- BA (Hons) Documentary Photography and Print
- Taught by
- Course length
- Three years full time.
- UCAS codes
- Institution Code: B20
- Course Code: BS06
- Campus Code: Y
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC.
View 'typical offers' for more information.
Explore the traditions of documentary storytelling along with the most exciting innovations in contemporary photography, print design and production.
- Delivered by Boomsatsuma, Bristol, in partnership with the Royal Photographic Society.
- Distinctive, sector-leading and practice-based curriculum design derived from current trends, and focusing on future growth.
- Emphasis on creativity, learning in context, professional practice, specialist technical skills and project development.
Our exciting, innovative Documentary Photography and Print course will equip you with an expanded and interdisciplinary art practice that blends the traditions of documentary storytelling with contemporary photography, print design and production.
We offer a platform where you learn how to think critically and can articulate independent ideas through making work, gaining technical skills and engage with theories of art, representation and culture.
What you'll learn
Through courses and workshops provided by professional photographers, you'll learn editorial and artistic skills essential for publishing and documentary photography.
Uniquely, you'll create work from within the premises of the Royal Photographic Society and will be immersed in the professional world through continual involvement in exhibitions, publications and assignments commissioned by world-renowned photographers and creative and cultural institutions. You'll also benefit from a wide range of symposiums, events and exhibitions on the Royal Photographic Society’s premises.
You'll learn skills that combine both theory and practice. These include studying a range of technical photographic, cinematographic, design and print processes, and exploring the relationship between idea, material and form.
You'll explore conceptual development, and learn a range of skills in analogue and digital technologies. You'll also develop skills in research and contextual studies, and develop an understanding of your market. You'll also learn essential skills on how to reflect on your creative process.
You'll study photographic and design based practice, exploring both the material and technical. A combination of theory, practice and skills based modules will enable you to generate ideas, explore the relationship between photographic practice and technology, and create multiple photographic projects.
The final year of study is structured around independent learning, leading to the development of a major project and portfolio. A combination of theory, practice and skills based modules are offered, as well as specialist diploma work and studio modules.
You'll also study post production, editing, sequencing and production of original outputs in a range of material forms and technologies.
How will I be assessed?
Assessmnet is through a range of tasks, including coursework assessments. These may essays, journals, portfolios, reports, as well as a practical submissions such as exhibitions, publication and presentation. There are no written examinations.
How will I be taught?
Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars, peer group presentations, workshops, projects, individual critique and independent study.
Each cohort, limited to twenty places, will work together to create an agency and produce two photographic books and two magazines each year, developing skills in design, photographic critique and print production. Working on multiple projects, you'll acquire skills that will serve to produce a portfolio of professional standard work to the highest technical and aesthetic standards.
Work placements, industry links and experience
The course will provide you with a range of opportunities, contributing to the future development of your practice. These include:
- Professional Contexts written into all practice based modules, which assist you in finding experience with an employer or a public platform for your practice
- A Professional Contexts Facebook group, to help you explore professional opportunities where staff, students and alumni all contribute
- Industry-led lectures and workshops to provide valuable insight into creative networks, professional bodies, organisations, arts funding opportunities, competitions and artists residencies
- Live industry briefs and external opportunities explored in portfolio modules
- Opportunities for students to work collaboratively and showcase their practice in a public forum
- Producing a twice yearly magazine and two photographic editions to be sold at book fairs including Bristol on Photobook and Offprint Tate
- Opportunities to assist in the inner workings of the Royal Photographic Society, be it through installation of exhibitions, invigilations, tour guides or shadowing
- Access to a variety of opportunities, including starting a business, part-time employment, volunteering and placements through the university Careers office
Training at Boomsatsuma will give you the skills you need in preparation for a career within the creative industries upon graduation, whether it be working on commissions or personal projects in art direction, photography, moving images and more.
The course will also equip you for progression onto internationally renowned MA programmes.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
This course is taught at The Royal Photographic Society National Headquarters, based at Paintworks in Bristol.
The RPS offers an archive and library resource. The Martin Parr Foundation (MPF) also based at Paintworks, offers library services, an extensive photobook collection, as well as access to archives and guaranteed tickets to talks and events. MPF also offers annual masterclass sessions with Martin himself.
UK and EU students full time
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|Year 3||Published Jan 2022|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2021|
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|Year 3||Published Jan 2023|
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|Year 3||Published Jan 2024|
International students full time
All students full time - with professional placement year
During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.
Interested in applying?
What we look for in potential students
We're looking for students who are prepared to work hard, with an appetite for photographic and visual representation, an interest in developing your technical skills and an aspiration to work across the sector. Our course will equip you with training in its current practices, and your engagement will be crucial to a successful learning experience.
Applicants are considered on an individual basis also taking into account any skills and experience that may not be reflected in A-level scores. The most important consideration is for applicants to have the qualities and potential to succeed in this exciting new area of study.
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:
- MMM or above from extended diploma or
- CCC from appropriate A-level.
- All applicants would be invited to an interview where portfolio and personal intent will be the primary consideration.
English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.