module specification

FA5008 - Professional Practice 1: Photography (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Professional Practice 1: Photography
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Technical Tasks
Coursework 50%   Professional Practice folder (including website and CV)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

FA5008 Professional Practice 1: Photography enables the mastery of practical and psychomotor skills in contemporary photography practice, based on learning by doing, thinking through making and facilitating by networking. The module builds on the key technical skills and concepts introduced at Level 4, now providing students with a sustained and in-depth engagement with the world of work in photography by asking students to self-organise for contact with a photography audience or photography buyers. Technical competence is enhanced and advanced while exploring the range and application of photography practice in the realisation of group and individual projects.

The FA5008 Professional Practice 1: Photography module serves and sustains an award in the BA Photography course only, delivered in a seamless and integral relationship with the work of other core modules on Level 5. Students are expected to investigate and develop critical and aesthetic working relationships between and across the Level 5 modules.

The module aims to enable students to develop key subject-specific skills and knowledge in the concepts and principles of photography only, as they apply to the world of work in that discipline. Through mastering the organisation of cameras, photography equipment, materials and post-production workflow, this module’s objectives are to enable students to develop the key cognitive skill of applying what is learned in the photography studio to novel situations in the presentation and display of work to new audiences or a wider public. The module also aims to provide students with work-related learning about websites to develop that wider public and those new audiences, with a view to creating a sustainable legacy of career assets to aid employability.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


At the beginning of the module, its aims and key concepts will be outlined to all students. Afterwards, there will be sessions on the application of different processes in the service of mastering methods of enquiry and processes in photography (LO1).

A series of sessions will then be used to test mastery of the operation of digital and analogue cameras (LO2).

In parallel, time will be assigned to each student to acquire excellence in the post-production of images quickly and accurately using the complex aspects of photo-editing software (LO3), before perfecting the finishing of printing complex digital and analogue photographic prints (LO4).

Some sessions will be dedicated to each student creating and compiling image and text content for the publication of a website featuring their photographs (LO5) with a link to the student’s employment Curriculum Vitae.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to (and to have the opportunity to) continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module, students should be able to:

1. apply different concepts and methods of enquiry and processes to new solve new problems by experiment and testing in the world of art or photographic work;
2. master the operation of digital and analogue cameras in complex ways with automatic skill and high co-ordination;
3. excel in post-production of images quickly and accurately using the complex aspects of photo-editing software;
4. perfect the production of complex digital and analogue photographic prints with great precision and high accuracy;
5. create a professional, public website featuring photographs, linking to a CV describing education, work experience, skills and responsibilities.

Assessment strategy

This module's assessment will firstly be of technical tasks. The technical tasks are set in this module's Weblearn site and will consist of set digital and analogue camera skills and image post-production skills. Secondly, a Professional Practice folder will be submitted to Weblearn with a link to a standalone external website built by the photography student, featuring their own work and linking to an employment CV. Submission will be by hand-in and digital files on Weblearn by summative assessment deadline.

The assessment strategy includes formative assessments throughout the Level, with tutorial feedback designed to encourage and help students to develop and improve their work. These inform the student of their progress over the course. An interim review offers a specific opportunity to reflect on the work in relation to the module’s learning outcomes and this together with finished project work and supporting material will inform the assessment panel at the summative assessment at the end of the Level.

Students will evaluate their own learning on the module using the criteria published below and write a short critical evaluation (summary statement) of their work. This will provide the basis for discussion at the assessment feedback session after the formal coursework assessment has taken place.

Summative assessment takes place at the end of the module. Written feedback addresses the strengths and weaknesses of individual presentations in relation to the grading criteria.

Work will be assessed against the learning outcomes in relation to the following criteria:

• Appropriate use of research methods and enquiry
• Quality of analysis and interpretation
• Knowledge of and relevance to the subject of Photography
• Quality of communication and presentation
• Appropriate use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
• Management of own learning and personal professional development


Core Textbooks:
Bendandi, L. (2015) Experimental Photography: A Handbook of Techniques, London: Thames & Hudson.
Benjamin, W. (2015) On Photography, London: Reaktjon Books
Davis, H.(2009) The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-processing, London: Focal Press
Freeman, M. (2011) The Digital SLR Handbook, Sussex: Ilex
Hacking, J. and Campany, D. (2012), Photography: The Whole Story, London: Thames & Hudson

Other Textbooks:
Bull, S. (2009) Photography, London: Routledge
Fox, A. and Caruana, N. (2012) Basics Creative Photography 03: Behind the Image: Research in Photography, London: AVA Publishing
Fontcuberta, J., Parr, M., Kessels, E., Cheroux, C., Shimd, J. (2013), From Here On: Postphotography in the Age of the Internet and the Mobile Phone, Barcelona: RM Verlag
Fried, M. (2008) Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before Boston: YUP
Higgins, J. (2013), Why it does not have to be In Focus: Modern Photography Explained, London: Thames & Hudson
Jaeger, A-C. (2010)  Image Makers, Image Takers: The Essential Guide to Photography by those in the Know, London: Thames and Hudson
Short, M. (2011) Basics Creative Photography 03: Behind the Image: Context and Narrative, London: AVA Photography

Afterall, London: UAL
Aperture, New York: Aperture Foundation
Art Newspaper
British Journal of Photography

International Center of Photography,
Electronic Arts Intermix
ArtSTOR digital library

Electronic Databases:
ARTbibliographies Modern, Proquest

Social Media Sources:
Cass BA Photography, @thecassphoto
Self Publish, Be Happy, @selfpublishbehappy
Counter Edditions, @countereditions
Aperture Foundation, @aperturefnd
ICA London, @icalondon