skip to main content

Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

an image

BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

College
LCC
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
P503

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.

This course is subject to revalidation, which is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • 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.
  • You’ll have access to an unparalleled range of leading guest speakers and tutors, who come and work with the course on a regular basis.
  • The critical and theoretical elements of the course are delivered by internationally 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, and 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

Student Voices: Sam Daniels

Sam talks us through her experience on the course and exhibiting in the final year show.

Student Voices: Bayryam Bayryamali

Bayryam talks to us about his project relating to his family and the history of Bulgarian Turkish community.

Student Voices: Mollie Knight

Mollie's final year work looks at the relationship between the media and body image.

Student Voices: Fanni Sutus

Fanni talks us through their work about beauty pageants in the final year degree show.

Student Voices: Lewis Inman

Lewis talks us through their degree show work that looks at children in Burma who do Thai kickboxing.

Student Voices: Waheed Khan

Waheed's final year project 'All That Glitters is not Dahab' looks at the decline of tourism in Egypt.

Course stories

Facilities

Media Photography

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

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

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.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

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

Course overview

We see documentary photography as an umbrella term under which photojournalism and other related forms of storytelling, including moving image, exist. These genre boundaries continue to develop and shift within the contemporary media landscape, and this course will equip you to explore and work within this area in a self-defined, flexible and creative way.

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  practised professionally today. As well as gaining an academically-rigorous degree, it will enable you to acquire the 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. It is not uncommon for our students to be working to a professional standard by their third year.  

 

The practical elements of the course emphasise learning by doing: you will begin by learning to photograph newsworthy subjects and create topical documentary stories, and then go on to develop your own self-directed documentary practice culminating in a final major project and a dissertation.

 

Students are encouraged to become involved with the lively photographic community in London; a process which is enhanced by an exciting range of visiting speakers from the photographic and related industries. The course team is committed to diversity in representation of gender, ethnicity and disability in its programme of visiting speakers and tutors.

 

Complementing the practical and career focused aspects of this degree course are contextual studies in the history of photojournalism and documentary photography, delivered by academics who are internationally published scholars in the field. At the heart of this aspect of the course is our belief in the importance of critical engagement not only as photographers but as viewers and participants in a globalized visual culture.

 

We are committed to enhancing your employability, individuality and entrepreneurship. Success within the arts and media is about the integration of practice, skills and mindset that enable you to develop and sustain a rewarding working life. Our curriculum is designed to open up the possibilities of your own creativity by developing your unique subjectivity, 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 credits. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

During the first year, through a series of specially designed theory and practice sessions, you will learn about historical and contemporary photography practices and the key theoretical frameworks used to situate them. Youll be introduced to specialist photographic skills and creative methodologies in a supportive environment, to develop your curiosity and creativity. Beginning now and continuing through all three years of the course, there will be a guest lecture from a visiting professional photographer giving insight into a range of photographic practices, which is also a space to meet fellow photography students from across the programme at BA and MA levels.

 

Units summary:

  1. Introduction to Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (20 credits)

This unit acts as an introduction to the course and to your subject specialism. Topics covered include effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level as well as introducing basic technical skills. 

  1. Practical Documentary Photography & Photojournalism (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to the skills and knowledge required to identify, research, shoot and edit a series of photographic images within particular genres of documentary and photojournalistic image making. 

  1. Histories & Theories of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (20 credits)

This unit introduces you to the key historical and social issues surrounding photojournalism and documentary photography from their earliest stages to the present day.

  1. Documentary Storytelling (20 credits)

This unit helps to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to produce a documentary storytelling project. It will examine contemporary ways of using images for storytelling and help you develop an understanding of visual and narrative structure.

  1. Moving Image (20 credits)

This unit will train you in the skills of basic moving image/film-making within a photojournalism and documentary photography context. You will be supported by expert tutors in developing content and technical skills, resulting in the production of your own short film.

  1. Media Ethics  & Media Law (20 credits)

This unit will introduce media theories that underpin and help us to understand the role of communication systems, modes of representation and systems of meaning. You will learn about the main media laws that affect the work of photojournalists and documentary photographers.

Year 2

As you move into Year 2 you will expand on your skills and start to develop your voice within your practice. Year 2 builds on the foundations established in Year 1, creating space for you to begin to develop and contextualize your own practice by working on more open and self-directed assignments via both practice and theory/written work. Towards the end of the year, you will be supported to create a dissertation proposal. 

 

Units summary:

  1. Contemporary Documentary 1 (40 credits)

This unit will help you to develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to produce a documentary project and associated theoretical research. You will be encouraged to go beyond traditional narrative documentary approaches and to look at ways in which to disrupt expectations about storytelling and start to embrace experimental narratives and structures.

  1. Elective Unit (20 credits)

The Elective unit provides a choice of stimulating conceptual and practical projects that will compliment the core units of your course.

  1. Contemporary Documentary 2 (40 credits)

In this unit you will further develop the knowledge and skills necessary to produce an in-depth documentary project and associated research. The unit is designed to encourage you to think holistically about the theoretical, philosophical and subjective aspects of documentary photography in relationship to the development of your own practice.

  1. Reading & Writing Practice (20 credits)

This unit explores the practices of reading and writing within, around and about photojournalism and documentary photography. The unit culminates in the submission of a Dissertation Proposal, and you will also create an analytical reading journal that records and articulates your engagement with literature in a personal way.

Year 3

Year 3, the final stage, consolidates and develops your ability to direct and plan your own work by producing two substantial self-directed assignments your Major Project, and your Dissertation. You will also complete a Contemporary Professional Practice unit, designed to prepare you in very practical ways for life after graduation. All three Year 3 units are designed to enable you to sustain your practice in an individual way and take the next steps towards your career. 

Units summary:

  1. Major Project part 1 (20 credits)

In this unit you will begin the exploratory process of researching and making visual work towards your final major project. You will begin to develop a written proposal, complete a risk assessment and begin to make work that will be further developed in the Major Project Part 2 unit.

  1. Major Project part 2 (40 credits)

This unit requires the consolidation of your Major Project and its presentation in an appropriate form which will be negotiated with tutors and can encompass, for example, a portfolio of photographic prints, multimedia piece or a photographic monograph.

  1. Dissertation (40 credits)

In this unit you will write an extended written essay and will work closely with selected supervisors to present a substantial research project.

  1. Contemporary Professional Practice (20 credits)

This unit asks you to consider your future goals and how to best prepare yourself for your career after university. You’ll do extensive research into your chosen career field, produce a web presence, a creative identity package and an interview with a relevant professional.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Interactive lectures
  • Seminars
  • Guest talks
  • Group Project Work
  • Individual Projects
  • Workshops
  • Individual Tutorials
  • Group Tutorials
  • Study Visits
  • Written and verbal feedback on work in progress

Assessment methods

  • Practical photojournalistic and documentary workbook / Journals
  • Formative Assessment
  • Projects and project appraisals
  • Oral and seminar presentations
  • Written work (eg. essays, proposals and dissertation) In-class reviews

 

Staff

Jennifer  Good

Dr Jennifer Good

Joint Course Leader, BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Jess  Crombie

Jess Crombie

Joint Course Leader, BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Lewis  Bush

Lewis Bush

Course Leader, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (Part-time/Online)

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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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

Home/EU/International

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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

64 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing, Media, Music and Performing Arts).
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference;
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

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.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed 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

Making your application

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.

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P503

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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.

Erasmus

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

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P503

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

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, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

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.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

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.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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