BA (Hons)

Documentary Photography and Print. 

Explore the traditions of documentary storytelling along with the most exciting innovations in contemporary photography, print design and production.

  • Delivered by the award-winning Samuel Fordham and Jamie E Murray in proud partnership with The Royal Photographic Society.

  • Build an expanded, interdisciplinary art practice in the heart of Bristol’s thriving photography scene.

  • Emphasis on creativity, learning in context, professional practice, specialist technical skills and project development.

Our brand new (BA Hons) Documentary Photography and Print programme equips you with an expanded, interdisciplinary art practice, which blends the traditions of documentary storytelling with the most exciting innovations in contemporary photography, print design and production. We offer a platform where you learn to think critically, articulate independent ideas through project work, gaining technical skills and engaging with theories of art, representation and culture.


HOW LONG? Three years   WHERE? The Royal Photographic Society, Paintworks   UCAS CODE BS06   


@boomphotobristol instagram

the royal photographic


Over the years, our long-standing partnership with boomsatsuma has resulted in fantastic projects and opportunities for young people as well as those looking for an alternative to traditional higher education. By studying at RPS House, students will gain a unique understanding of the photographic world by engaging directly with us and getting involved with our events programme.

liz williams

Education Manager, The Royal Photographic Society

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) is an international charitable organisation that exists to increase the knowledge and understanding of photography and film, promote the highest standards of achievement, and encourage public appreciation. The RPS has a diverse education programme, regularly holds exhibitions, talks, symposia and workshops that the public can enjoy at their gallery and auditorium in Paintworks, Bristol, as well as venues across the UK, internationally and online.

The RPS supports young and emerging photographers through school and university visits, resources, partnerships, workshops and contributing speakers. An annual bursary programme offers sponsorship for environmental and postgraduate photographic research, short films and social documentary issues.

The Royal Photographic Society

337 Paintworks

Arnos Vale




course overview.

Through courses and workshops provided by major photographers on the international scene, you will become seasoned in the various editorial and artistic fields of publishing and documentary photography. Uniquely, you will be immersed in the professional world, through continual involvement in exhibitions, publications and assignments commissioned by outside institutions.


Working on multiple projects throughout the curriculum you will acquire skills that will serve to produce a portfolio of actual professional practice to the highest technical and aesthetic standards. Training at boomsatsuma will give you a wide range of opportunities to choose from upon graduation, whether it be working on commissions or personal projects, in art direction or moving images and will equip you for progression onto internationally renowned MA programmes.


Collaborative projects will see you come together to create an agency producing two photographic books and two magazines each year, developing skills in design, photographic critique and print production.

course structure.

year one.

  • Cross-functional skills in photography, graphic design, computer generated 2D/3D imaging and interaction design.

  • Work on weekly and fortnightly live editorial briefs for publication.

  • Create two long-form photographic / visual arts projects for exhibition.

  • Develop skills in the art of cinematography and produce a cinematographic sequence for screening in our 4K cinema.

  • Develop knowledge of key movements in photography, design and digital cultures.

  • Collaboratively produce two magazines and two photobook editions through intensive weekly workshops with key industry professionals.

year two.

  • Cross-functional skills in bookmaking, magazine creation, VR sequencing and moving image.

  • Work on weekly and fortnightly live editorial briefs for publication.

  • Create a yearlong photographic / visual arts project for exhibition or installation.

  • Create a cinematographic and sound sequence.

  • Deepen your knowledge on contemporary critical and photographic discourses.

  • Intensive workshop weeks with international artists.

year three.

  • Create a final major project through digital and printed media.

  • Design a traditional linear narrative to stage virtually.

  • Final major project disseminated as an exhibition or installation in virtual and real-world scenarios.

We’re proud to welcome applications from all subject backgrounds at boomsatsuma, and consider them on individual potential. Whether having previously studied STEM, arts or humanities subjects, applicants are invited to an interview or audition with us to demonstrate this, as well as communicate what inspired them to apply to us.

When applying through UCAS, use our institution code: B20 and course code: BS06. UCAS entry requirements are primarily made up from Level 3 qualifications such as, but not limited to BTEC Diplomas, A Levels or a Foundation Diploma.


Any questions? We’d love to speak with you.

Send us a direct message on
or email us at

application and typical offers.

entry requirements.

  • A level - CCC

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) - MMM

course leader

samuel fordham.

Samuel Fordham is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound. A graduate of the MA Photography programme at UWE Bristol, he has developed a research-based practice focused on telling intimate and often hidden stories highlighting issues surrounding childhood, family welfare and equality.


His projects are produced across platforms as installations, books and films. His work has been shown internationally in the UK, France, China, Lithuania, Georgia, Latvia and Ireland. Over the last year his work has won and been selected for awards including Paris Photo Carte Blanche Award, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Magenta Foundation Flash Forward, AOP Emerging Talent Award, Kaunas Photo Star Award, Production Paradise Emerging Talent Award and the AOP Student Award.


In 2018 he enrolled on a one-year mentorship through ISSP Latvia with Gordon MacDonald and Clare Strand (MacDonaldStrand), where he continued to develop his latest work, C-R92/BY.


Samuel’s work has been placed in the Government Art Collection and has been featured in publications including, e-flux, The British Journal of Photography, Fisheye, Creativeboom, RPS Journal, Time Out, B-24/7 and The Bristol Magazine.


jamie e murray.

Jamie E Murray’s work centres around storytelling. Drawing on ideas from history, he is interested in the persistence of stories and their relevance to humanity. Looking towards the notion of documentary within contemporary photography he feels it is important to engage with subjects in a number of ways, not being afraid to confront, collaborate with and record the experiences he has.


Jamie has received a BA (Hons) in Documentary Photography from the University of Newport, and an MA in Photography from UWE, Bristol. He also works on commissions and as a lecturer.

experience and opportunities.

The course will provide you with a range of opportunities to participate in external projects, such as events, exhibitions, open studios, placements and publications. These opportunities contribute to the future development of your practice and facilitate your skills development in preparation for a broad range of employment possibilities within the creative industries. These include:

  • Professional Contexts - written into all practice-based modules at levels 4, 5 and 6, which assist you in finding experience with an employer or a self-initiated public platform.

  • A Professional Contexts Facebook group page, which is an active blackboard for professional opportunities. Staff, students and alumni all contribute to this forum, this page is administered by the course leader.

  • Industry led lectures and workshops establish external relationships and provide valuable insight into creative networks, professional bodies, organisations, arts funding opportunities as well as competitions and artists residencies.

  • Live industry briefs and external opportunities are explored in portfolio modules at levels 4, 5 and 6 and students engage in block weeks across all three years of the program, which lend themselves to public exhibiting. This is an opportunity for students to work collaboratively and showcase their practice in public forums. 

  • Students produce a twice-yearly magazine and two photographic editions, to be sold at book fairs including Books on Photography and Offprint Tate. 

  • Students assist The Royal Photographic Society with projects, designing and creating resources for a number of exhibitions.

  • The University careers office provides access to a variety of opportunities, including starting a business, part-time employment, volunteering and placements.

What about accomodation?
Find out what Bristol has to offer here


Interviews for our course start from 1st September 2020.

In the meantime...

boomsatsuma HQ

Engine Shed

Station Approach

Temple Meads

United Kingdom

0117 942 8429

boomsatsuma education Ltd. adheres to the existing policies and procedures held by Digitech Studio School (part of the Cabot Learning Federation) with which it is partnered to deliver its educational programmes.


Read policies.

Company Number: 09950816

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