"You take the first picture fast in case you don't get the second." - Grace Robertson

At a Glance

  • Held at Centre for British Photography, London
  • Tuesdays 10:00 - 11:30
  • 5 weeks from 7 February 2023
  • Tutor: Dr James Hyman
  • Fees from £180 to £200
Booking link

This class is run in partnership with the Centre for British Photography

In January 2023 London will see the opening of the new Centre for British Photography in central London. This will be the first space of its kind dedicated to British photography.

The Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial College London is pleased to be partnering with the Centre for British Photography on a special five week course, looking at the history of British photography.

On the course we will make extensive use of the Centre's unique archive of photographs, at of the heart of which lies the Hyman Collection, one of the world's major collections of British photography.

With a core focus on the development of British photography in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, this course will take us on a journey from the pioneering photo-journalism of Picture Post magazine before the Second World War, to the work of recent practitioners such as Heather Agyepong and Natasha Caruana.

We are particularly delighted that the course will be taught by the Founding Director of the Centre for British Photography, Dr James Hyman, who is not only a distinguished art historian, but the key driving force behind the development of the Centre and its exhibition programme. With his knowledge of photography and photographic history, this will effectively be a masterclass in looking at the different manifestations of this art form.

The five classes will all be taught at the premises of the Centre for British Photography in Piccadilly, in central London. No previous experience of photography, the history of photography or any other academic discipline is needed, with everyone welcome to join the course.

Class Recordings

These classes are not recorded


Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

Course Programme and Additional Reading

Course Programme (subject to possible change)

  1. An introduction to the Centre and a tour of the opening exhibition, The English at Home. Domestic photographs from The Hyman Collection

  2. Picture Post magazine and its Legacy (1930s-1950s)

  3. A Day Off. Documentary Photography (1960s-1980s)

  4. Women in Photography, including a tour of Headstrong. self-portraiture and empowerment. A Fast Forward: Women in Photography exhibition

  5. Contemporary British Photography, including tours of recent works by Heather Agyepong and Natasha Caruana.

Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading for this course.

Your Tutor - Dr James Hyman

Dr James Hyman is an art historian, art dealer and the Founder-Director of the Centre for British Photography. He received his PhD from the Courtauld Institute (University of London) and is a leading authority on Twentieth Century British art, especially the painters of the  ”School of London”. His doctorate on the subject was published as The Battle for Realism. Figurative Art in Britain during the Cold War (Yale University Press, 2001). He is a Trustee of the Hyman Foundation and is the Founding Director of the Centre for British Photography.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 7.5 5 £200   (£26.60 p/h)
£180   (£24 p/h) £190   (£25.30 p/h)
All fee rates quoted are for the whole course. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only, it is not possible to pay pro-rata hourly rates.


Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Available to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Students, staff and Governors of Woodhouse College and the IC Mathematics School

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Co-operative College members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
  • Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
  • Friends of the Royal College of Music
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Friends and Family Scheme

This course is eligible for the  allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksSpring termSummer termSummer School
 7.5  5 Tuesday 7 February until Tuesday 7 March 2023 n/a n/a
* This is a one-term course

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment opens 30 November 2022

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of this course please contact the Adult Education Programme Manager, Dr Michael Paraskos, at m.paraskos@imperial.ac.uk 

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Adult Education Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, at eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk