Course Overview


Great photographs stick in the mind. They have the power to change global opinion and shape our collective memory. Powerful images attract readers to websites and publications and raise awareness of social and political issues and cultural trends. In an age of visually-saturated media, photojournalism is more important than ever.

Our BA (Hons) Photojournalism degree course will equip you with the up-to-date skills you need to become a professional in today’s fast-paced industry. You will develop photography and journalism skills that will give you a competitive edge and learn about the essentials of working as a professional photojournalist. Throughout the course you will explore different styles of photojournalism including editorial, sports and documentary photography and have the opportunity to embrace other innovative forms of visual storytelling using video, web and multimedia. We love to get out and explore the world – recent student trips have included Paris, Iceland, Copenhagen and New York and individual student projects have covered the migrant crisis in Greece, Libyan culture and the remarkable Cat lady of Oslo

Our degree course is built around core modules which develop essential skills for the industry and academic knowledge and understanding. Open assignments for these core modules give you the opportunity to develop your individual interests whether your passion is for news, sports, wildlife, fashion, or street photography. You will also have the opportunity to build an individually tailored programme of study by choosing from a wide range of option modules at Level 5. If you want to focus more on writing skills for journalism, develop a documentary project and make a book, or learn about magazine design and receive training in Adobe InDesign the choice is yours! You can explore these modules in more detail in the course content section below. 

Our friendly team of lecturers and technical support staff are there to help and to guide you through your degree. Personal tutors oversee your general wellbeing and progress, whilst module tutors provide constant advice and feedback on individual assignments and work-in-progress.You can study this degree programme full time over three years or part time for two days a week, for a period up to six years. To help with any changes in personal circumstances you are able to change your mode of study at any time.

Your individuality is at the heart of our teaching, so throughout our degree course you’ll have the freedom to pursue your own ideas with the support of our industry-experienced tutors. Find out about our regular Open Days when you can come and meet the course team, students and view our fantastic facilities on Staffordshire University’s website or by getting in touch directly with us. We are very proud of our students – looking at their fantastic work here will give you a good understanding of what you can learn and do on our course.

 

LEVEL 4 MODULES

INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOJOURNALISM: A practical introduction to the industry through a series of short assignments focusing on different areas of photojournalism. You will learn about what photojournalists do, photographing for different types of publications and how to build a WordPress blog.

IMAGE TECHNOLOGIES: Everything you need to know about the basics of digital photography – shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, lenses, digital editing skills… This module is the foundation of your practical skill set as a professional photographer.

JOURNALISM IN PRACTICE: The fundamentals of journalism – how to find news stories, write for publications and use social media as a journalist.

EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Create a series of photographs and written magazine article on a subject of your choice. This module develops your skill set further with an introduction to studio and location lighting and training in film photography and dark room skills.

THE CANON: Learn about the fascinating history of photography and the great photojournalists from Cartier-Bresson to Capa. This module develops your academic and critical skills.

LEVEL 5 MODULES

PRACTICAL PHOTOJOURNALISM: Develop your individual interests further by creating a portfolio of photographs and short film targeted at a specific area of the industry. Practical skills development is supported through a series of workshops including using flash, preparing images for professional clients and video editing.

HISTORY AND THEORY IN PRACTICE: An in-depth critical and practical investigation of an influential photographer of your choice leading to a group exhibition of your photographs. This module will build your academic skill set through the development of a critical essay and presentation skills in preparation for the final year of the degree course.

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: All the essentials you need to work as a professional photographer – ethics, law, promotion and professional networking.

CHOICE OF 2 OPTION MODULES (AVAILABLE 2017-18): FUTURE JOURNALISM, PRODUCTION JOURNALISM, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENTS, MAGAZINE WRITING AND BUSINESS PRACTICES, SPORTS FEATURES AND CREATIVE CONTENT, MAGAZINE DESIGN, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY, FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY, CONFLICT AND JOURNALISM, SCREENING JOURNALISM, STAFFSLIVE NEWSDAYS, WRITING TO PICTURES.

LEVEL 6 MODULES

PHOTOJOURNALISM IN CONTEXT: This module supports your individual development through a self-initiated photographic exploration of a topic of your choice and the development of a personal website. Your learning will be supported through one to one tutorials and individually tailored support.

CONTEXTUAL ESSAY: Place your practical work within the wider context of photojournalism through an individually negotiated programme of research. You will produce an academic essay demonstrating how your critical and theoretical knowledge informs your practice.

WORK PLACEMENT AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Supporting your future success and employability is essential to the ethos of our degree course and Staffordshire University. This module gives you the opportunity to gain real industry experience and contacts through a work placement and a series of lectures and workshops focusing on career development.

MAJOR PROJECT: The culmination of all your work and personal development throughout the course. You will develop an individually negotiated final project to launch your future career. You will work with other students to create a group exhibition for Staffordshire University’s annual degree show.

 

You’ll have access to our top-end digital and film cameras as well as the latest Mac computers, monitors and printers. Our four photographic studios are equipped with industry-standard lighting rigs. We have black and white darkrooms, so you can work with film and print chemically if you want to. We also have three newsrooms with industry standard picture desk software and broadcast quality video cameras. Students are supported by our excellent technical staff, who have a wide range of professional experience.

You will hear from acclaimed photographers like Zed Nelson, Mishka Henner and Eamonn McCabe during weekly guest lectures, gaining valuable insights in to the world of photojournalism – from the inner workings of Magnum Photos, to covering assignments for National Geographic.

You’ll gain practical experience on industry placements and by working on live briefs. We have strong links with international news agencies, national and local newspapers and many niche magazines. Our students have completed work placements with publications such as The Guardian, NME and the Daily Express and with organisations like the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, Getty Images, Pro Sports images and football clubs like Everton and Burton Albion FC.

Every year our students work as a team to produce a student led newspaper building their professional knowledge and experience.

Our Journalism Department is an examination centre for the National Council for the Training of Journalists so you can gain industry recognised qualifications alongside your degree. You’ll also have the chance to travel, visiting exciting cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and abroad in Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Iceland. Our department’s membership of the European Journalism Training Association also offers exchange opportunities at journalism schools in many European cities including Milan, Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki.

Popular graduate destinations from our Photojournalism degree include: Photojournalist, Sport Photographer, Press and PR Photographer, Editorial Photographer, Documentary Photographer, Armed Forces Photographer. Graduates have also used the transferable skills gained throughout the course to work in roles including: Newspaper Sub Editor, Fashion Journalist, Picture Editor, Photo Historian, Photographer’s Agent, Photo Librarian, Gallery Curator, Gallery Educations Officer, Public Relations and Teaching.

Find out more about individual graduate stories here.

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