Since it was established by Magnum photographer David Hurn in 1973, BA Documentary Photography has become one of the leading documentary photography and photojournalism courses in the world.
Our students have a passion for social issues storytelling in all its forms. We closely mentor you to work on topics that you are passionate about; to produce powerful and visually distinctive photography. Our assignments immerse you in the worlds of fine print and photobooks, exhibition production, digital storytelling for web, documentary filmmaking and much more.
Our students and alumni are celebrated within the photographic industry: working as photojournalists for the world’s most prestigious news agencies including Associated Press, magazines like The New York Times, National Geographic and Time Magazine; winning awards, exhibitions, and publishing photobooks. Recently, Lua Ribera gained a Magnum agency nomination (the only course in Europe to achieve this), Tobias Zielony represented Germany at the Venice Biennale and in the Deutsche Boerse award, Jack Latham won the Bar Tur Photobook award, Sam Laughlin was a winner in the Jerwood/Photoworks Award and Leo Maguire won a Grierson Trust award for documentary film.
BA Documentary Photography is part of a pathway in documentary at USW including MA Documentary Photography and The European Centre for Documentary Photography for PhD and post doc.
USW has a history of 100 years of photography, and nearly 50 years of teaching Documentary Photography. We have been collecting photography books since 1973 and have one of the largest specialist library collections in documentary/ photojournalism in Europe at your disposal as well as a extensive, specialist department with full digital and analogue faculties.
What you will study
On this Documentary Photography degree you’ll learn how to work independently as a documentary photographer, be able to photograph con dently around subjects that interest you and develop research skills for picture essays on a range of subjects.
Subjects are photographed over extended periods and you’ll be expected to produce work to professional standards. Live projects include collaboration with photo book designers and internationally active visiting photographers. Thefinal year is seen as a professional year. You’ll produce an ambitious body of work and respond to a live professional brief to prepare you for the photographic industry.
Year 1 – Documentary Photography degree
- What is Documentary?
- Photographer as Observer
- Photography Subject 1
- The Narrative
- Multi-Vocal Documentaries
- Photography Subject 2
Year 2 – Documentary Photography degree
- Research for Practice and Dissertation
- Documentary Strategies
- Photography Subject 3
- Documentary and the Publication
Year 3 – Documentary Photography degree
- Negotiated Practices
- Preparation for Industry
- Project Portfolio Development
- Critical Paper
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