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Photo & Digital Journalism at UCA

On our BA (Hons) Photo & Digital Journalism degree course at UCA Farnham, you’ll learn how important it is to capture a moment in time, how to get to the heart of an issue through your pictures, and how to bring those images to audiences around the world. 

Working alongside Journalism & Communications students, you’ll gain the fundamental skills to become an effective photojournalist, and along the way find your individual style and 'voice’. You’ll also learn about media law, explore the role of the journalist in wider society and how it can hold those in power to account, help produce a documentary or short film, and develop a portfolio of work to take with you into your career.  

We’ll help you develop a distinctive, ambitious way of communicating that will make audiences sit up and take notice of what you have to say. 

Please note, this course is subject to validation.

 

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch
During Launch week you’ll undertake activities that bring together students from across the course – these can include ice breaking events, talks, trips, “find a story” exercises and helping new students integrate via a buddy scheme.

Digital Journalism
This unit is all about introducing you to modern day journalism. You’ll learn how journalists source stories and as well as the foundations of a news report. You’ll discover how you can tell your stories across a range of platforms, from conventional means through to infographics, quizzes and apps.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion
You’ll explore what is meant by equality, diversity, and inclusion and the implications of these concepts for creative practice. It will equip you to understand how our social identities (such as, gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) contribute to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in creative spaces.

Creative Storytelling for Journalists
You’ll create a portfolio of photographic stories in this unit. The key test of each image, or set of images, you produce will be whether it stands alone as a piece of storytelling with only simple captions or very minimal text. You will have the opportunity to create a montage of location-based images which unfold their own story.

Essential Journalism
In this unit you’ll gain the skills and knowledge required to become a competent journalist working in today’s digital newsrooms across all media sectors. It covers core skills including multi-platform storytelling, using social media for journalism, understanding website statistics, and finding stories buried in data. You’ll also begin learning media law, regulation and ethics so that you can understand the restrictions and opportunities these offer for journalists.

This unit runs in parallel with the Broadcast Journalism unit.

Broadcast Journalism
Like the Essential Journalism this unit is all about skills and knowledge for being a competent journalist – this time in the broadcast sphere.

This means training in research, writing and producing news articles for radio and television, and getting voice coaching for better newsreading and reporting. There will be two group projects: a television news programme and a podcast. For the assessment, you will produce a podcast, take part in the making of a television news programme and complete tests on the Ofcom code and law.

Photojournalists will get the opportunity to use different types of broadcast camera – including finding the best ways to produce quality video using mobile phones.

Proclamation (Journalism Publication)
For the culmination of the year, you’ll produce a substantive work of journalism, using the skills and experience you’ve gained. You can repurpose earlier pieces of work on this project, which will take the form of a physical or online magazine.

ATOM activities
You’ll choose a series of small activities to complete that boost your learning. These can be from any subject area, broadening your horizons and encouraging inter-disciplinary learning and development.

PLE Digital Outcome
Your Personalised Learning Experience (PLE) Digital Outcome is a purposefully edited, self-directed record of your constructive, engagement with and presence on, digital media platforms across the year.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
During Launch week you’ll undertake activities that bring together students from across the course – these can include ice breaking events, talks, trips, “find a story” exercises and also helping new students integrate via a buddy scheme.

Reporting Your World
Your passion within journalism – whether it’s sport, music, politics, fashion or something else – can be unleashed in this unit, where you’ll be able to build on your enthusiasm and turn it into something where you have real expertise, contacts and authority.

Working in the Creative Industries
For graduates to be successful in the workplace you need to possess suitable knowledge and skills, resilience and a positive attitude towards the world of work. This unit focuses on developing your employability and enterprise skills and equips you with competencies needed for your future career.

Reporting Power
How does power work on a local, national or international level? In this unit you’ll discover how it constrains and liberates and how it affects every aspect of how we live our lives. Reporters can support people by helping to crack and demystify councils, rules and processes - it’s a reporter’s major strength. As a journalist it’s vital you’re familiar with the parameters of power, and how to build that knowledge into the work you produce.

