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Case Study

Iam Burn

South Shields, UK

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging


Iam Burn chose to study BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at Sunderland because of the University’s good reputation for the course. He received superb support from staff throughout his studies, as well as financial support from various scholarships. He is now moving forward in his career, working as a sports photographer and developing his art practice.

The key reason I chose to study at the University of Sunderland was the reputation it had for its BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging course. I knew the facilities available would allow me to explore and experiment with many different creative techniques, including black and white and colour darkroom practices. When I met with the programme leader for my interview to join the course, I was blown away by his enthusiasm and knowledge. I knew then that the University of Sunderland was the place for me!

The support I received was superb. I was encouraged and challenged in equal measure, to really get to best out of me and try anything and everything – even allowing myself to fail sometimes. The academics and technical staff encouraged me to be adventurous, try new things and push myself to places I didn’t think I could reach.

The University of Sunderland has a community feel to it. The library is a brilliant resource with excellent staff to support you with your studies. It is close to the city centre and the coast, and to other places of interest. The transport links are excellent.

I received several additional streams of funding throughout my time at Sunderland, such as the DOSH scheme, the Futures Fund, the Excellence Scholarship and the Graduate Opportunity Scholarship, the latter of which paid for a professional DSLR body. This has directly helped me in my current career.

I am moving forward in my career, currently working as a sports photographer, shooting for a couple of news agencies. This was a dream of mine as a child and I cannot believe I regularly get to sit so close to the action at the Stadium of Light and St James’ Park! I am also starting to develop my art practice and I recently presented a talk about a specific piece of my work at LOOK Photo Biennial in Liverpool, which was funded by the Futures Fund Scheme. I also gained a residency with Norfolk Street Arts recently which provides a small income and a studio space for 12 months, and I plan to exhibit my work from this residency in Sunderland. I may consider exploring other avenues such as running workshops or teaching.

I can honestly say my experience of studying at the University of Sunderland has been amazing and I would sum it up as exhilarating, challenging and awesome”

Published 4 February 2020

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