University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant)

Documentary Photography and Visual Activism (Swansea College of Art)

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Course summary

The Documentary Photography and Visual Activism course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD teaches students traditional, practical documentary and photojournalistic skills alongside contemporary strategies for becoming visual activists, who empower their subjects whilst engaging with communities and networks to raise awareness about inequality and injustice as a means for social change. As visual activists you will challenge the conventions of documentary photography and photojournalism, develop an awareness of whose story you are telling and how you are telling it, be fully engaged in investigating the subjects which inspire you, and become advocates for the causes that you are most passionate about. This course embraces documentary photography in its broadest sense, and encourages experimentation with multimedia, installation, exhibitions, workshops and participatory projects to develop your own unique style of visual storytelling. As well as working with local community groups supporting refugees, asylum seekers and BAME youth groups, students have worked with Women’s Aid, Race Council Cymru and LGBTQ+ charities to develop collaborative projects addressing contemporary social issues. Aided by a wide range of practical workshops you will be encouraged to experiment with the medium of photography to develop your own unique style. There is a regular programme of visiting lecturers and specialist workshops that provide our students with invaluable networking opportunities with professional organisations, such as Canon, Getty, Sunday Times and local galleries, museums and archives that equip our graduates with essential skills to progress in their careers. As well as working as freelance photographers graduates go on to a wide range of successful careers, including jobs in documentary, editorial and commercial photography, picture editing and research, curating, publishing, journalism, and teaching.

Course details


Please see the course website for details

Assessment method

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include: Lectures Usually at the start of a scheduled contact period, lectures will generally consist of a formal presentation giving information relevant to the module, accompanied by visuals, and followed by a screening or group tutorial/activity. Group Tutorials Depending on the cohort size, module content and individual lecturer preferences, these are usually in groups of no more than six students at a time and delivered over a set period. Individual Tutorials Most often scheduled for level 5, level 6 & level 7 students, individual tutorials offer a more focused and in-depth opportunity for student feedback and development of ideas. Most often arranged in relation to individual practice modules such as Student Led Projects. Critiques Group critiques are scheduled regularly for all year groups. For level 4 these often form part of the assessment at the end of short projects, for levels 5, 6 & 7 they are scheduled for the purpose of interim reviews and work-in-progress feedback, involving student participation and peer criticism. Workshops Delivered to teach specific skills to students, group size will depend on subject and room size, can include project work. These are not usually formally marked, but can be subject to group criticism, and informal feedback will be given. Presentations Formal presentations by students to peers and staff are used for research and development through to finished work. Students usually begin doing presentations at level 4 in small groups to build confidence in the process. There are then assessed research presentations to peers at level 5 and Major Project Presentations to staff and other year groups in level 6 & 7. The presentation is an ideal vehicle for developing individual confidence and transferable skills.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Dynevor, Swansea
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9000 Year 1
England £9000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9000 Year 1
Scotland £9000 Year 1
Wales £9000 Year 1
Channel Islands £9000 Year 1
International £13500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Documentary Photography and Visual Activism (Swansea College of Art) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David - UCAS