This unit also prepares you for the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ (NCTJ) Public Administration exam and the Broadcast Journalism Training Council’s requirements in this area.

Reporting Legally
From copyright, data protection, sources, contempt of court and defamation, there are a range of legal constraints on journalists. You’ll learn about these constraints via high profile court cases that have shaped the way stories are reported, and you’ll learn about how the law has evolved to cover changes in technology, such as the growth of social media.

This unit is based on the legal system of England and Wales and looks at how IPSO and Ofcom add an extra layer of regulation.

The News Reporter’s Toolkit
You’ll learn about how newsroom operates and get to know the different roles in contemporary newsrooms, including camera crews and photographers and have a chance to perform several of them in broadcast news production days.In the process, you will witness the importance of clear, distinct visual imagery, both photography and graphics and use your skills to capture still frame images you can build into engaging and original story montages.

You’ll continue to produce compelling photo-journalism but, this time, you’ll recreate it for a variety of platforms including social media and newsletters. You’ll also learn about the life of a freelance photographer and how to work for different audiences.

Documentary
You’ll work in groups in production roles to make a documentary or short film, using your skills to investigate your chosen subject and then film on location or deploy other techniques to tell your story. In your team, you’ll develop factual work through development and realisation of a treatment or concept and shape your film for a specific audience.

ATOM activities
You’ll choose a series of small activities to complete that boost your learning. These can be from any subject area, broadening your horizons and encouraging inter-disciplinary learning and development.

PLE Digital Outcome
Your Personalised Learning Experience (PLE) Digital Outcome is a purposefully edited, self-directed record of your constructive, engagement with and presence on, digital media platforms across the year.

Launch
During Launch week you’ll undertake activities that bring together students from across the course – these can include ice breaking events, talks, trips, “find a story” exercises and helping new students integrate via a buddy scheme.

Exploring Broadcast Journalism
Now you have the basics of producing and presenting stories, now is the chance to put them into practice, innovative digital journalism, capturing images which reflect expanded conventions within contemporary photography, working to deadlines, taking on a variety of roles and addressing different audience. This is as close as you can get to working on live programmes, while still benefitting from lecturers and guest editors’ suggestions and advice.

Over the course of 14 weeks, you will work on 15 news production days, exploring new ways of telling stories with themes ranging from the local to the international.

Semi-Final Major Project
As a journalist your work responds to and shapes the world around it. This unit encourages you to interrogate a particular theme or topic, research it, gather material and analyse how it informs your ideas and practice. You will study both the history and the contemporary practice of journalism to better understand your place within in it.

This unit leads up to a final major project where you can fully explore an issue that matters to you.

Final Major Project
The Final Major Project gives you the opportunity examine a subject or theme in depth through a self-determined and challenging assignment. Your Final Major Project is the culmination of both the skills and experience you have developed in the practical units leading up to now and the theoretical ideas you pursued in the semi-final project. It should be a work of original journalism, investigating a subject that is both important to you and likely to be of interest to a wide audience.

This course is designed to offer you (if eligible) the opportunity to study part of your degree aboard at a UCA partner university, while still earning credits towards your UCA degree.

For more information please visit the Study Abroad section

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
  • BA course: £9,250

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course: £9,250 (see fee discount information)

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £16,950
  • BA course: £17,500

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £3,390. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Please note: The fees listed on this webpage are correct for the stated academic year only, for details of previous years please see the full fee schedules.

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

 

 

Facilities

Facilities for this course include a tapeless three-camera TV studio networked to our broadcast newsroom using industry Autocue production software. Two radio studios (one analogue and one digital) and dedicated journalism Mac and PC suites equipped with InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Audition and Scoop. Dedicated journalism studios and IT suites. There is also an excellent campus library with an up-to-date stock of books and journals.

View 360 virtual tour

TV studios, UCA Farnham

Lecture theatre, UCA Farnham

Recording studios, UCA Farnham

TV studios, UCA Farnham

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Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.  

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we may need to see a visual or written portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 32 UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 32 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply. 

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we may need to see a visual or written portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The entry requirements for these courses will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application. View more portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

These courses don't require a portfolio.

 


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:

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