BA Photojournalism : Stories in Pictures

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Image: Matthew Lofthouse























What we do

Photojournalism is a unique and powerful form of visual storytelling originally created for print magazines and newspapers, but has evolved to include photography, filmmaking and multimedia. On this dynamic and specialist degree you’ll learn the technical, professional and creative skills to operate as a photojournalist. We offer you the chance to be current, innovative and free thinking. You’ll learn how to be technically proficient, investigate stories, think on your feet, handle digital work flows confidently and how best to explore your personal interests through visual storytelling. This degree has modules in Press and PR photography as well as in short and long form documentary photography and film. The course also includes journalism, multi-media and social media. We primarily teach through a range of live briefs and classroom workshops.

#Photojstudent, the annual BA (Hons) Phototournalism magazine

The course also offers the opportunity to collaborate with other departments across the University and work on external commissions. After three years of study our students leave USW industry ready – with experience of current working practices, a strong varied skill base, a refined portfolio and confidence in their own abilities. As a small cohort we are able to work one to one with our students to help prepare them for industry. Our graduates have gone on to find employment in the newspaper and magazines industry, film production and in social media, marketing and PR roles. If you would like to know more, please get touch.

Andy Pearsall Course leader

Becky Matthews Senior Lecturer

Glenn Edwards HP Lecturer

Find out more here: Interested to know more about the course structure? You can watch a recording of an open day talk here:

Awards ceremony in Berlin, Aiyush Pachnanda wins the EyeEm Photographer Of The Year award 2019


To prepare our students for industry we run regular ‘Live News’ days. During these sessions students are required to find their own still or moving image stories from the areas of news, sports and features. These briefs are undertaken to tight deadlines and must adhere to professional industry standards. Images are shot, captioned and sent from site using mobile technology in a matter of minutes. Students are encouraged to utilise all contemporary photojournalism practice. The University has a range of professional equipment to borrow including; Nikon, Canon and Sony 35mm camera bodies and lenses, digital and analogue medium format equipment, as well as industry standard video, sound and lighting equipment. Work is uploaded for sale with Alamy picture agency and students are encouraged to undertake paid commissions as part of their modules.

Images: Rebecca Sunflower Thomas, Sara Miles, Peppe Iovino, Lorna Cabble, Dan Damaschin, David Allen, Sian Reekie

Newport, UK. 27th March, 2019. Imam Sis is a Kurdish hunger striker living in Newport. He stopped eating on 16th December, 2017. He is striking for the release of Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned since 5th February 1999 for leading a resistance movement against the Turkish state where Kurds are routinely persecuted and denied basic human rights. The longest recorded hunger strike in the UK is difficult to determine, but comparatively, Bobby Sands lasted 66 days. Image: Ben Rice

Images: David Allen, Ben Rice, Aiyush Pachnanda, Dan Damaschin, Veronika Merkova

SPORT Cardiff, UK. Tuesday 2nd April 2019. Portrait of Triple Jump Athlete Jeff Angila. Angila is a Cardiff Metropolitan University student studying for a BSc (Hons) Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage degree while training for this years Welsh Championships and the British University Championships. Image taken at Cardiff Metropolitan University Outdoor Sports Track. Image: Alfie Reddy

“I’ve had the opportunity to work assisting one of the world’s greatest sports photographers, Bob Martin. I was introduced through our external examiner, Neil Turner, who gave me the opportunity to work at the London Marathon .” Sam, 2017 Graduate

Images: Kerry Elsworth, Sam Padget, Peppe Iovino, Ben Rice

Cardiff, UK. 27 January 2019. Cardiff City FC womens team pay tribute to footballer Emiliano Sala before the Welsh Premier Womens League match. Image: Matthew Lofthouse

DOCUMENTARY Feature and documentary photography allows our students to work over extended periods of time on social, economic, political or culture stories that fulfill their personal interests. These assignments are important as they encourage students to engage with communities and create work with a strong narrative thats connects with an audience.

