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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Photojournalism Online Course

This course takes you through the processes of selection and publishing for a specific publication, submitting work for publication, and meeting the requirements of an editor and publisher. Under the guidance of a mentor (a photography/publishing tutor), you will learn to write according to specific criteria, deal with a publisher, and communicate effectively with others involved in the publishing process. And, you will come away with at least one published work (maybe more), which will set you on the path to a career as a writer. No matter what you want to write, you will find this a great learning experience.

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Photojournalism Distance Learning Course

  • Start any time, study anywhere, learn from experience, qualified, professional tutors.
  • Learn about what to photograph and how to photograph it.
  • Learn about dealing with publishers and their requirements.
  • Learn about text and caption writing for your work.
  • Undertake a practical project to gain experience to complement your studies.


  • A writing or publishing course (e.g. Freelance Writing, Publishing I, Editing I) or equivalent
  • Medium level computer skills, or higher (e.g. Competence with Photoshop or similar software)
  • Photo Practice, or equivalent.

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:
  1. A Short History of Photojournalism
    • Overview
    • History of photojournalism
    • Famous photographers
    • Margaret Bourke-White
    • Gordon Parks
    • Diane Arbus
    • Nick Ut
    • Larry Burrows
  2. Ethics and Photojournalism
    • Hypothetical
    • What is ethics
    • Schools of Philosophy
    • Utilitarianism
    • Rationalism
    • Humanism
    • Kant
    • Socrates
    • Other philosophers
    • Digital manipulation and ethics
    • How ethical is digital manipulation
    • Real life
    • Codes of ethics
    • Guidelines for making ethical decisions
    • Ethics in practice
  3. What Should I Photograph?
    • Composition
    • Things to consider
    • Camera techniques to help with composition
    • Principles of photographic composition
    • Qualities of the components
    • Effects of different angles on the subject
    • Legal issues
  4. How Should I Photograph It?
    • Terms to learn and understand
    • Depth of field
    • Digital vs conventional photography
    • Shutter speed
    • Development of photographic style
    • Equipment and materials
    • Sensiometry
    • Lighting
  5. Photo Stories / Editing Images
    • Overview
    • Ethics of digital manipulation
    • Controversy of fairy photos
    • Correctly interpreting photos
  6. Publishing Opportunities
    • Overview
    • Portfolio
    • Online portfolio
    • Direct portfolios
    • Slide portfolios
    • Using flash
    • Music
    • Standing out
    • Writing a cover letter
    • Your resume
    • Creating a job hunt database
    • How to get work
    • How to find a job
    • What type of clients do you want
  7. Working to Specification / Problem Based Learning
    • Overview
    • Photography specifications
    • Consistency
    • PBL Project to develop and draft submission specifications for an electronic publication and then shoot a photo story which meets these specifications. You firstly need to identify two possible subjects for a photo story for that publication, and then follow one of these stories for an extended period of time. You will then select and edit your images - to meet the specifications created for that publication.
  8. Publishing Using Online Management Systems
    • Types of digital files
    • Publishing online
  9. Taking Photos and Submitting Images
    • Portraiture vs photojournalism
    • Sports photography
    • Freezing action
    • Blurring movement
    • Panning
    • Sports photography using a digital SLR
    • Photographing an event
    • Submitting images for publication
  10. Writing Articles and Captions to Accompany Your Image
    • Overview
    • Sentences and phrases
    • Writing effective sentences
    • Choosing effective words
    • Paragraphs
    • Punctuation
    • Newsworthy articles
    • News values
    • Storyline
    • Writing a news article
    • Writing captions
  11. Revising Submitted Work
    • Overview
    • Tips to improve your work
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Under the guidance of a mentor (a writing/editing tutor), you will learn to produce images according to specific criteria, deal with a publisher, and communicate effectively with others involved in the publishing process. And, you will come away with at least one published work (maybe more), which will set you on the path to a career as a writer. No matter what you want to write, you will find this a great learning experience. 

This course gives you hands-on experience in writing for a publication. You will work with a tutor (member of our academic staff) who will oversee your role as writer for an online publication, for one edition of that publication.

Course Aims

  • Discuss the nature and scope of photojournalism.
  • Explore issues of ethics in photojournalism and develop an understanding of your own biases.
  • To explore the composition of photographs and associated legal issues.
  • To revise basic terms used in photojournalism.
  • Understand the photo story and the effect of editing and placement on the meaning of an image.
  • Research International web sites for publishing and looking at work.
  • Explain publishing specifications, and apply that understanding to specific photography tasks.
  • Develop an understanding of online management systems.
  • Improve your Photography Style and submitting images for publication.
  • Develop your writing abilities to accompany your images.
  • Revise your Submitted Work.

