Photography / English Literature

BA Photography / English Literature Code WQ63 Attend an Open Day Attend an Open Day

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

Studying Photography and English Literature at Aberystwyth University will allow you to develop proficiencies related to photographic image capture and reproduction in analogue and digital form, while exploring a wide range of literary texts from the early medieval period to the present day. You will gain research skills and a specialist knowledge of world literature, alongside practical competencies in an array of photographic dimensions. You will develop forms of expression and critical thinking, all grounded in a detailed and broad understanding of literary history and an applied knowledge of literary theory. Your practical, critical, theoretical and historical engagement with photography and literature throughout your degree will furnish you with a wide range of transferrable skills that are highly sought by employers.

Course Overview

Why study Photography and English Literature at Aberystwyth University? 

You will become part of a supportive and vibrant community of creative and critical thinkers, literary experts, and practising photographers. You will explore the connections between creative and critical thinking and develop a deep understanding of the relationship between professional practice and imaginative thought. You will learn from experienced staff, many of whom are published authors and internationally renowned photographers and curators.

You will benefit from access to the National Library of Wales (one of the UK’s five copyright libraries), which is adjacent to Penglais campus, and which holds a copy of all works published in the UK and holds the largest collections of portraits, maps and photographic images in Wales. You will have the opportunity to examine rare and original photographic prints from the collections of the National Library of Wales and the School of Art Museum.

The School of Art at Aberystwyth University has been awarded Accredited Museum Status by Arts Council England. This demonstrates that its collection care and management are at the highest standard.

In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in Mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.

Our Staff

Our teaching staff are practicing professionals. As exhibiting artists, publishing researchers and curators, they provide an informed and stimulating learning environment. This ensures that the skills you learn at the School of Art are practice orientated, relevant and applicable.

For further information, visit our individual staff profiles.

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules September start - 2022

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Studying Photography and English Literature at Aberystwyth University will allow you to develop your specialist technical knowledge while enriching your creative and cultural understanding of the world around you. The skills you acquire will afford you many career opportunities, including: Copywriter, Editorial assistant, Lexicographer, Librarian, Teacher, Information officer, Arts administrator, Magazine journalist, Newspaper journalist, Press photographer, Magazine features editor, Media researcher, Film/video editor and Web designer.

Course Content

What will I learn?

In the first year you will gain an awareness of the relevance of cultural, philosophical and historical contexts to the interpretation of literary texts and will develop an appropriate critical vocabulary for their analysis. You will also explore the language of photography and gain essential practical skills through the consideration of themes such as identity, environment, tradition and sense of place.

In the second year you will become acquainted with a range of theoretical approaches applicable to the practice of literary criticism. You will have the opportunity to delve into the literature of the periods that intrigue you, exploring their geographical and historical contexts, narrative techniques and genres. You will consider the debates surrounding contemporary photographic practice and acquire the critical apparatus to evaluate photographic imagery as an art form, while furthering your self-directed photographic practice.

In the third year, you will have the opportunity to explore a range of contemporary or historical literary works and explore the relationships between different theoretical approaches to literary criticism, while the dissertation module will allow to specialise in a particular area of interest. You will further refine your own photographic practice in preparation for an exhibition of your work in the Graduation Show.

How will I be taught?

This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, demonstrations, and practical sessions.

Your photographic portfolio of prints will be accompanied by your working notebooks detailing your process experiments, image plans, drawings, written and visual material, demonstrating both thematic and technical research and experimentation in technique, format and media. Additional forms of assessment may include essays, presentations and exams.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC, plus satisfactory portfolio

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM, plus satisfactory portfolio

International Baccalaureate:
30-28, plus satisfactory portfolio

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65%, plus satisfactory portfolio

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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