Welsh Young Farmers Words and Images by Nick Bell For over four months Nick travelled across Wales meeting and photographing young people in farming, speaking to them about about various issues including, their views on successful farming, mental health struggles, food prices and connecting with consumers. Caitlin Jones Anglesey

“The set up here is basically share farming. It allows a landowner to use their farm and provide the infrastructure - they’ll put the sheds up, they’ll put the yards in, they’ll put the parlour in, they’ll fence it all and so on. Then it allows you to be part of the business - you manage the farm. It’s a good financial incentive, but it’s also a good way for someone young to come into the industry. The landowner then gets someone who’s a lot more committed rather than someone who turns up in the morning, goes home at 5pm and doesn’t have anything to do with it. I’ve got three brothers, two of which are home farming, and I always remember my dad saying: ‘You boys come home after university and take over’, but he couldn’t let go of those reins. But as he’s getting older, he does realise he has to let go at some point. I knew my brothers were going to come home to farm so that’s why I decided to become a chartered surveyor and farm on the side. I didn’t want to be in that situation where my dad was like: ‘There’s three of you, you’re going to have to split it’. So I thought, my dad started from nothing, why can’t I start from nothing and build up? It was daunting because it was shutting that door slightly, which my dad had always left open. At one point I felt maybe I’m being ungrateful, but then again I was like, no I want to do something for myself.” “If you think about mental health in farming, it’s a lonely place, you’re always thinking. It’s quite a dangerous place to be, that’s why something like share farming is a good place to be. It’s always good to have your feet on the ground and to be talking to other people. You’ve got to love what you do – you can’t go into farming half-heartedly.”

“The aim behind the work is to address what it means to be a young farmer today in Wales and how important the role of the young farmer is in shaping the future of farming, considering issues from political uncertainty to everyday challenges.”

Break Down Walls

Words and Images by Mohammdien Eshtak Thoughts of predominant Black figures living in Wales for Black History Month

“...the whole point of Black history month really is trying to show the positive achievements, accomplishments and contributions that we have brought to the history, culture and civilizations. I would like to see Black History been part in a mainstream history, and for mainstream history to acknowledge that we are part of that experience� Abu-Bakr Madden-Al Shabazz

Image by Mehek Seth

COLLABORATION COLLABORATION COLLABORATION Students are encouraged to work with other departments within the USW family including; Popular and Commercial Music, Drama, Film Production, Fashion Promotion, Journalism and Sports, as well as our in house Marketing and Communication teams. These collaborations help student become more proficient and confident photographers and often opens avenues for personal projects which are not traditionally Photojournalism, such as fashion and film set photography.

Image: Arhantika Rebello

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE “From the Professional Practice module I have learnt a great deal that will help me kickstart and develop my career after graduation. I am grateful for this module as it helped me think about my future more, leaving me with greater confidence and positivity about life after University. With this research I feel I am able to get started straight away as I have a better idea of what is out there for me to do.� Amy, 2019 Graduate. Full time Marketing & E-Commerce Executive.

Press and PR photography is a key skill of being a photojournalist. We are lucky at USW to host a lot of amazing events with world class partners. This means that our students can hone their event photography without even leaving the building. Images: Shaun Jones, Melisa Numan and Ben Rice

BLUE LIGHT EXERCISE The Emergency Services including officers from Gwent Police, the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service and specialist paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) worked with student nurses from USW Glyntaff on Blue Light, a simulation exercise recreating a car crash. The event was designed to give those on the front line an understanding of what could happen during a serious incident. Our Photojournalism students acted as journalists photographing and videoing the event for local press and the USW Communications team.

Online articles:

Images: Mehek Seth, Riley Rosser, Morgan Bishop, Ben Rice, Matthew Lofthouse

IMMERSED! FESTIVAL BA Photojournalism were lucky enough to be invited to cover FCIs first Music and Media Festival Immersed! at the Tramshed, Cardiff. Organised by USW in conjunction with BBC Horizons and the Forte Project, the concert raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The day-long festival showcased upcoming talent from USW and the Cardiff music scene. The event also included established acts such as Kyle Falconer, lead singer and songwriter from platinum selling band The View, plus special guests Bang Bang Rome and headliner Pete Doherty.

Image: Dali Poulsom

WORKING TOGETHER (Above) Still by Lily Watts for Our first year students practice their studio and environmental portraiture skills by shooting head shots for USWs BA (Hons) Drama students. In this fast paced session, students work across multiple locations to create a range of images suitable for actor’s portfolio. Photojournalism students also work with BA (Hons) Film students to practice film set photography.



