Since it was established by Magnum photographer David Hurn in 1973, the Documentary Photography degree has established itself internationally as one of the premier courses at which to study documentary photography. USW has a history of 100 years of photography, and over 40 years of teaching Documentary Photography behind us.
Our definition of ‘documentary’ is broad. It blends the traditions of documentary storytelling with the most exciting innovations in contemporary photography. On this Documentary Photography degree, you’ll learn how to think critically and independently, and you’ll gain the technical skills to communicate your ideas in the most effective way.
Students and graduates from the Documentary Photography course regularly win the industry’s most prestigious awards. Lua Ribeira and Sam Laughlin were joint winners in the 2017 Jerwood/Photoworks Award. Lua Ribeira was also runner up in the prestigious 2016 Bar Tur Photobook Award. Daragh Soden made the Irish Times ’50 People To Watch In 2017’ list. Previous winners included Sam Ivin, (Student Work Category of PDN’s Photo Annual 2015); Yasmin Balai, (second in IAFOR Documentary Photography Award) 2015 and Mira Andres (winner of the ESPY Award 2015).
The Documentary Photography course was recently featured in the prestigious British Journal of Photography. The course was the only UK course to feature in this special edition on excellence in European photographic education.
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