Four people sitting outside a cafe on Brick Lane photo by Alice McDonald

Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons)

Use the power of photography to communicate with a global audience.

Key details
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Full-time / Placement year
UCAS code

Course overview

On this Press & editorial Photography degree, you'll discover how to use the power of photography to tell stories, expose truths, prompt emotion or provoke action via the news and media. You’ll learn to shoot with a clear sense of purpose, while gaining industry expertise and professional insight. Working in long-form documentary photography, news, sport and fashion, as well as immersive multimedia narrative, you’ll acquire the skills to communicate in fresh and engaging ways on this photojournalism course.

You will:

  • Work like a professional photographer from the start, while gaining valuable industry insight and technical know-how
  • Have full access to our state-of-the-art educational photographic facility, which includes the latest camera equipment, studios and post-production technology
  • Benefit from the support of our experienced academic team and a programme of visiting lecturers and industry mentors
  • Enjoy opportunities for local, national and international work placements
  • Have the opportunity to take part in local and international study trips, to places including London and New York
  • Develop essential skills in creative problem solving and collaboration, and an understanding of photographic law, ethics and human rights

The Integrated Foundation Year and placement year pathways for this course are new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

Lead image by Alice McDonald.

Course details

On this Press & Editorial Photography degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year and/or placement year options.

From day one, you’ll work as a photographer in the field and the studio, acquiring the essential skills of visual storytelling. 

BA(Hons) Press & Editorial course video

From photography’s history and theories to essential technical and creative skills, this photojournalism course will teach you what lies behind the everyday practice of photographers and publications. You’ll study practical modules, communication and copyright, and magazine and layout production. 


Essentials of Photographic Narrative

In this module, you’ll develop your narrative photographic technique through a series of assignments designed to build your skills of observation, your ability to find stories and the technical understanding required to create compelling images. 

Professional Practice

This module will equip you with the basis for your growing identity as a professional photographer. You’ll build your own website, create your CV and develop a network of professional contacts. 

Histories, Theories, Practices and Contexts of Press & Editorial Photography

We’ll cover key debates and theories in communication and cultural studies, such as the changing role of photography as a social practice; how photojournalism has evolved within news and magazine industries; the growth of digital storytelling; the changing political and economic structures of journalism, and its role in shaping public opinion. 

Photographic Narrative in Context

You’ll produce relevant, real-world work that aligns with, and is attractive to, pre-existing editorial print spaces and clients. As part of this, you will recognise valid content relevant to specific spaces, by understanding products, audiences and markets within a press and editorial context.   

Critical Approaches to Press & Editorial Photography

This module provides an introduction to the varying ways that images convey meaning, and how we read them. Through a series of lectures, discussions, workshops and student-led seminars, you’ll engage with the origins of these theoretical and philosophical conventions in image communication. 

We’ll explore theoretical studies alongside ethics, representation and media law. You’ll develop audio and multimedia skills, and promote your work in print, online and at an exhibition in London. We’ll also help you develop your professional network as you complete a work placement and get the opportunity to study abroad. 


Audio Visual & Multimedia

This module will demonstrate the power and potential of multimedia storytelling. Through an introduction to the diversity inherent within multimedia practice, and via practical workshops and processes, you will learn how to marry story, content and context to create work that resonates with an audience. 

Media Law, Ethics & Human Rights

Through this module, you’ll develop a working knowledge of the legal and ethical frameworks that impact on story identification, gathering and publishing across digital and print media. 


This module introduces you to the theory and practice of engaging and understanding audiences across a range of media and contexts. Working in groups, you will develop the identity of your project, assign the necessary roles to manage the project, and complete the production, editing and curation of content. 

Cultural & Critical Context of News, Editorial and Photojournalism Genre

We’ll consider generic conventions across media and how they shape public knowledge. In doing so, we’ll look at specific journalism, documentary, editorial, photojournalism and visual storytelling genres. A combination of lectures and seminars will encourage you to critically contextualise practices with wider social, cultural, technical and political contexts. 

