post production techniques • Gain knowledge of photography from a historical and contemporary point of view • Develop opportunities to achieve a career in photography • Make photographic industry links whilst undertaking ‘live’ briefs and work-based learning projects The Foundation Degree in Photography aims to provide students with a high quality teaching and learning experience that is relevant to creative industries for contemporary practice. It is important that students have a clear understanding of the history of photography and recognise how to develop subject specific knowledge appropriate to the application of Photography and the changing environment in which it operates.

Entry Requirements

Students will require 48 UCAS points, this is the equivalent of • 2 A Levels (at Grade D or above) or • a relevant BTEC Level 3 qualification with a Merit/Pass for a Level 3 Diploma or a Pass/Pass/Pass for a Level 3 Extended Diploma or • relevant industrial experience. Entry to the final top up year for the BA (Hons), delivered at University of South Wales will be on successful completion of the Foundation Degree.

We are interested in creatives that are enthusiastic and who demonstrate a strong commitment to the visual arts. Those without such qualifications are considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. All applicants will receive a portfolio-based interview where they will be required to show photographic skill and competence in using a Digital SLR.


Students are assessed through completion of assignment based coursework, essay writing, presentations, portfolio and practical work, reflective journal (online and physical), reports and assessed participation in group tasks, ‘live’ briefs and work place activities. Deadlines are spread throughout each year. Students will receive details of the assessment requirements during each module with a deadline for submission.

Career Progression

As a professional photographer, possibly self-employed, students may choose to specialise in an area such as fashion, advertising, editorial, documentary, industrial, scientific or even forensic photography. Roles exist in creative businesses, publishers and photographic agencies, or in the education or public sector - these may include photography curator, photographic distributor, picture researcher or photographic studio assistant.

Further Notes

This course runs 2 days a week 9:00am-4:00pm.
You will need your own Digital SLR (preferably with interchangeable lenses) for this course. In addition, you will be required to purchase other materials such as: Memory cards, tripod, camera bag, USB drives, sketchbooks/files and an A3 portfolio.

Some of these materials can be purchased in our Art Shop at a student-discounted rate. As part of the requirements for different Modules you will also be required to purchase your own prints. Your Module Leader will advise you on the best places to get your photographs printed.

The Foundation Degree Photography staff encourages learners to build their own photographic profile by entering competitions and sharing their general day-to-day work via social media.

Follow our social accounts to see our showcasing of learners work and general day to day.

Instagram: cycphotonantgarw

Facebook: CYC Photography

No applications from overseas non-EU students

HE Fees are subject to change
Information for UCAS and Student Finance Wales
Creative Industries (Photography)
Course Code: W640
Institution Code: W01

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Course Details
Level:Level 5
Mode:Full Time
Start Date:16/09/2024
Course Code:06F504NA
HE Tuition Fee Year 1: £7500
Studio Fee: £100

Please note: Fees are payable for each year of study.

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Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


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CF40 2TQ

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Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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