Photo © Chris Rydlewski 2016
City of Bristol College
FdA in Professional
(in partnership with
The emphasis of our course is strongly vocational and we maintain and develop strong links throughout the imaging industry.
We are active members of the Association of Photographers (AoP) our national professional organisation.
In addition, we take great pride in our support of more academically inclined students. This has led to 7 of our progressors (those who went on to study to full BA Hons) gaining First Class Honours at Plymouth University, UWE and the University of East London over the past 8 years.
We welcome both full time and part time students.
Full time students follow a two year programme of study attending two days per week.
Part time students follow a three year programme of study. We aim for you to attend one day per week wherever possible. However with the structure of the course you may need to attend some sessions as + when they occur. You will need to be flexible regarding attendance.
Full and Part Time students study together other throughout the course. We have found this to be very successful both in terms of shared variety of experience and of the variety of individuals ambitions after the course.
Our academic year is 34 weeks – we follow university template of two semesters - on our course these are 17 weeks each, run over 3 terms (i.e. like schools - handy if, like us , you have children).
End of Semester 1 is in January and the end of Semester 2 is toward the end of June.
Method of study:
- seminars (these are the cornerstone of what we do!)
- tutorials (we take great pride in the accessibility of our staff)
- lectures and workshops (both in small manageable group)
- a programme of visiting lecturers covering a broad range of the imaging industry, including alumni from the course
- active briefs and practical exercises, field trips, visits to industry partners etc, all linked to current industry practice
- we work with industry partners, such as Bristol 24/7, Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol Civic Society.
- visits to galleries, exhibitions and talks
- exhibiting in the public arena - in both years you will exhibit in public.
- independent learning – you are responsible for your learning and should be proactive in that process - we are here to support that.
Modules: see separate section of website - return to Course Info and click Modules
Our criteria for assessing work fall into 4 categories:
Reviews by your peers as well as staff – the first stage of the formal assessment process is students assessing and giving constructive feedback on peers work. This will happen at various stages before the hand-in deadline.
Our assessment is followed up with an assessment tutorial where we discuss your work in depth with you, one-to-one. Our intention is to make the assessment process transparent and active, as well as rigorous. Our aim is for you to fully understand and (hopefully) concur with the marks and feedback given.
This method has proved popular with both students and staff, and has been praised by our previous two External Examiner's
We determinedly do NOT have a 'house-style'. We are here to support your development as a photographer (or whatever – stylist, assistant, curator, academic etc).
We take great pride in the comment of a previous External Examiner, John Bigglestone, who commented on our support of individual students noting that we offer “signposts not tramlines”.
This underpins our ethos in developing your practice.