Skip to content

Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)

What is Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)?

On our Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree you’ll learn many aspects of being a professional photographer, including how to portray stories with your photos, how to utilise photography to shine a light on contemporary issues and how to have a successful career as a published photographer.

Throughout the course, you will be pushed and challenged to go further, expanding your skillset and portfolio. You’ll be taught by industry experts, with active experience in the sector. You’ll also learn from guest lecturers from across the world.

You will study a range of exciting modules giving you skills in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, Documentary Film Making, Commercial Photography, Self-Publishing, The Darkroom and be shown how to correctly exhibit your photography in a major gallery.

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

In your first year, you’ll work on-location at two local events, guided by our lecturers who will give you live feedback and advice whilst on location. You’ll be given on-the-spot picture briefs and will work in teams to fulfill the brief the same day, exactly like the briefs you could get from a picture editor in your professional career as a working photographer. You’ll develop skills to produce diverse photographic responses using both the street and the studio and we’ll teach you how to keep yourself legal and safe when photographing in the UK and beyond.

In your second year, we’ll help you to progress your photographic perspective, refining projects to fit your own professional passions and interests. You’ll begin learning how important commercial photography is to modern photojournalists and documentary photographers through a wide variety of in depth and exciting modules.

In your final year, you’ll get the chance to travel and produce work internationally with students producing critically acclaimed projects in destinations across the world. You’ll produce your professional portfolio and website showcasing your skills in photojournalism, documentary, commercial photography or in filmmaking.

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

Entry requirements

    • 96 – 120 UCAS tariff points, CCC – BBB at A levels, MMM – DDM at BTEC, or a Merit in your T-Level.

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

    • We welcome applicants with a pass in a relevant Foundation or Extended Diploma (Level 3 or 4).

    • 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. We accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas and make offers on an individual basis.

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 2023 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 £9,250 £15,450
Sep 2024 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

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’.

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.

Global publication opportunities

You’ll be given the opportunity to submit your photography to our own Picture Agency, Pathos Images. These photos are sent to all of the world’s newspapers and magazines ready for publication on your behalf, giving you the opportunity to become a globally published photographer from your very first day on the course.

The British Press Photographers Association

You’ll have the chance on the course to become an associate member of The British Press Photographers Association, and gain a mentorship from a working press photographer who are working on some of the biggest news stories worldwide.

Trophy Icon

Trips and experiences

You’ll be able to travel internationally with the course on field trips. Previous destinations have included trips to – Paris, Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Perpignan.

In your third year, you’ll have the opportunity to travel internationally to undertake your major photography project. During this trip, you’ll be provided with support and feedback from lecturers.


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

Keep Me Updated

Fill in the form below and we'll be in touch with Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons) updates, upcoming events and everything you need to know about university life.