Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Studying Photography at a college in the UK

University guide 2015: league table for film production and photography as found in The Guardian

We run courses aimed at recreational photographers, those people for whom photography is a wonderful creative activity, some people take our courses as a precursor to going to college and study photography in depth.

If you want to become a photographer it seems easy now, digital cameras do it all for you right, well wrong actually. Digital has made it easier for people with limited technical or visual skill to enter the market as a photographer and to work at a low level but if you want to succeed as a professional photographer you should consider going to college and studying as you would for any profession.  Where to Study Photography In The UK is another place to start looking, this new post featuring The Guardian lists a league table of the best colleges. For more information go here


Another take on this can be found from 2012 and an article by  Alex Hare in the Independent “The new academic year is almost upon us and as universities prepare to open their doors to the latest batch of students paying the highest fees in history for their education, we take a look at whether embarking on a photography degree is still a worthy option.

First, let’s consider why someone would want to study photography. I teach one morning a week at my local university and I ask all my year one students what they want to do when they graduate. Everyone says they want to be a photographer. Will they all graduate and instantly become professional photographers? No, and I’d eat my 70-200mm L Series lens if they did. Will some make it eventually? Yes, inevitably, and this doesn’t mean that, for the rest, the degree has been a waste. Not every history student becomes a historian, after all………….But, it’s taken me 10 years to get to where I want to be and Karen thinks a photography degree can drastically cut the time spent getting ‘Life Experience’ down; “a photography degree is not some glorified camera club, we interview and assess candidates before accepting them. We ensure we have the brightest, most committed students and in return we give them a genuine means to an end. The degree opens far more career doors than it shuts and they leave with enough technical knowledge to hold their own as well as a range of intellectual rigour, academic, political and ideological awareness that employers in any industry look for in any graduate…………I’m left wondering what a first year student can do then to give themselves the best possible chances of succeeding, whether they choose to become a photographer or enter a different career path on graduation. Karen says; “they have to live and breathe the subject, not just stroll in, do their lectures and go home. They have to put in time and effort to push their creativity and their intellect beyond what we’re teaching them.”” Read the full article here




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