For more information about Commercial Photography at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Commercial Photography at Nottingham Trent University

This practice-based course is designed to help you develop the commercial, technical and conceptual skills demanded by the commercial photographic industry. With a focus on employability and entrepreneurship you'll undertake either a work placement or a live project with industry, in the UK or overseas..

Your coursework is based upon your own research question, from which you will develop your own photographic project. This can either be self-initiated or chosen from live briefs which reflect real-life, future facing, photographic challenges and opportunities.

To facilitate this project you will produce your own plan, a Learning Agreement, showing how you wish to develop as a commercial photographer within one of three specialist areas:

  • portraiture and fashion;
  • applied studio; and
  • documentary photography.

Key features

  • Develop a project tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.
  • Choose to specialise in one of three areas: portraiture and fashion, applied studio, or documentary photography.
  • Undertake an industry work placement or live project, in the UK or overseas.
  • Take part in production workshops to help develop your existing skills.
  • Have the opportunity to exhibit your work publicly.
  • Go on a study visit to at least one photographic archive.
  • Benefit from our staff's international links and contacts across Europe.
  • Take advantage of our excellent industry links, including companies such as Phase One, Genesis Imaging, Profoto, Wex Photographic, and Calumet.
  • Join the 75 years' worth of NTU graduates who have achieved success, won awards, or otherwise distinguished themselves in the field of photography.

How you're taught

Teaching and learning experiences may include:

  • tutorials;
  • lectures;
  • workshops;
  • live projects;
  • work placements;
  • support in out photography facilities; and
  • self-directed learning.


Assessment is 100% based on coursework and includes:

  • Learning Agreement;
  • Reflective Journal;
  • work-based learning report;
  • verbal presentation;
  • contextual essay;
  • annotated bibliography; and
  • body of photographic work.

Careers and employability

Students from this course may become; photographic assistants including digital specialists; museum photographers; portrait photographers; fashion photographers; commercial and staff photographers; and multiplatform photojournalists.

Our aim is to produce highly employable graduates, and we are committed to offering experiences throughout the course that will enhance your understanding of the industry's requirements.

The University's Employability Team can help to prepare you, offering a variety of activities including CV building, writing job applications, preparing for interviews, and building your own personal brand.

Professional practice

This course, the photography department and the University's Employability Team, will help you to prepare for a career in commercial photography.

You'll benefit from regular masterclasses from high-profile guest lecturers, from a diverse range of backgrounds. This is supported by industry visits by companies like Phase One, Genesis Imaging, Profoto, Wex Photographic, and Calumet.

You'll have the opportunity to undertake a work-based placement as part of the course, or to work on a live project with industry.

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Get inspired

Take a look at a recent zine produced by our graduating Masters students to get a flavour of the innovation and creativity that goes on within the School of Art & Design.


Our MA Commercial Photography students are based in the Bonington building, a dedicated centre for Art and Design. Facilities and equipment include:

  • Mamiya Leaf / Phase One digital cameras and backs with Capture One software for high-end digital capture.
  • A postgraduate studio, with space to work alongside other practice-based Art and Design Masters students.
  • Apple Mac editing suites with Capture One and Adobe Creative Cloud software for both photography and moving image.
  • Epson 17 inch inkjet printers dedicated to photography.
  • Medium and large format film cameras including Mamiya, Hasselblad, Wista and Toyo.
  • A range of Canon 5D and Nikon D180 cameras.
  • A selection of 35mm film cameras including Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Leica.
  • Various HD video cameras.
  • Three dedicated full-size studios with backgrounds and Profoto lighting.
  • Black and white darkroom for wet and dry printing, including De Vere 504 with Multigrade heads.
  • Black and white print processing suite for small and deep tank processing
  • Colour suite with RA4 print processor and ten individual darkrooms equipped with either De Vere 203 or 504 colour enlargers.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

Other requirements:

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally. Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university don't usually have to meet this requirement.

Pre-masters courses

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can do a pre-masters course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

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