Photography, Video and Digital Imaging BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now

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Based at the Northern Centre of Photography, you will be part of our dynamic community and will be equipped with the confidence, knowledge and skills to embark on a successful career in the creative industries.

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Creative content producers today use photography video and digital imaging fluidly. Our highly engaging programme enables you to explore a diverse range of photographic skills both digital and traditional. You will explore the cultural meaning of photography and its different fields including fine art, documentary and commercial. By also acquiring skills to share content and build audiences both online and off-line you will develop your own distinct visual language that opens up a wide range of career pathways.

Why us?

  • Join our unique creative community, working alongside professionals in the North East Photography Network (NEPN) 
  • Take part in international photography trips – recent visits included New York and Berlin
  • The University of Sunderland was ranked 12th in the Courses and Lecturers category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019

  • Hone your skills in our darkrooms, studios and digital suites housed in our dedicated facility, the Northern Centre for Photography
  • Be inspired by our team of award-winning teaching and technical experts

New Sunderland Culture logo

A city brimming with creative potential

Offering a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and performances, Sunderland Culture brings big-name artists from the worlds of contemporary visual arts, glass, ceramics and performance to the city, alongside showcasing the best and most exciting local talent. There is a huge range of opportunities for students to visit the venues, take part in events and get involved in the programme. Learn more about Sunderland Culture.


Course structure

This course is structured so that you will explore different approaches and styles of photography and moving imagery to build your skills, your creative approaches and understanding of the practice as you develop your own aesthetic and intellectual position as an image maker.

You will have opportunities to experiment and challenge yourself, present your ideas to your peers and test your work in the real world as well as giving feedback to your peers.

View more student work in our student galleries.

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

More about BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at Sunderland

Discover more articles
  • You’ll have access to top-of-the-range camera and studio facilities, including:

    • Cameras include: Pentax 35mm Nikon 35mm, Mamiya RB6x7, Hasselblad, Fuji 6x7, Fuji 6x9, Toyo 5x4, and Sinar 5x4. We provide Digital Nikon D80, D90, D700 D800 and D810 cameras for high-end digital studio work as well as HD video cameras
    • Accessories: Wide range of camera lenses and backs
    • Studios: 4 extensive photography studios equipped with Tungsten and Bowens Esprit studio lighting
    • Lighting: Wide range of portable lighting kits and flash guns
    • Macs: Digital suites with open-access Apple Macs for editing video and digital images
    Cameras and studios
  • You'll be using chemical and digital photography and video facilities, which include:

    • Pixel Lab – a dedicated digital darkroom and print centre
    • Black and white and colour chemical darkrooms
    • Photographic studios with flash and tungsten lighting
    • A full range of film and digital cameras with everything from portable flash to a wide range of lenses to support professional work
  • FabLab Sunderland offers a diverse range of specialist digital design and fabrication equipment. Based at the Hope Street Xchange in Sunderland city centre, it is a creative space where anyone can make (almost) anything. Our students gain free access to FabLab's machines which include:

    • Epilog laser cutter
    • ShopBot CNC router
    • The Roland Modela MDX-20 milling machine
    • Roland Vinyl cutter GS-24
    • Dimension 1200es Series 3D Printer – ABS plastic (large capacity 3D printer)
    • Ultimaker 2 (small scale 3D printer)
    • Ulitmaker 2 Extended (medium scale 3D printer)
  • The University Library has an exceptional collection of photography books and monographs and subscribes to a comprehensive range of academic journals and databases so you can access reliable and up-to-date information.

    A dedicated Academic Liaison Librarian supports students and staff in the arts, design and performing arts disciplines.

    The key resources for your course include:

    Discover: The Library’s multi-disciplinary search tool

    Art Full Text: A major resource for media and arts information

    JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’): Giving access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences

    Lexis: A major resource on full-text newspaper articles and legal information

    Library Services - arts and design
  • Map and directions


The University provides excellent facilities and industry-standard software so it's easy to make a seamless transition from your studies to the workplace. Photography courses are situated at the Northern Centre of Photography on City Campus.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.


If the above criteria is met you will be asked to attend an interview. For this interview please prepare a portfolio of work, which should be simply mounted and accompanied by preparatory work. Sketchbooks are an important feature of your preparatory work and should be included. Where possible, 3D and large 2D work should be photographed. Digital and screen-based work should be saved on a CD or memory stick.

If you are an international applicant, please supply your portfolio on a CD.

Suitable items for a portfolio include:

‡ Drawing: examples of observed drawing and exploratory drawing

‡ Projects: evidence of project work together with your sketchbooks and development work

‡ Self-initiated work: that you have done out of personal interest

‡ Research: examples of various forms of investigation undertaken for projects

‡ Writing: examples of reports, essays or journals

Fees and finance

The annual tuition fee is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are from outside the UK / EU

Tuition fees for part-time students are £6,935 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student work Catherine


Graduates from this course are creative individuals who work in a broad range of creative careers. This may be in directly related areas such as arts practitioners, the music press, fashion photography, and portraiture to people facing professions such as teaching, working in the caring professions. Graduates have also taken up internships using their creative and management skills and established their own small businesses operating throughout the country.


You will be working in the Northern Centre of Photography, a unique grade 2 listed building and a dedicated photographic space in the heart of the city centre. With opportunities to meet and learn from many visiting international photographic practitioners, you will be joining a centre of research and teaching excellence in the North of England. Part of a vibrant city campus, we have links to major cultural and industry organisations and we host NEPN, the region’s professional development agency for photography. 


Guest speakers

You will have a range of opportunities to meet different practitioners working across the photographic sector. NEPN provides a programme of speakers and events that question and engage with photographic debates.

Previous speakers have included: Simon Norfolk, Helen Sear, Rosy Martin, John Davies, Peter Fryer, Paul Seawright, Liz Wells, Jem Southam, Tomoko Yoneda, Melanie Friend, Julian Germain, Paul Wombell, Dinu Li, Paul Hermann, Nicola Dove and Julian Stallabrass.

Portfolio requirements

We are interested in your creative potential; please prepare a portfolio of work you have completed so far. We are not looking for perfection as we appreciate you may still be developing work. We would like to see: 

  • A variety of work – we want to see a range of styles and technique
  • Work completed in or outside of your studies
  • Ideas that you feel didn’t work
  • Research: examples of various forms of investigation
  • A USB stick or online link with any digital and screen-based work
  • Accompanied by work in progress, sketch books and development work

We will ask you to come in for an interview to allow us to get to know each other. We are interested in your approach to your work, your awareness and your understanding of photography, video and digital imaging as well as what you’re passionate about, interests, influences, and experiences. We will also ask you about your plans for the future and the research you have done to find a suitable course.

Meet the students

  • I enjoyed the freedom of self-expression and the help given by the lecturers at Sunderland.
    Esme Fletcher, Photography, Video and Digital Imaging

    Esme Fletcher

  • Sunderland is an excellent place to develop as an artist and photographer.
    Helen McGhie, Photography, Video and Digital Imaging

    Helen McGhie

  • I wanted to do something that spoke about mythology, culture and our heritage.
    Ignotas Kuprys

    Ignotas Kuprys

  • The University of Sunderland was my route to the best job in the world.
    Luke Newman, Photography, Video and Digital Imaging

    Luke Newman

Meet the team

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