We believe that the best way to teach our students is through practical

workshops. In the six years we have been running we have built up some great

relationships with venues and organisation across the city and been able to offer our students some unique opportunities

Some of the organisations students have had the opportunity to work with

include; Cardiff City FC, Cardiff City Council, BBC, Media Wales, the Elvis Festival Porthcawl, The Eye Festival, Crafty Devil Brewing Co, Wimbledon, the London Marathon, the Hay Festival, BAFTA, and the Cardiff and Vale University Healthboard.

To help first years with the basic techniques of sports photography, on a cold, wet and windy day in March 2019 we visited Foreshore MXC, where students got the opportunity to create some really awesome motocross shots Image: Steffan Clifton

BA Photojournalism 2018: The obligatory team photo!

For two days every September, thousands of Elvis fans descend on the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl for a unique celebration of The King. With over 100 shows across twenty venues, the town is packed with fans, impersonators and those out for a good time. As the festivals official photographers, our students are there to capture it all! Student work is syndicated nationally and been published on the BBC Online, The Independent, The Daily Star, the Daily Star Scotland and the South Wales Argus. 2018 saw the launch of Viva Las Cymru #1, a zine produced by BA Photojournalism students showcasing some of the best images shot over the previous years. View:

Website: Twitter: @ElvisPorthcawl Instagram: @elvisfestivalporthcawl

Images: Joanne Burgess, Ben Rice, Thomas Mansfield, Ben Blyth, Lorna Cabble

WORKING WITH Stock photography is estimated to be worth $3 billion a year. Alamy are a stock photography agency who supply photographs under licence to newspapers, magazines, film posters, adverts, billboards, phone apps, text books, book covers, corporate marketing and more. During their first year our students are signed up to create stock, reportage and live news for the agency. Alamy take no commission on student sales, so our students get to keep 100% of any money made from the sales of their work.

Images: Beks Matthews, Aarthy Balaganesh, Mohammadien Eshak, Amy Farrer, Caitlin Bolt, Emily Keohane and Matthew Lofthouse

Image: Bethany Shorey

Image: Kira Butters

WORKING WITH CARDIFF CITY The University has a number of sports based degrees and our students can practice their skills every week at the USW Sports Park. South Wales is also home to a wide range of sports including football, cycling, boxing, golf and rugby, and we have built up a close relationship with national and local clubs. Students have worked with the London Marathon, Wimbledon, Welsh Paralympics, Notts County Ladies FC and the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey team. Cardiff City FC generously allow our students to attend some of their matches under the guidance of Official Photographer, Carl Robertson.

Images: Matthew Lofthouse


Senior Lecturer. Becky Matthews

Former Press Photographer, published in every UK national newspaper. Documentary work primarily concerned with working with refugees both in the UK and abroad. Had work exhibited at The Photographers Gallery, The Migration Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Liverpool International Photography Festival and Brighton Fringe.

Lecturer. Glenn Edwards.

Former UK Press Photographer of the Year, Glenn has worked on over 100 foreign commissions including 80+ in Africa. Clients include The Independent, Oxfam and Computer Aid. Author of 5 books, his work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the Interceltique Festival, Lorient, France. Glenn is founder and Director of The International Eye Festival.

Course Leader. Andrew Pearsall

Prior to joining the University of South Wales in 2008, Andy taught Visual Communication at Birmingham City University at both Masters and Bachelors level for eleven years. Disciplines included motion graphics, animation, film, photography, graphic design and interactive media.


