Photography: Editorial and Advertising (BA Hons)

2000 trees festival

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


3 Years (Full-Time)
4 Years (Integrated Foundation Stage)


Centre for Art and Photography, Cheltenham

Winner of the Course of the Year 2020 in the prestigious Association of Photographers Student Awards. Nominated by our students and judged as the best by the industry’s elite, it’s the second time we've celebrated the accolade in the past three years. Read more about the AOP and other winning people, places and things at AOP Student Awards.

We are in the UK top 20 for film production and photography and 9th for teaching satisfaction according to the Guardian University Guide 2020.

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.

We scored 91% for learning resources in the National Student Survey 2019.

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.

*banner image taken by Photography: Editorial and Advertising student Callum Spicer

Visit our course blog for the latest updates

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

You'll study a variety of modules from 'The Personal Portfolio' to 'The Visual Narrative'.

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2020 entry

Because we want to offer this course to creative students with talent and potential (and because we know that exam grades don't always tell the whole story), we make offers following an interview instead of using tariff points.

You will need to have, or be studying for, a NQF level 3 qualification – that's A-level/BTEC/Welsh Baccalaureate or equivalent.

Once you apply, we will invite you to interview so we can decide whether to make you an offer.

Check out our Interview Guide to learn what to expect and help you prepare.

This course is available with an integrated foundation stage to help you prepare.

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.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required.
Please contact our admissions team if you have a question.


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
BA (Hons) - 4 years integrated foundation stageW644


  • 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 Trudie Ballantyne

Staff Profile

Trudie Ballantyne

"My background is in advertising, shooting for agencies such as Grey, and Ogilvy and Mather, for clients from American Express to British Telecom. I love working with light to excite the senses and evoke emotion. I use this passion to guide students to consider how they would like the viewer to respond to the work they produce, thus creating exciting, stimulating imagery and moving image pieces."

Credit: Charlotte Stevens

Creative Screenskills-accredited

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

Photo credit: Charlotte Stevens

Credit: Jack Griffiths

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’.

Photo credit: Jack Griffiths

Credit: Emma Boyns

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.

Photo credit: Emma Boyns

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

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.

The Association of Photographers