Photography: Editorial and Advertising (BA Hons)

Woman and man dancing by Dani Bower

Study mode



3 Years (Full-Time)


Centre for Art and Photography, Cheltenham

Please note: from September 2019, this course will be known as Professional Photography for the Creative Industries.

Winner of the Course of the Year award (Association of Photographers student awards 2018).

Learn from photographers who have worked for Vogue, Tatler and Getty Images. You will have ample opportunity to work with big brands, with recent collaborations including Converse, Superdry, AllSaints, SHOWstudio and Lululemon Athletica.  Students have produced and exhibited work in Milan, New York, Shanghai and Vancouver.

This course incorporates all forms and genres of still and moving-image making – from fashion to music, sports to food, interiors to celebrity, beauty to travel, and more. You will learn from leading industry professionals and gain high-profile professional contacts. Developing your own industry-facing portfolio, you will be able to gain live commissions while studying.

You'll hear from practitioners in lectures including internationally-recognised photographers, make-up artists, magazine editors, retouchers and art directors. Recent guests include the Condé Nast creative director Fiona Hayes as well as photographers Chris Floyd, Peter Dench, Niall McDiarmid, David Eustace and Ciara Leeming. An exciting field trip to VanArts in Canada will further inspire you, with students previously receiving live briefs from international brands while there. There are also trips to London and Paris Photo.

In your first year you'll be supported to explore moving and still image and develop retouching skills while discovering the subjects and styles you're passionate about.

Year two is all about building your skills and creativity in a professional context. You’ll create your own portfolio website in preparation for securing work experience matched to your career aspirations.

In your final year you’ll source your own commission and develop your business know-how. You’ll learn everything you need to know about setting up as a freelancer photographer. To mark the end of your degree, you’ll exhibit your work at your end-of-year degree show in London that attracts creative employers from across the UK. This has included photographers Jonathan Gregson, David Eustace, SHOWstudio, production house StanleyPost, TaylorJames, The Forge & art directors from Hearst & IPC magazines.

You can find out more about the Photography staff and see student work on our blog

Get Photography: Editorial and Advertising course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Study style

The course is designed to give you the creative skills and business know-how you need to be outstanding as a professional photographer. Assessment includes coursework, workbooks, portfolios, exhibitions and industry placements.   Our equipment is among the best in the industry – Canon and Nikon DSLR's, and Hasselblad and Mamiya medium format digital cameras.  You will use Capture One Pro, Premier Pro and Photoshop for post-production work.   You will benefit from three well-equipped studios as well as traditional darkrooms, black and white printing equipment, an open-access digital suite with Macs and dedicated teaching spaces.

Course modules

Take a look at the course map for a breakdown of modules that you'll study to complete the course.

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2019 entry*

112 tariff points

Typical offers

BBC at A levels, DMM at BTEC or use a combination of your qualifications to achieve the required tariff total.

2019 UCAS tariff table

Mature Applicants: We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants. To find out more, please email our enquiries team.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country. If you do not meet the academic and English language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO University of Gloucestershire, which will help to prepare you for study on this degree. INTO University of Gloucestershire is based at our Park campus and offers a range of courses including International Foundation Art, Design and Media and International Year One Art, Design and Media.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required. If you don't meet your tariff points total we may still consider your application. Please email our admissions team for further information.

* Selection by portfolio and interview. Please refer to the interview guide for further information.


See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

UCAS codes

UCAS codes available for this subject
BA (Hons) - 3 years full-timeW640


  • Professional photographer
  • Picture/photo editor
  • Stylist
  • Image retoucher
  • Photographic agent
  • Shoot producer

Profile photo of Mark Brown

Student Focus

Mark Brown

I'm a photographer at SuperDry. I love the variety of my work, shooting products, people and catwalk shows!

My favourite topic on my degree was digital manipulation and editing. It’s been hugely useful in my career. In my first year, we went back to basics with film to understand camera mechanics. Our lecturers were brilliant. They were motivating and creative with industry experience. We were a close-knit student community. Our final year photography show was in Covent Garden, London. Professionals from Canon and Phase One came. I exhibited light painted images from my final year project.

Industry links

We have extensive global links with book and magazine publishing houses, galleries, advertising agencies, photography festivals and photographic events. Global brands we have worked with include Converse (China), Superdry (UK), Specialized (US) and Lululemon (Canada). Placement opportunities have included working at magazines and newspapers such as InStyle, Mail on Sunday, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. Many students get commissions from their placement organisations while studying and move into full-time work with them on graduation. Students also gain valuable experience meeting and assisting photographers and exhibiting work in London, Milan, Paris, New York, London, Shanghai and Vancouver.

Profile photo of Sharon Harper

Staff Profile

Sharon Harper

“After moving to the UK I spent several years in the commercial world working in marketing, before returning to study aesthetics, specialising in the relationship between art and celebrity. While studying for my PhD I investigated the production and distribution strategies employed by punk and new wave artists in downtown New York from 1976-1984. The crossover between art and commercial media is a particular area of interest for me, especially in the realm of commercial, commissioned photography. My current research involves a reappraisal of photography theory, advocating the development of genre and industry analysis.”

photo by Kasia Fisze

Creative Skillset-accredited

The only UK-based photography editorial and advertising course to receive the Creative Skillset accreditation - the creative industry hallmark for excellence. Our students graduate as highly employable professionals with the ability to carve out successful freelance careers.

photo by Liam Clarke

One of the UK's leading professionally-focused BA photography degrees

Our external examiner reported ‘the standards shown here at the University of Gloucestershire must be among the highest in the field of commercial-learning BA photography courses’.

Photography work, Oysters

Engage with the world of professional photography

Through our extensive connections, you'll have exciting opportunities to work on live briefs from top global brands such as Converse, Specialized and Superdry. You can also exhibit your work abroad in locations such as Shanghai and Vancouver.

Keep me updated

Fill in the form below and we'll be in touch with Photography: Editorial and Advertising updates, upcoming events and everything you need to know about university life.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414

The Association of Photographers