You can choose to take an optional placement year after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the RealWORKS employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your placement year 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

On top of producing a multi-part developmental portfolio and completing your dissertation, you’ll work toward a final major project in a subject area and medium of your choice. 


Developmental portfolio

The developmental portfolio is driven by and designed for each individual, being built upon previous portfolio success and married to the unique aspirations of each student. Youll be supported in this development process through stages of proposal, portfolio and reflection. You will align your ambitions and abilities with the five-part practical construct, ensuring that your unique voice is heard and supported. This module will help you to identify your specific strengths, which will direct future possibilities. 


Your dissertation is the major piece of academic work undertaken in the final year of study, and is an opportunity for you to explore your own interests. While writing, you’ll engage with research and analysis into the historical and professional concepts, practices and theories that have been introduced during the course. Although supported by workshops, seminars and specific supervision, the emphasis of this module is student-led independent learning. 

Final portfolio

Building on previous experience, and especially upon the strengths of your developmental portfolio, youll design individual and unique outputs that speak to an identified audience. Evidencing a deep and clear understanding of context and purpose, your creative work will be dictated by you with the support of your tutors. Your final submission will be highly professional, creative and critically engaged. 


Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route? 

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree. 

What you'll study in your Foundation year

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs. 



You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.


You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.


You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.


You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.


You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject. 


If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme. 

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

How you'll learn

You’ll take on practical projects and build your portfolio, as well as completing essays, lectures and seminar presentations. Throughout this exciting photojournalism course, you’ll have the chance to complete work placements in places like New York, Amsterdam and London, gain paid commissions at our in-house photo agency, and work with our industry partners around the world. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your technical skills through local and international study trips and workshops, while our visiting lecture programme will introduce you to some of the photo industry’s most influential practitioners. 

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll be assessed

100% of your assessment will be coursework. 

Assessment methods

  • Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • Portfolios, presentations and essays
  • End of year project and exhibition

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You’ll learn from our team’s experience working with companies like the New York Daily News, The Sunday Times Magazine, Rex/Shutterstock, The Guardian Magazine, Marie Claire, and The South China Morning Post.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Tom Ingate

Senior Lecturer in Photography

My undergraduate was in photographic communication from Falmouth Collage of Art and my teacher train...

Tom Ingate

Gretchen Viehmann

Head of Press & Editorial Photography

Gretchen has been the Director of Photography for both the New York Post and the New York Daily...

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Eva Cooney

Lecturer, Press & Editorial Photography

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Dan Cainey staff picture

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Dave Mann

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  • Large professional-standard studios
  • Black & white and colour darkrooms
  • Fully colour-managed digital suites
  • Film and paper processing facilities
  • Digital training area with Adobe Software
  • Professional printing and mounting services
  • Photography store containing a wide range of equipment for loan

Take a virtual tour

Falmouth Photography lecturer using camera equipment in a studio
Photography lecturer using camera equipment

Photography Facilities

Housing dark rooms, post-production suites, full professional studios and gallery, our Institute of ...

Photography Facilities
Library interior with 'group study' written on large pillar and students reading
Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
Falmouth University Sports Centre building exterior with blue sky and a path
Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre


Our graduates have worked as:

  • Photographer at The New York Times
  • Picture Editor at The Telegraph and Features Photo Editor at The Times
  • Video Editor at TikTok
  • Staff Photographers at Shutterstock, Solent News and Photo Agency and SWNS

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our international applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons) three year degree WP65
Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year (new for entry year 2023) FY22
Press & Editorial Photography BA(Hons) with placement year (new for entry year 2023) PY39

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with placement year 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Has visual skills, technical ability and engages with photographic narrative.
  • Can communicate verbally and through writing.
  • Knows about photographic history, contemporary practitioners and current affairs.
  • Is curious about the world, and eager to explore through photography and storytelling.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • £300 - Recurring annual costs
  • £500-£700 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
  • £800-£1000 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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