Commercial photography is needed in the 21st Century as much as any other time in the history of the medium. Everyone has a camera but not everyone is capable of making a brand, product, individual or landscape come alive with stunning commercial images. This degree in photographic practice provides superb facilities and industry practicing staff for an exceptional learning experience . Which will provide you with the technical and creative skills you need to become a successful practitioner in this industry. This means fulfilling client briefs on time and within budget - whilst producing stunning high-quality images.
This BA (Hons) degree in Commercial Photography is based on the integration of creative practice with practical skills. Designed to prepare you for employment in the creative imaging industry. Our course has been designed in consultation with professional practitioners, trade bodies, online content producers and industry partners. You will work in a purpose-built environment with industry approved digital equipment, software, techniques and studios.

A varied and intensive introduction allows you the opportunity to become technically competent and creatively aware with a broad range of relevant skills. In year one, you will be introduced to becoming fully competent in ‘Workflow’ for industry-standard studio and image management systems. This will be expanded on as you learn about commercial lighting and photography editing techniques both on location and in the studio. You will also study critical thinking and the history of image making.

In year two, you will explore different genres of this art form. Including fashion photography, advertising, product and e-commerce. Students will conduct in-depth investigations of advanced image enhancement and retouching skills for a range of outputs. As you progress you’ll be encouraged to develop your understanding of transferable skills. You will also begin the development of a physical and digital portfolio in your chosen specialist direction working towards your final year project and exhibition. Throughout the course, you will have access to Canon, Sony, Hasselblad, Phase One camera systems plus and a range of industry-standard photographic equipment. You will also use a fully equipped professional studio that is designed to prepare you for work.





Student Voice

Watch now to find out more about what it's like to study photography here at The Northern School of Art!


Senior Lecturer Jamie is programme Leader for BA Photography. He oversees and manages both the Commercial and Photographic Practice (with Moving Image) degrees. He also leads on several modules across the department that relate to his research profile documentary filmmaking and photographic research. He is currently an active member of the Northern School of Art Research and Scholarly Activity Group.


Lecturer Jill lectures on both the BA (Hons) Photographic Practice (with Moving Image) and the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography programmes. She leads the Research and Investigation module at level 4, the Professional Inquiry module at level 5 and the Professional Practice module at level 6, all of which have a focus on developing students’ professional practice in a photographic context. Jill is responsible for building and maintaining external links and organises events and a visiting lecture programme that provides a platform for students to engage with the wider photographic industry. She understands the challenges faced by emerging practicing photographers and the opportunities that exist for them after graduation. As a practicing documentary photographer Jill also leads the Photographic Medium and Message module at level 4. She is a member of The Northern School of Art Academic Board.
Technician Demonstrator Hollie is a Technician Demonstrator for all Photography programmes in the School, providing technical support and workshops to students at all levels, as well as providing workshops for other programmes that require photographic guidance. She is also a member of the Academic Board and works with the recruitment team on events across the country. Hollie was selected from a pool of photographers to shoot a campaign for New Balance in the Marble Quarries of Carrara, Italy. This campaign was advertised worldwide and the images were displayed in a wide range of formats. She has also recently been to Bangladesh on a social documentary project, following a filmmaker as he produced a short film about the ready-made garments industry in the developing world.



Photography lecturer and student featured in leading photography magazine

Nov 16 2020
The Northern School of Art‘s photography degree course leader, Jamie MacDonald, and second year photography deg...

Photography graduate used her creativity to get through lockdown

Nov 10 2020
Photography graduate Josephine Martin used her creative skills to share her experience of shielding during the first ...

Alumni Photography Student Jason Hynes Wins Portrait of Britain 2020

Sep 23 2020
Jason Hynes studied BA Hons Photography with us, graduating in 2007. He is now a successful photographer, recently wi...