Image: Rebecca Sunflower Thomas

Photojournalists tell stories and stories are about people, so much of our teaching centres around shooting portraits. Students are taught the technical and social skills to confidently shoot people using both natural and msilanruojotohP AB controlled lighting, both in the studio and out on location. This learning is done through a range of challenging workshops and projects. eciR neB :egamI

Images: Billy Stillman, Ben Rice, Aiyush Pachnanda

PUBLICATIONS Many of our students are published (inter)nationally before graduation. The yearly list of commissions is printed at the back of our annual #photojstudent magazine which can be found at ISSUU:


Rebecca Sunflower Thomas Graduated 2018 Portrait of Britain Competition Winner 2019 Shortlisted 2018 Craig Redmond Freelance Photojournalist. Graduated 2018 Projects include; Cyprus: Massacre on Migration with Chris Packham and Daily Hugz Animal Sanctuary for Al Jazeera. Re

Aiyush Pachnada. Graduated 2019 Freelance Photojournalist. Producer for BBC Sessions EyeEm Photographer of the Year 2019 BA Photojournalism

Our course is only 6 years old so we have just 4 years of graduates. However, our students are making their way in industry, heres a few: Kerry Elsworth. 2019 Graduate. Staff Photographer, Mercury Press, Manchester/ Liverpool Amy Farrer. 2019 Graduate. Marketing/ECommerce Exectutive at Crown Plaza Sara Miles. 2019 Graduate. Marketing and Communications Assistant at the NPTC Group Rhys Skinner. 2018 Graduate. Media Officer, Barry Town United Bethany Shorey. 2017 Graduate. Marketing and Communications Administrator, Institute of Fire Engineers Becky Ward. 2017 Graduate. Lifestyle Blogger. Cat Lothian. 2017 Graduate. Photographer at SportCam Sam Padget, 2017 Graduate. Producer & Owner, 74 Productions, Cardiff Aimee Herd. 2017 Graduate. Freelance Lifestyle Photographer, Pensylvania, USA

Image: Aiyush Pachnanda

KEY SKILLS: PUBLISHING There are multiple ways to share stories. It’s no always enough to be ‘just’ a photographer. The photojournalist must have a knowledge of journalism, moving image, social media, multi media and design. On this course we teach InDesign and students design and submit work through formats including posters, zines, magazines and books.

YouTube; Im

To see some of our best books and zines head to our ISSUU page Work by: Amy Farrer, Bethany Shorey, Beks Matthews, Rhys Skinner, Kerry Elsworth

KEY SKILLS: MULTI MEDIA Multimedia allows students to share their work on a wider platform incorporating stills, video, audio and journalism.


“I am enjoying the classes because I learn new words and get a lot of information and I have fun with my friends. I hope to speak English fluently and to study in college for a teaching assistant. I hope I can get a good job for my kids, I hope my kids earn a degree in what they want. I am also hoping to travel and see my family." Suhir, learner.


Words and images by Amy Farrer‘

Girls Talk’ is a project exploring the treatment of women in the music industry and the rise of sexual assault and sexual harassment in these environments. This body of work looks at the personal experiences and opinions of individuals and the aesthetic reflects the fear that the night instills on women regarding their safety.

“Sometimes you know you are getting attention for the wrong reason, but sometimes I feel like if they don’t mention your physique but they mention your voice or the overall experience, you’ve kind of gained points somehow. I often feel like I can’t dress exactly the way I want to, as I like to dress up for a gig. I get worried people think I’m dressing for the sexual attraction.” Alcie

“Today you also have the possibility to choose if you want to do a visual story, a video, sound, or if you want to write the story. The new generation of photojournalists will work in a completely different way to the old photojournalists. They know the possibilities of working with social media and are not locked into only stills photography. As you see everywhere, visual storytelling is getting more and more important – if you're good at that, you're going to survive." Magnus Wennman, Photojournalist



For over a year Ben worked with the homeless people of Cardiff, even spending a night sleeping rough to try and understand how it feels. This film tells some of their stories and importantly, tells how they would like to be treated by the public. This film was shown extensively across regional and national press.

SPEAK By Lorna Cabble

A short film detailing the stories of survivors of rape. The work is intended to encourage others to speak out and put an end to the crime. The work also aims to reassure those that have experienced rape that they are not alone.


Documentary on the Swansea Music Hub, featuring Tom and Rhys. All music by Swansea artists.

UP THE TOWN By Rhys Skinner

Documentary on the rise of Barry Town United.


To see some of our best moving image work head to our YouTube Channel: BA Photojournalism USW

And in Other News... Court snatches in the rain, graduate shows, free burgers, big lenses and Bruce Gilden finally gets to shake Aiyush’s hand...

@PhotoJ_USW @photoj_usw

All images in this publication are the work of BA (Hons) Photojournalism students past and present

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