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Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)

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What is Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)?

Our Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree will give you the skills you need for a successful and rewarding career in photography by telling important stories. You’ll explore how photography can have an impact on peoples lives and how it can be used as a medium for change across the world. You’ll be inspired by our lecturers who are professional photographers in their own right, and by guest lecturers from the world of Photojournalism, Documentary, Landscape and Commercial Photography.

Our Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons) course scored 91% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2021.

You’ll use your passion and our support to develop a professional portfolio of photography to launch your career as a photographer and will study a range of exciting modules covering not just Photojournalism and Documentary Photography but also Documentary Film Making, Commercial Photography, Self-Publishing, The Darkroom and Exhibiting Photography. You’ll collaborate with fellow students to edit and publish your best work in an annual newspaper and be given the opportunity to enter The Tom Stoddart Award, our annual print competition judged by Tom Stoddart himself and Canon UK.

You’ll be able to travel internationally with the course on field trips, previous destinations include – Paris, Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Perpignan, together with UK field trips to London, Derby and Bristol.

Our Film Production & Photography courses are ranked in the top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction and career prospects by the Guardian University Guide 2022.

Study style

Throughout the course, you’ll learn by doing. In your first year, you’ll work on-location at two local events, develop skills to produce diverse photographic responses using both the street and the studio. In your second year, you’ll progress your photographic perspective, refining projects to your professional ambitions. In your final year travel internationally with students producing critically acclaimed projects in destinations across the world.

You will be assessed on practice-based and theory-based modules, supplemented by self-reflective analysis. You will receive clear and detailed audio feedback that will help you reflect on, and develop your strengths. This is supported by individual tutorials, seminars and workshops around business practice and professional development.

Get Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons) course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • 104 – 120 UCAS tariff points, BCC – BBB at A levels, MMM – DDM at BTEC, or a Merit in your T-Level.

      If you are using a combination of qualifications to achieve the required UCAS tariff points, they must either include at least 2 A levels, a BTEC or an equivalent qualification.

      Entry to this course is by interview. Check out our Interview Guide to learn what to expect and help you prepare.

    • English Language or Literature and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

    • This course is available with an integrated foundation year to help you prepare. A degree with an integrated foundation year starts your studies with a year spent learning the skills required to progress onto a full honours degree. You will develop valuable study skills, communication, team work and problem-solving techniques which help to build your confidence and prepare you for the rest of your course.

      Typical offers
      48 UCAS tariff points, DD at A levels, PPP at BTEC or a Pass in your T Level.

      Grade C/4 in English Language/Literature and Mathematics, or equivalent (e.g. Level 2 Functional Skills).

    • We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants, although some entry requirements may still apply for Professionally Accredited Courses. Also please note – some courses require several years of relevant work experience.

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Sep 2022 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 £9,250 £15,000
Sep 2023 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 TBC TBC

Possible careers

Graduates from our course move into a range of roles, both employed and freelance including for Getty Images, The Press Association, Mercury Press, South West News Service, The Tate, The Walt Disney Company, Saatchi and Saatchi, and Sony.

Other roles include forensic medical photography for The NHS, Teaching, and Exhibition Roles at The Imperial War Museum North.

Jobs include:

  • Press and Editorial Photographer
  • Forensic Photographer
  • Picture Editor
  • Documentary Photographer
  • Social Media Manager
  • Director of Photography
  • Film Maker
  • Brand Representative
  • Food Photographer
  • Landscape Photographer
  • Still Life Photographer
  • University Lecturer.

Industry links

Through the course, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement, with recent destinations including Magnum Photos New York, The Michael Hoppen Gallery, The Daily Mail, South West News Service and The Sunday Times.

You’ll benefit from our strong links with media professionals, our course network has links with organisations such as The Press Association, The British Press Photographers Association, The Association of Photographers and The Martin Parr Foundation and offers you the chance to undertake annual trips to Paris Photo, Tokyo and Berlin.

One of the UK's leading professionally-focused Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degrees

Our external examiner for this course reported: ‘The strengths in developing convincing narratives continues to be a feature of this course. The course team are making strategic partnerships with industry and respected professionals. Impressive. The course could well be a flag bearer for the University’.

Students on the MA Photography course looking into a camera

Engage with professional photojournalists and major documentary photographers

Through our extensive connections, you’ll have opportunities have your work recognised by photographers such as Tom Stoddart, Laura el Tantawy and others. You can also exhibit your work in London at our major end of year exhibition, Free Range, where you can expect major industry employers to see your photography.

A girl is holding a camera preparing to take a photo
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Ranked in the top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction and career prospects

Our Film Production & Photography courses are ranked in the top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction and career prospects by the Guardian University Guide 2022.


You’ll have the opportunity within the second year and third year to carry out work placements not only in Photojournalism and Documentary photography, but in other areas of the creative industries, in the UK or abroad.

We’ll help you find great placement(s) through our excellent contacts and growing reputation in the industry.

Previous placements include Magnum New York, GOST Books, The Guardian, Getty Images, Reuters Images, The ITN Archive and The Michael Hoppen Gallery.

"I’m a news photographer at The Press Association, the National News Agency for the UK and Ireland. I cover everything from royals and politics to sports."

“The Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree has been my foundation to my career with the lecturers and course alike helping me get a foot in the door to kick start my career. The professional practice module helps build industry connections and put what we learned into practice, mine being a couple of weeks at a regional news agency which ended in a full time job in my third year of University.

The output of our work is always of focus with each module, we worked as a tight knit group to produce a newspaper zine of our works and exhibited on and off, in the Gardens Gallery in Cheltenham. Culminating in a final major project which took myself and another course member to the refugee camp in Calais ‘The Jungle’, supported the whole time by the lecturers.”

Aaron Chown, Photojournalism and Documentary Photography student

A photography student poses for a photo at a stadium

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