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Photojournalism & Documentary Photography (MArts, BA)

Our Photojournalism & Documentary Photography degree course at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD offers you the opportunity to be part of a vibrant, innovative course with a passion for photography at its core.

Photography can change the way we look at and perceive the world. Using image/text, moving image/multimedia and installations, exhibitions, you will develop the ability to interpret and understand the role images play in defining society and our relationships with each other.

As well as photojournalism, our graduates go on to a wide range of successful careers, including jobs in documentary, editorial and commercial photography, picture editing and research, curating, publishing, journalism, and teaching.


Pathway Options

Photojournalism & Documentary Photography (BA)
UCAS Code: J316
Apply via UCAS 

Photojournalism & Documentary Photography (MArts)
UCAS Code: 295G
Apply via UCAS

(The MArt gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year is designed to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises or collaborative working with industry. The programme aims to educate creative individuals proficient in meeting the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole). 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Tuition Fees 2019/20:
£9000 (Home/EU)
£11500 (Overseas)

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Innovative approach to Photojournalism & Documentary
  2. Great links with industry specialists and practitioners
  3. Small & friendly class sizes & easy access to up-to-date equipment
  4. Regular visiting lecturer programme
  5. Opportunities to work with local charities, community groups and other clients on live briefs

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page here

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Photojournalism & Documentary course explores our fascinating, evolving visual culture whilst considering our continuing desire to document everyday life - from the selfie to the street, to the studio. 

Our students are motivated to view Photojournalism & Documentary photography as a broad and exciting subject which is continually adapting to a rapidly changing media environment.

Aided by a wide range of practical workshops you will be encouraged to experiment with the medium of photography to develop your own unique style.

We work closely with local community groups and charities where you will have the opportunity to deliver workshops and develop personal projects.

On this course you will develop a greater understanding of the power of visual storytelling and the socio-political consequences of photography’s various forms and uses.


In your first year you will be introduced to key theories, concepts and debates surrounding Photojournalism & Documentary photography. You will explore how the medium has developed historically and investigate where it currently sits within our contemporary visual culture.  You will apply your theoretical and critical understanding of the subject to practical projects, initially from assigned briefs before moving increasingly towards self-directed projects. Your technical development will be supported by a range of workshops.

Level 4 Modules (year 1)

  • Photography Production
  • Documentary Practice
  • Visual Studies 1
  • Ways of Thinking
  • Photojournalism in Context
  • Individual Practice
  • Visual Studies 2
  • Ways of Perceiving 

Year Two

  • Level 5 Modules
  • Developing a Unique Voice
  • Collaborative Photographic Practice
  • Visual Enquiry 1
  • Creative Research
  • Contemporary Narratives
  • Professional Photographic Practice
  • Visual Enquiry 2
  • Research Practices

In your second year you will be encouraged to further experiment and challenge the conventions and traditions of Photojournalism & Documentary photography, with a focus on innovation and developing new approaches to the medium. These self-directed ideas will form the basis of a self-published book project, and a collaborative off-site group exhibition.  There is also greater emphasis on developing links with external clients and community engagement.

Year 3

The third year is predominantly self-directed and enables you to adopt a more independent approach to your work. You will further develop external projects to enable you to produce work in real-world contexts, either for professional clients or for public exhibition. The main focus of this year is the major practical project, theoretically underpinned by a written dissertation. The Marketing & Promotion module involves presenting work to external agencies or curators and acts as a launch pad for graduates’ careers. The year culminates with exhibitions in both Swansea and London.

Level 6 Modules

  • Major Project and External Liaison
  • Dissertation
  • Marketing & Self Promotion
  • Advanced Creative Enquiry

Year 4 (MArts only)

The fourth year is designed to further develop and enhance individual practice and to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises and/or collaborative working within the photojournalism and documentary photography industry.

Level 7 Modules

  • The Thought Experiment
  • Advanced Critical Thinking Advanced Professional Practice (option A)
  • Advanced Professional Practice (option B)
  • Principal Project

Assessment varies according to the module and ranged from portfolios, exhibitions, written assignments, blogs and presentations.


Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase. 

Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover things like transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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