To anyone who has ever considered, or even certain on photography, and think its best to start your hobby/career in photography by signing up to a college or university course, I have something to say that could really benefit you in the long run.
Dont do it, photography is an art, a skill, a flare of your imagination and personality, it CANNOT be taught! Not under any circumstance can it be.
A lecturer/tutor can tell you what to do, they can show you how to set up your camera, your lighting, the client and even give you inspiration, but thats not going to make you create an image that will work out.
I have seen so many examples of students doing the highest form of education within photography, and they cant take a decent shot still, they leave with an amateurish portfolio that not only wont attract much work (organically), but will also over saturate the business for the tried and tested photographers, who will inevitably loose clients due to cheaper quotes from these said graduates.
Whats my point to this?
Do yourself due diligence and learn the way it should be learned, buy a camera, I dont care if its a second hand £25 fuji point and shoot from the early 00's, an Olympus OM10 film camera from the 80s or the latest DSLR, (although entry level cameras do help beginners, the over simplified auto modes, will never help you grow, start off with something that has no auto for the best learning curve)
Buy the camera, use it, thats it!
Take it when you walk the dogs, take it when you go the beach with the guys,, set ideas and goals and experiment, buy photography magazines for ideas and tips, they always inspire some sort of project shot, from star trails to food photography.
Soak it up, learn, buy new kit when you can afford it, you'll know when you have outgrown a lens or a camera, it wont be able to give you the creativity you seek once you reach a certain level of understanding.
Just go out and shoot!
I have recently reviewed a honours student work who uses decent DSLR cameras, and I can honestly say a friend of mine who enjoys taking arty shots with a phone camera is producing better shots, in both a technically sound way, and an artistic perspective, should it be this way?
Photography like most art forms, cannot be taught.
So learn and discover by your own esteem for a few years, then and ONLY then, if your career would require it, go for an university course, and get the degree, honours, masters etc that you need to further your career down the path you wish to go.
Remember, saying to a potential client, " I have a Honours degree in photography" will not win their mind when you cant produce a decent looking image to back it up, after all, you'd need the clients to pay back the 3 years of debt the course racked up!
However, tutoring is a helpful method of learning how to use a camera, and can give you a helpful push start in the right direction.
If you require photography tutoring, get in touch, my rates can be found in the services section of the site.