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In focus: our photography facilities

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By studying BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging or MA Visual Practice: Photography at the University of Sunderland, you’ll have access to well-equipped photographic and studio facilities at the Northern Centre of Photography (NCP).

By September 2021, the NCP will have moved from its location at City Campus to its new home in the David Goldman Informatics Centre, over at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s. As well as maintaining access to the NCP’s fantastic facilities, you’ll benefit from opportunities for peer sharing and social learning in architect-designed breakout spaces and will also be able to access the new Digital Incubator, which aims to support students who may wish to explore freelance work. Plus, the proximity of the NCP’s new home to the mediaHUB and National Glass Centre means you’ll become part of a vibrant creative hub with students from other creative degrees.

An artist's impression of a photography studio in the Northern Centre of Photography

An artist's impression of a photography studio in the new location of the NCP

An artist's impression of an editing suite in the Northern Centre of Photography

An artist's impression of an editing suite in the new location of the NCP 

An artist's impression of the students' breakout space in the Northern Centre of Photography

An artist's impression of the students' breakout space in the new location of the NCP 

Creative industry links

As well as our excellent facilities, we also host the North East Photography Network (NEPN), the region’s professional development agency for photography. Through the NEPN, you’ll be able to meet and learn from many visiting international photographic practitioners. You'll also get opportunities to meet a range of artists and practitioners across the industry through guest speakers and visiting professors. Previous speakers and visiting professors have included: Simon Norfolk, Rosy Martin, John Davies, Peter Fryer, Paul Seawright, Liz Wells, Jem Southam, Tomoko Yoneda, Melanie Friend, Julian Germain, Dinu Li, Susan Derges, Peter Kennard, Crystel Lebas, Julian Stallabrass, Shahidul Alam and Kuba Ryniewicz.

Student perspective

Photography graduate, Iam Burn, studied both his undergraduate and masters degree at the University of Sunderland. Here, he explains how he found the facilities at the NCP's previous City Campus location:

“In the early part of my degree, I was given access to darkroom facilities for both black and white and colour film developing and printing. I was able to use high quality medium format cameras for the first time. This opened up a wide range of creative possibilities for me and allowed me to experiment, helping me to find and develop my creative voice. I still use film within my practice today as a result of this. I was also exposed to alternative printing methods, including cyanotypes – something I still enjoy today.

Having access to studio space and lighting allowed me to stretch my experimentation further. I created a body of work titled “Six of the best”, which featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s “Picture the Poet” project. I would have not attempted this work prior to my time at the University of Sunderland.

Having access to the Digital Darkroom certainly helped my studies. Being able to use high quality printers, professional film scanners and Apple Macs with the latest Adobe software allowed me to test out ideas, marry up my interest in film photography with digital output and print on a wide range of media to understand which worked best for specific pieces of work. These facilities would have been prohibitively expensive for me to fund personally.

The photography facilities at the University of Sunderland definitely played a positive and significant role in both my studies and my photographic practice.”

Learn more

To find out more about our photography courses, check out our course pages:

Or join us at our next Online Open Day.

Published: 31 March 2021

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