Photojournalism BA (Hons)

2nd year Nathan Stirk in action at a Premier league football match 2016
UCAS code WP65
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS

Course outline

Our Photojournalism degree will equip you with the skills you need to become an industry professional. It's ideal if you're informed about the world - with an eye for a picture and the nose for a story!

You'll develop your photographic and journalistic written skills while learning essential components of photojournalism such as law and ethics. Your individuality is at the heart of our teaching, so you'll have the freedom to pursue your passion with the support of our industry-experienced tutors.

Our studios are equipped with industry standard lighting rigs and tethered Mac computers. You'll have access to our top-end digital and film cameras as well as our up to date computers, monitors and printers. We also have black and white darkrooms, so you can work with film and print chemically if you want to. We have our own newsroom and image bank and produce our own printed newspaper at the end of the year.

You'll hear from industry experts during weekly guest lectures, offering invaluable insights. These range from the workings of Magnum Photos, to working on assignment for National Geographic. You'll also hear from acclaimed photographers like Jem Southam and Eamonn McCabe who'll share their secrets for industry success.

You'll gain practical industry experience on placement and by working on live briefs. We have strong links with international news agencies, national and local newspapers and many niche magazines. You could complete your work placement with publications such as The Guardian, the NME and the Daily Express - or with organisations like the Prince's Regeneration Trust.

We are an examination centre for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) so you can sit NCTJ exams and gain industry-recognised qualifications alongside your degree. You'll also have the chance to visit exhibitions in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Paris.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 120 credits in your first year of study and the other 240 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £9,250 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply each year.*

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Undergraduate Loans:

UK and EU students who are studying for their first undergraduate degree may not have to pay these fees up front. For eligible students a loan is available from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of tuition so you don't have to find the money to pay your tuition costs before or while you are studying. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 a year.

A loan is also available for part-time students studying at least 25% (30 credits) per year.

However, if you already hold a degree, or another qualification at the same level, you may not qualify for this loan.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply visit apply-for-student-finance.


Repayment (current arrangements):

9% of income over £21,000 per year.

Interest on the loan is charged at up to Retail Price Index** (RPI) +3% = 4.6% as of 2016/17.

If you are living in the UK: Your employer will deduct repayments when your salary reaches the threshold (currently £21,000 per year). Different arrangements are made to collect repayments from those living outside the UK.

For further information on repayment visit student loan repayment.


*The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

**RPI – the Retail Price Index is a measure of UK inflation. The UK Government uses the rate of RPI to set the interest rate charged on student loans.

Social media links

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • Foundation Diploma Art and Design pass with Merit if taken.
  • All applicants are individually assessed via interview with portfolio.

Teaching and learning

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies are based on the recognition of three main strands in Art & Design education. As a student enrolled on the Photojournalism award you may expect to encounter a combination of the following teaching, learning and assessment methods:

Practical, development and refinement of technical, conceptual, communication & problem solving skills relevant to the Photojournalistic discipline and their application, to the design and/or making of creative products.

Theoretical/Contextual, knowledge and understanding of the major issues and debates within and around Photojournalism and the development of an ability to integrate a critical, analytical approach with the informed practice of creative arts disciplines.

Professional, knowledge and understanding of historical, cultural and professional contexts within which Photojournalists operate. This constitutes a body of specialist knowledge that includes vocabulary, professional awareness and a realistic sense of career options.

This strategy is based on a recognition that our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds & experiences, with a wide range of needs & expectations. We will endeavour to provide flexible learning opportunities that can be negotiated by students to suit their individual circumstances, wherever possible. We target our resources, in terms of staffing & facilities, at the earlier levels of the course, so that students gradually take on more responsibility for their learning as they progress through their studies.

Level four concentrates on introduction of skills: studying, reading, writing, thinking, various specialist technical processes & practical sessions. Students receive a lot of support, as this is when they most needed. Level five develops skills, & requires students to engage with ideas, concepts, contexts & strategies. You take more responsibility for defining the nature of you practices as well as undertaking professional placements.

Level six involves all students in the design of your own programme of learning and requires a great deal of independent study and practice, supported by tutorial guidance.

Module Handbooks: contain information about your module & will typically include:
Module descriptor, detailing the learning outcomes of the module. Module code, title and details of module manager, timetable, room numbers, outline of module content, including any project briefs & detailing all work to be submitted for assessment.

Lectures: are seen as the most efficient way of imparting information, introducing topics for further study, clarifying examples of work by recognised practitioners or setting out the issues involved in a debate.

Seminars: Small groups, discussing topics raised in lectures or nominated according to students' own interests. Often including formal presentation of research findings by students to their peers.

Technical Demonstrations: modulettes&#quot; are units of technical instruction, designed to introduce the safe and effective use of equipment, materials and processes.

Projects: or briefs, are devised by, a client, tutor or initiated by you, in negotiation with tutorial staff. Projects provide the structure within which independent learning through research and practice takes place.

Independent practice: forms the basis for your ongoing learning through experimentation, trial and error, testing, evaluation & reflective critical analysis.

Research: a continuous process of learning through reading, contact with professional individuals or bodies & gathering, evaluation and presentation of information & knowledge.

