Taught course

Documentary Photography and Photojournalism

University of Westminster, London · PG Creative Practice and Art Theory

Entry requirements

You should possess a good first degree from a recognised university, or relevant working experience to an equivalent level that equips you for postgraduate study. We welcome mature applicants with a background in the media or related areas.

Months of entry


Course content

The emphasis of the course is on contemporary approaches to editorial and documentary photography. You will receive tuition in the history and theory of the published page, creating photo essays and single images for publication, picture editing, critical and journalistic writing, the production and design of a magazine, and conceiving and executing a successful major project. On this journey, you will gain a critical understanding of images, as well as image/text relations, which will serve you well in your future careers as the country's foremost visual thinkers and practitioners.

Graduates are eminently employable, and regularly achieve success, awards and acclaim as photographers, picture researchers, picture editors, writers, lecturers, designers, art buyers and festival organisers (see Alumni section of this website for further details).

Course content

The course is designed so that you progress quickly and fluently from one semester to the next, building skills and experience to achieve the best possible photographic portfolio, which will become your 'passport' to a successful career. Taught modules run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in term time.

Core modules

Semester one:

History and Theory of the Published Page
This module aims to provide you with the historical and theoretical contexts that inform the practice and deployment of photojournalism in the contemporary media sphere. Through a series of close readings of published photographs, you will develop a critical awareness about a range of political, ethical and moral issues that confront practitioners within the media.

Photography for Publication
You will focus on how to produce successful news or feature images for the press. The module will cover pre-production and postproduction of digital images in Photoshop.

The Picture Story
This module concentrates on the structure, form and content of the picture essay. You will produce a professional-quality photo story by the end of the module, along with a written critical assessment.

Semester two:

Magazine Editorial Production
During this module you will work in groups with fellow course members to produce a finished magazine to a professional standard. Each group will devise a magazine concept, produce the photographs and text, design the pages and see the project through to print stage. Specialist design tuition and weekly editorial meetings throughout the module will monitor progress of the publication. The resulting magazine will be an important part of your final portfolio.

Writing Photography
This module will reinforce the skills of researching and introduce the practice of writing to different models. You will develop critical tools with which to appraise the work of other writers and photographers, and engage in a through exploration of the relationship between words and pictures.

Semester three:

Major Project or Dissertation
You will negotiate your project with your tutors, taking into account your expected career path. Projects can range from a substantial photographic portfolio on a major theme to a book dummy or website. The work produced on this module should be used as a significant career asset when you enter the world.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English, you must show competence in both written and spoken English to the University standard of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

Please find details of the extensive range of funding opportunities available through the university on our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)20 7911 5000
+44 (0)20 7911 5788