BA (Hons) Documentary Photography and Print – Bath Spa University

Documentary Photography and Print

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course BS06

Key facts

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

Entry requirements

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.

Course structure

Year one
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.

Year two
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.

Year three
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:

  • You’ll be able to assist and engage with the Royal Photographic Society’s events programme and build a portfolio of professional practice.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to work collaboratively and showcase your practice in a public forum.
  • You can help produce a twice yearly magazine and two photographic editions to be sold at book fairs.
  • Through industry-led lectures and workshops, you'll establish relationships with creative networks, professional bodies and organisations, and gain valuable insights into arts funding opportunities, competitions and artist residencies.
  • Through portfolio modules, you’ll develop skills, methodologies, portfolios and networks for freelance employment in editorial, commercial and cinematic contexts.
  • You’ll gain knowledge of the rights, ethics and business practice of professional photography through engagement with the Association of Photographers.
  • Professional Contexts is written into all practice based modules, which will help you find experience with an employer or a self-initiated public platform for your practice.
  • You can find professional opportunities through the Professional Contexts Facebook group. Staff, students and alumni all contribute to this forum which is administered by the Course Leader.
  • Our practice based modules offer professional development opportunities via critical journals, presentations and reflective practice.
  • Through the University Careers team, you can access a variety of opportunities and advice from starting a business, part-time employment, volunteering and placements.


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

The course will take place at The Royal Photographic Society in Paintworks, Bristol. Students enrolled on the course will have unique opportunities to learn directly from experts in their field and exclusive access to a wealth of resources, exhibitions, events and symposia.


Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

UK students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 N/A
Year 2 N/A
Year 3 N/A

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 N/A
Year 2 N/A
Year 3 N/A

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 N/A
Year 2 N/A
Year 3 N/A

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.

Typical offers

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.

How do I apply?

Interested in applying? Please send any queries to

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Samuel Fordham

Website feedback to