Tutorials: individual or small group: focus on research and practice of students, engaging you in a critical dialogue that encourages analysis & reflection & shapes your future work tutorials function as strong elements of formative assessment.


Assessment is based on the submission of coursework, the nature of which is determined by the project/s or assignments set within a module, but which may consist of any one or combination of the following components:
Finished Photojournalistic work, professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief
Workbooks, Visual dairies etc., documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts/ideas, and demonstrating the influence of research on practical work.
An essay, written according to given guidelines as to word count and illustrated as required by the assignment.
A script for a seminar presentation.
Research books, folders, dossiers, etc. documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material.
Formative assessment is carried out in tutorial and critique situations and feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by you tutor or by you. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer or self-assessment exercises.
Summative assessment is provided in the form of a grade point (on a scale of 0 '15), at the end of a module, and this is accompanied by written feedback from the module tutor to each individual student, relating you to achievements for the learning outcomes of the module. The grade point scheme is linked, within the UMF Regulations, to a set of general assessment criteria; which distinguish attainment at particular levels.
Assessment Feedback is provided to students in two main ways: orally, in tutorial and critique situations and in writing, using a fast feedback form; that indicates performance against the learning outcomes of the module.
Where possible course work will be marked anonymously


Employment opportunities

While we believe that every aspect of our students' academic lives enhances their employability, we pay particular attention to the professional, vocational nature of our discipline and deal explicitly with employability-related issues from the start, embedding issues such as Law for Photographers, through to ethics and Global issues from Level 4. Students in level 5 take on a variety of Professional Practice and Career Planning modules - providing an industry ready platform to build on in the final year. Personal Development Planning will be integrated into the Professional Practice strands of the award, allowing students to recognise and articulate their learning and achievements.
Over all the the BA (Hons) Photojournalism award is designed to enable students to emerge with a wide range of career options by providing: ' employability skills for work across all platforms in the Photojournalism industry and transferable skills for employment generally ' a creative and critical knowledge and understanding of Photojournalism through theoretical and practical elements of study ' a range of both Photographic, visual, written and production skills to produce Photojournalistic content to professional industry standards, including accrediting body qualifications ' a flexible balance of communication skills, practical, intellectual and personal, to enable further study/training and entry to a wide range of employment in Photojournalism and wider areas such as PR, marketing, teaching, and many more.

Graduate destinations

This course aims to provide graduates with highly vocational skills. You will leave with essential photographic, journalistic and professional knowledge which will equip you to enter the professional world of photojournalism, not only as photographers but also with wider transferable skills enabling you to work in areas such as; picture editing, digital retouching, picture researching, teaching, and studying at postgraduate level.

Popular graduate destinations from our Photojournalism degree include:

Sport Photographer
Press and PR Photographer
Editorial Photographer
Documentary Photographer
Armed Forces Photographer
Graduates have also used the transferable skills they gained throughout the course to work in roles such as:

Newspaper Sub Editor
Fashion Journalist
Picture Editor
Photo Historian
Photographer's Agent
Photo Librarian
Gallery Curator
Gallery Educations Officer

Meet the experts

You’ll work alongside tutors with expertise from the online, magazine, newspaper, photography, television and PR industries.

Rachel McHaffie has been a freelance Photojournalist since 1994, and has worked for many varied clients from the high sheriff of Manchester to an array of  Music magazines. Her area of personal interest is around the culture of dance music, taken from her solo exhibition ‘The Gold Fish Years’….The emergence of club culture has been a significant social phenomenon of the last 20 years – as important a cultural movement as the beatniks, hippies or punks ever were. Rachel McHaffie is on of the very few photographers whose professional career has focused on the documentation of the dance revolution.

Rachel’s career in dance music photography began at the now infamous Hacienda nightclub where she was staff photographer in the mid 1990′s. This experience and subsequent photographs formed the basis of Rachel’s visual interest in dance music photography. Following the Hacienda, Rachel went on to work for many magazines – including DJ, Mixmag, Seven, Ministry of Sound– and she has explored and captured the global club landscape from Vegas to Iceland, ‘The Gold Fish years’ celebrates ten years of documenting some of the most significant parties, people, music and memories in the most important decade of dance music.


Caroline Edge studied for a degree in art and spent far more time lighting and photographing sculptures and installations than making them. After graduating she qualified as an art teacher delivering contextual studies at Art Foundation level and A level courses in Graphic Design and Art. She taught photography and rapidly realised her interest in the subject and its capacity to combine both art and function. 

Caroline graduated with a distinction in MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Bolton. Her MA work was selected for the Photographer’s Gallery’s annual survey of top UK graduates.

Caroline has worked as a freelance photographer for local and national press and PR agencies. In conjunction with commercial work, she also began to develop projects with local communities, partnering with public artist Liam Curtin on a series of public commissions creating temporary camera obscuras in Rochdale and Oldham, and facilitating participatory projects for the charity PhotoVoice.

Student experience

This course aims to provide graduates with highly vocational skills. You will leave with essential photographic, journalistic and professional knowledge which will equip you to enter the professional world of photojournalism, not only as photographers but also with wider transferable skills enabling you to work in areas such as; picture editing, digital retouching, picture researching, teaching, and studying at postgraduate level.

Programme specification

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Enquiries Team
Cadman Information Point
College Road
United Kingdom
t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course