A degree in film and photography provides you with both technical and transferable skills that could lead to a range of careers in the creative industries...
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Film/video editor
- Location manager
- Press photographer
- Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video
- Runner, broadcasting/film/video
- Television camera operator
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Finding work in film and photography is extremely competitive and requires talent and determination. Building up a portfolio of work is essential. It is worthwhile putting your effort into building up a network of contacts, as networking is also crucial in finding a job. In university vacations, look for temporary work helping out wherever photographers or camera operators are at work, from your local TV station or newspaper to film companies, advertising agencies and photographers' studios. Major charities sometimes have places for volunteers or interns in their marketing department.
Television channels and other media outlets often have slots for showing amateur films and photographs, so use these to make your work known, and enter competitions whenever you can.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Film and photography graduates enter technical, operational and creative areas, as well as taking on roles in support functions. Popular employers include:
- large broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky;
- communications companies;
- independent film production companies;
- public sector organisations, e.g. universities;
- advertising and marketing agencies.
Self-employment is a common option, with graduates taking on photographic jobs alongside other employment with the aim of developing a portfolio of clients. For information on setting up a business, see self-employment.
Opportunities may be advertised via company websites, recruitment agencies and in magazines and newspapers. However, these are sectors in which you are very likely to find employment through work experience, which allows you to develop and demonstrate your skills, and through personal contacts.
Skills for your CV
Studying film and photography develops a diverse range of skills including:
- ability to initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative work in various media, such as digital photography and audiovisual formats;
- ability to work flexibly and independently with self-discipline and self-direction;
- communication skills and the ability to present an argument;
- how to evaluate and reflect on your own work;
- project management, including financial awareness;
- working to a deadline;
- technical skills, such as IT, media production, multimedia and web-based technologies.
A range of MAs and postgraduate diplomas is available in the UK and internationally. These courses may help develop the skills needed for independent practice. As filmmaking and photography are very competitive fields, postgraduate study may demonstrate a level of commitment that could improve your employability.
Apart from specifically film or photography-related courses, areas of postgraduate research, study and technical training commonly taken up by graduates in this discipline include sound and light engineering, production, editing, journalism and creative enterprise.
What do film and photography graduates do?
More than 500 graduates employed in the UK are working as photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators.
|Working and studying||2.5|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||35.9|
|Retail, catering and bar work||26.5|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||7.1|
|Marketing, PR and sales||5.2|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- British Film Institute (BFI) - industry news and workshops.
- British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) - provides professional qualifications. Student members receive careers advice and other benefits.
- Royal Photographic Society (RPS) - provides bursaries and student members receive careers advice, access to competitions and exhibitions, etc.
- Creative Skillset