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Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)

University of Gloucestershire

What is Photojournalism and Documentary Photography BA (Hons)?

On our Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree, you’ll learn the key fundamentals and skills required to be an industry-ready photojournalist or documentary photographer. From day one, you’ll have the chance of having your images published in national and international newspapers, and experience the thrill of having people worldwide looking at your pictures. You’ll have the opportunity of becoming a contributing photographer to Pathos Images, our own photo agency, which distributes images to national and international newspapers via Shutterstock and Alamy.

With access to highly experienced passionate lecturers, you’ll be guided through the intricacies of photojournalism and documentary photography, mastering the art of capturing powerful narratives and engaging with local, national and global issues. You’ll take part in exciting, inspiring modules that are designed to develop your technical proficiency and a critical understanding of ethical responsibilities that accompany visual storytelling. From exploring diverse communities, to shedding light on pressing social and environmental challenges, you will begin to develop a deep sense of empathy, enabling you to communicate stories with integrity and with impact.

Working in partnership with our industry active staff, and with our industry partners to engage in industry-based modules and live briefs, our course is designed to empower you to become a highly employable force in the world of photography. You’ll embark on a transformative journey that will equip you with the skills, vision and resilience to make a meaningful difference to people through your visual storytelling.

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.

This is a hands-on, practical, professionally based degree, designed to get you out of the classroom at every opportunity to push and develop your photography with regular practical and relevant photographic briefs. This innovative approach to teaching means that you’ll spend more time taking photographs supported by extensive opportunities for personal feedback and development in every practical module.

You’ll experiment with different approaches to your photography using a range of strategic strategies designed to develop you with a multiple highly employable photographic skills. You’ll work both on location and in our specialist campus and have access to Macs, the latest Adobe Creative Cloud software as well as our extensive photography equipment.

At the vibrant Hardwick campus, you’ll join with photography students from all years, and create a tight-knit community that thrives on shared passion. Collaborate with fellow creative minds from across the school to embark on impactful photographic projects that will launch your creative career at our annual degree show in the heart of London.”

This course is available to study with an integrated foundation year – an extra, introductory year at the beginning of the full degree. If you don’t meet the stated entry requirements or you’re returning to education, it could be a great option that enables you to study this course.

As well as an introduction to your subject, it will help you to develop valuable study skills, and communication, teamwork and problem-solving techniques, giving you the confidence and skills set you need to progress.

If you’re applying to study as an international student, an integrated foundation year can also support you to improve your English language skills alongside your studies.

To apply for this course with an integrated foundation year, select the ‘With foundation year’ study type from the options at the top of this page before clicking ‘Apply’.

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

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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 additional integrated foundation year. This four year option has lower entry requirements – see below – than the other study type/s available.

      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).

      To apply for the integrated foundation year degree, select the ‘With foundation year’ option from the study types listed at the top of this page before clicking ‘Apply’.

      See course overview for more information about the interated foundation year option.

    • 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 2024 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 £9,250 £16,600
Sep 2025 Hardwick, Cheltenham WP65 TBC TBC

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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.

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

"My favourite thing about the course is the creative freedom we have"

“Home Away From Home is a series of portraits of students and their doorsteps. The project signifies the house that students have created while studying away from home and the relationships they have built. My inspiration for portraiture is Jenny Lewis.

My favourite thing about the course is the creative freedom we have and the encouragement to produce to the best of our ability, and we are treated as professional photographers.”

See more of Katie’s work on her Instagram account: @ktweaverphotos

Katie Weaver, Photojournalism and Documentary Photography student

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