BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

The University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography allows you to explore, capture and inform society through a combination of news gathering, storytelling and technical photography skills. Our expert team will support you to gain the critical understanding and practical know-how you’ll need to create still and moving images and stories for publication by today’s mixed-media outlets.

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

3 years

Location:

University of Bolton

UCAS points:

96

UCAS code:

W750

Start date:

19/09/2022

Course Details

There are many incredible stories in our world that demand to be told. From the local hero to international disasters, from an unforgettable music gig to the Champions League final, photography can capture the moments that define our lives. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, photojournalists and documentary photographers were classed as key workers in the UK, feeding images of our empty high streets and full hospitals to the nation, providing a valuable service for news agencies and online sources. These photographers offered a window into hidden worlds, playing an essential role in communicating the crisis and its human cost. Our BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree will focus on developing your abilities to create engaging visual stories.

Bolton has a rich heritage of documentary photography, thanks particularly to the Mass Observation Work Town project documenting and observing the community in the 1930s. More recently, our MA in Visual Journalism lecturer DJ Clark has had notable success with his immersive 360 film, Battleground PolyU, which won a series of awards, including World Press Photo Interactive of the Year and a Webby nomination.

Our BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degree will develop your technical skills and bring you to the cutting edge of the industry. Scheduled visits, placements, and guest lectures from key industry professionals will help you start to build your network and deliver live briefs. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to work on producing an annual magazine and undertake our organised UK and overseas trips (additional costs may apply).

We’ll help you build a professional photographic portfolio and offer opportunities to exhibit your work in galleries and online. In addition, our final-year career development module aims to prepare you for the transition from graduation to full-time work and a successful start to your photography career.

Visit https://www.instagram.com/photoboltonuni/ to see examples of work from our students and graduates.

Highlights
  • The Guardian University Guide 2022 ranks our Film Production and Photography courses as fourth in the UK for student-to-staff ratio, so you can be assured that we offer you excellent access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • You can expect regular external engagements, such as UK visits, exhibitions, portfolio review, professional placements and competitions. Some of these will form part of your modules, and others will be additional opportunities designed to enhance your development over and above your studies.
  • You’ll have opportunities to participate in international travel and engage with the global photographic community (additional costs may apply).
  • We offer access to cutting edge ideas and debates around industry developments.
  • We foster a friendly and engaged photographic community that supports all learners, encouraging and promoting critical friendships where students help and develop each other’s practice.
  • We offer hands-on teaching from dedicated tutors who deliver practice, theory and research.
  • You’ll benefit from extra support from our photographically-trained, expert technical team with out-of-module learning opportunities for all.
Key Features
  • Our academics have an open-door policy, and we pride ourselves on offering support and going that extra mile for you.
  • Our custom-built state-of-the-art photographic resources offer industry-standard technology and up-to-date software.
  • We prefer to keep our teaching groups smaller, allowing us to offer support you can identify with and rely on.
  • You’ll also be expected to complete a fully assessed work placement. Our final year career development module is designed to prepare you for the transition from graduation to full-time work.

  • 96 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include a photography or art and design-related subject; for instance, A-level Photography/Art or BTEC Extended Diploma in Photography/Art & Design.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English Language and Mathematics.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and provide a portfolio of recent photographic or image-related (or video) work. Basic working knowledge of photography through either creative application, digital or traditional processes (or combinations of the three) is expected and assessed at the interview.
  • The quality of the portfolio/interview is the primary basis on which applicants are selected; therefore special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.
  • If you don’t meet the entry requirements for this course, please consider our BA (Hons) Photography with foundation year course.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


As a graduate of our BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, you’ll be able to work in a wide spectrum of media industries, from large corporations to hyperlocal news blogs. Entrepreneurial photojournalism is an important aspect of the course, and we’ll encourage you to consider how your ideas and projects can be monetised. The media industry is rapidly changing, giving new opportunities for emerging talented multi-skilled journalists who adapt quickly to innovations. Good storytelling remains at the heart of what you’ll learn but being able to creatively use a variety of skills to deliver the story on multiple platforms will give you an edge in this very competitive marketplace.


Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/232023/242024/25
2021£9,250£9,250£9,250-£27,750
2021-£9,250£9,250£9,250£27,750
International Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/232023/242024/25
2021£12,450£12,450£12,450-£37,350
2021-£12,950£12,950£12,950£38,850

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

If you wish to apply for multiple institutions or multiple courses at Bolton for September entry, then appy through UCAS

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £26.50. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £22 is applicable.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

If you wish to apply for a single course offered by the University of Bolton for any intake, you can apply directly

If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply directly to the University using our online application form shown below.

A direct application to Bolton provides the following features:

  • Free of charge to apply

  • Secure, simple and streamlined

  • Contact us directly for any admissions queries

  • Regular updates on your application directly from the University

  • Invites to offer holder events and taster sessions where you can meet your future tutors and get a flavour of university life

NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.

For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or UGadmissions@bolton.ac.uk

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

  • Apply online: University of Bolton BA(Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography - 19 September 2022 (Intake not currently accepting international applications)

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Collegiate School
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

For valued members of the University of Bolton Group and progressing students, we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible.

If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply free of charge to the University. By selecting the appropriate link from the list shown below, you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this, and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

When you are asked to add a contact email address, please ensure you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address, we will be unable to identify you as a partner and offer you the benefits of being part of our group.

NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.

For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or UGadmissions@bolton.ac.uk

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


Learning and teaching methods are varied, and we use a blended style, meaning you'll attend face-to-face sessions and take part in online learning. You can expect lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques, self-directed learning, e-learning and workshop sessions. You'll also have opportunities to engage with employer facing and work-related activities.

You'll gain practical skills through technical introduction and support, workshop sessions, demonstrations and activity-based assignments. Live briefs and personal projects will promote active learning. Your learning will also be enhanced by research in libraries, art galleries, museums and other educational visits (where relevant).

You'll benefit from opportunities to attend guest lecture events. These feed directly into our teaching and offer relevant and up-to-date photographic industry information. Group critiques and tutorials will allow you to discuss and consider your work in progress, either in individual tutorials, interim reviews, or small groups. Our lecture programmes, visiting speakers and access to the latest research all feed into your learning experience.

Assessment is carried out at key points during the modules. We may ask for various types of assessment evidence, for example, portfolios, practical projects, presentations, examinations and written pieces. We'll use formative assessment methods to help you learn and develop your knowledge and skills. You'll also undertake summative assessment on which you'll be graded.

Formative assessment (face-to-face and online) will be offered during each module. You'll also receive written feedback, and feed-forward will be provided following summative assessment. Assessment tasks are linked to the learning outcomes of each module and are normally completed by the end of each module.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Digital Imaging
  • Pre, Present, Post Photography
  • On Assignment
  • Editorial Photography
  • Sports and Action Photography
  • Video Documentary
  • The Photo Story
  • Evidence
  • Professional Photojournalism
  • Concepts and Practice
  • Employment, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship
  • Consolidation and Display
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 90%, Practical exams 3%, Written exams 4%
Level threeCoursework 47%, Practical exams 53%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 69%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 31%
Level threeGuided independent study 76%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 19%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Rachel McHaffie
Programme Leader

R.McHaffie@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903362

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant