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BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

Develop your unique identity as a visual storyteller, learning skills from across this rapidly-changing and dynamic industry from news photography and current events to conceptual documentary, editorial and multimedia.

About this course

BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography is a unique course, rooted in professional practice and integrating hands-on practical photography with academic theory.

Great reasons to apply:

  • We have a broad and inclusive approach to photojournalism and documentary photography, constantly questioning the genre boundaries and looking to the future of the industry.
  • Our practice tutors are professionals from across the industry: highly experienced photojournalists, documentary photographers and picture editors at the forefront of their fields.
  • Our professional industry experience gives us access to an unparalleled range of leading guest speakers and tutors, who come and work with our students on a regular basis.
  • The critical and theoretical elements of the course are delivered by internally-published scholars and recognised leaders in the field.
  • Everything we do is guided by a commitment to research, professional ethics and critical reflection.
  • Our analogue and digital technology teams are resourced with cutting-edge equipment and dedicated, course-specific expertise.
  • Industry links within our department and across the college provide our students with a range of collaborative opportunities and professional experience.
  • Our students have gone on to be well-known and award-winning photographers, as well as to a range of other photography-related careers including picture editing, picture research, NGO and human rights work, publishing, journalism and further academic study.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course is on Saturday 17 November

Book your place

Student voices: Fanni Sutus

Fanni talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Student voices: Lewis Inman

Lewis talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Student voices: Waheed Khan

Waheed talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

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Media Photography

Photography students benefit from access to resources held in the Media Photography areas.

Red light indicating recording is taking place.

Lens-based and Audio-visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Course details

BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography allows you to follow an innovative and exciting curriculum rooted in the methodologies of photojournalism and documentary photography as they are professionally practiced today.

This course will enable you to acquire the academic knowledge and essential skills to become a working photographer, equipping you to produce work for a range of outlets including newspapers, magazines digital platforms, galleries, books and picture agencies.

The practical elements of the course emphasise learning by doing: you will begin in year one by learning to photograph news events, interview newsworthy people and create topical documentary stories.

Students are encouraged to become involved with media organisations and the lively photographic community in London; a process which is enhanced by an exciting range of visiting speakers from the photographic and related industries. It is not uncommon for our students to be working for picture agencies and national news organisations by the time they reach the third year.

Published scholars and academics deliver contextual studies in the history of photojournalism and documentary photography which complements the practical and career focused aspects of this degree course.

At the heart of the course is our belief in the importance of critical engagement not only as photographers but as viewers and participants in a globalised visual culture.

We are committed to enhancing your employability, individuality and entrepreneurship. Enterprise and employability within the arts and media is about the integration of practice, skills, mindset and personal qualities that enable you to develop and sustain a rewarding professional life.

The curriculum is designed to communicate and open up the possibilities of your own creativity by developing your career aspirations and professional awareness, whether for the creative and cultural sector or beyond.

Course units

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • Introduction to Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (20 credits)
  • Contextual Studies: Histories and Theories of Photojournalism (20 credits)
  • Practical Photojournalism 1 (20 credits)
  • Practical Photojournalism 2 (20 credits)
  • Documentary Storytelling (20 credits)
  • Media Law, Ethics and Codes of Conduct (20 credits)

Year 2

Units summary:

  • Contemporary Documentary 1 (20 credits)
  • Editorial Project (20 credits)
  • Elective Unit (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Documentary 2 (40 credits)
  • Collaborative Project (20 credits)

Year 3

Units summary:

  • Major Photojournalism/Documentary Project (60 credits)
  • Contextual Studies: Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Contemporary Professional Practice (20 credits)

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group project work
  • Individual projects
  • Workshops
  • Individual tutorials
  • Group tutorials
  • Study visits
  • Reflective diaries

Assessment methods

  • Practical photojournalistic work
  • Computer based activities (picture desk editing)
  • Projects and project appraisals
  • Oral and seminar presentations (for example in Contextual Studies)
  • Report and essay writing
  • Timed constrained assessments (e.g. law and ethics unit)

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example, because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, use our register your interest form.


Jennifer  Good

Jennifer Good

Acting Course Leader, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Christopher  Stewart

Christopher Stewart

Programme Director of Photography

Jocelyn  Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Lewis  Bush

Lewis Bush

Lecturer, MA and BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements


The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

64 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A-level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A-levels will be achieved at grade C or above.


One subject at A-level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).

Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from one of the following qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma.
  • UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • Access to HE Diploma.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma.
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications.

Additionally, you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects.

If you are applying on the basis of your previous experience, you should apply as normal via UCAS. You will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps of the AP(e)L process, through either Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL).

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

Language Requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level on our language requirements page.

Student selection - what do we look for?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a full portfolio of work. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

The course admissions tutors will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and the quality of the uploaded portfolio.
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results).
  • They will review your academic or personal references.
  • International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in photojournalism and documentary photography, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

Please provide a maximum of 20 images of your own original photographic work to support your application.

Important Note: You are strongly advised not to delay the upload by trying to create new work; your main aim should be to demonstrate the creativity within your current portfolio.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the course admissions tutors to assess your suitability against the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of an appreciation of photojournalism and documentary photography as a specialised discipline.
  • Technical skills and experimentation with visual creativity, demonstrated in your own photographic work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas through practice to achieve specific outcomes.
  • Quality of ideas and thought processes in the production of your work.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Making your application

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, personal statement and portfolio advice.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65.
  • Course code: P503.
  • There is no campus code for LCC.

Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

We have recently made changes to our application process for Home/EU applicants. To find out more, view the Undergraduate Application Process page.


For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, personal statement and portfolio advice.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Study abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£9,250 (2018/19).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International Fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and Awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Most of our graduates progress onto careers in photojournalism, documentary photography or related fields.

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