Opportunities for Photojournalism

Photojournalism is a competitive market.  To find work within photojournalism, you must be prepared to look hard.  Before even considering applying for jobs or contracts, a photojournalist must be prepared. They must have –
  • A high quality portfolio in printed form, on portable media and online.
  • High quality stationary.
  • A well prepared resume/CV.
  • A good cover letter.
  • A tracking method to keep record of all your letters/applications for jobs.
  • A willingness to move quickly and maybe permanently.

You must make sure you have all of this prepared BEFORE you apply for any jobs.

Make a Portfolio

One of the important steps in applying for work is ensuring that you have a high quality portfolio available to demonstrate your skills.

A portfolio is a set of images that show the photojournalists technical and aesthetic skills. There are no universal guidelines on how to prepare a portfolio. Obviously this is a creative art, as well as a technical one, so some aspects rely on the photojournalist themselves. But there are some general guidelines.

  • Consider the client that you are hoping to impress. You need to show appropriate images that suit the client’s requirements. All images in the portfolio you show to a potential client must meet THEIR needs. So it may be that if you are looking for a range of different jobs, you may have a portfolio for different jobs you are applying for.
  • Clients may vary – magazines, newspapers, book publishers, trade publications, record companies, travel markets, galleries, other business clients.
  • There may be other clients that a photojournalist might consider, such as commercial organisations, such as stock companies, design firms and so on. A photojournalist may still work in these fields, although there could sometimes be a conflict of interest.
  • Clients are interested in the photographs as documents of reality, so may rely on the photojournalist’s ability to take high quality images in a range of different settings.
  • The presentation of images should be professional and well organised.
  • Start and finish with the strongest images to create a lasting impression on the client. There is the idea in psychology of primacy and recency effect. This is the idea that we remember the most the first information we see and the last.
  • If a client has seen thousands of images, the photojournalist wants the client to remember his/her images the best. So there is only one chance to create a lasting impression. A weak image can destroy the overall presentation and quality of a portfolio, so choose the images carefully.
  • Don’t add print and shoot photographs that anyone could have taken. This will insult the editor and won’t get you the job. Make sure your images are all high quality and show your technical skills.
  • Know your market.  Research the market you are interested in. Look at the specific outlets of the market. Understand the images the client use and why they use them.
  • Find out what the client expects from photojournalists they use. If they want someone who can fly off around the world at a moment’s notice and you can’t do that, you are wasting your time and theirs by applying for the job.

Find out more

Our courses have been developed and taught by highly experienced, specialist tutors - experts who have real world experience within their industries.

Whilst students study with us, they benefit from the support and guidance of our tutors.

If you have any questions about the Photojournalism Practice course, or any of our courses, please get in touch with us today.

You can phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Submit your questions to our specialist Photography tutors - they will be pleased to help you.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Kara WightKara Wight - Animal Scientist, Photographer and Business woman. BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging) Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels. Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events. Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.
Peta Jinnath Abdul B.Sc., Grad.Dip.Ed., M.Creative Writing. Peta is a writer with interests in education, science education, and literary theory. She's worked as a writer, editor and teacher, and is currently pursuing her research interests, while working as a writer, tutor and academic officer at ACS.
Rosemary Davies (General)Rosemary has over 30 years of working in jobs ranging from Writer, Consultant, Broadcaster and, Business owner, to Teacher and landscape designer. She has worked for ACS since 2008
Josiane JoubranCSC consultant with IBM, Software QA Engineer, Course Writer and Tutor. Josiane is an I.T professional with extensive experience with computer hardware and engineering in Lebanon and Australia. Josiane has a B.Eng., Grad.Dip.I.T., Master Info.Tech., MCP, MCSE.

Check out our eBooks

Getting Work in a Modern WorldGetting Work in a Modern World is a must read; for students, parents, the unemployed, careers advisors or anyone interested in changing or forging a sustainable career. This is realistic guide to getting a job or starting out in business and understanding different industries. Topics covered in this book include 1/Career Myths, 2/ Finding Your Path, 3/ Understanding Employers, 4/ Preparing for a Job, 5/ Jobs to Consider: Looking to the Future, 6/ Information Technology, 7/ Business, Management and Sales, 8/ Health and Wellbeing, 9/ Horticulture, 10/ Wildlife and Environmental, 11/ Animal Care, 12/ Agriculture, 13/ Hospitality and Tourism, 14/ Media and 15/ Education.
Photographic TechniquesExplore how to take better photos. This is a book packed full of practical tips, from the authors own experience, coupled with a solid introduction to well established and widely practiced photographic techniques. This is a well illustrated, excellent reference for students of photography; and an equally useful source of inspiration to the amateur photographer.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.