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
find out

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

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

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 2.1 honours degree in a related subject.
  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

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.

What students think about Nottingham Trent University

    Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana)

    Testimonial from Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “The city is ideal. I’ve been to London a couple of times and frankly it is too busy and too big for me. Nottingham has a city vibe but it’s smaller and as I am based on City Campus there are so many places that you can go without having to even use transportation which economically is very good as well!”

    “There are so many opportunities when you are at NTU. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Sign up and do something, it builds up your experience and confidence. NTU is such a relaxing, comfortable environment with so many friendly people.  I’ve met most of my friends from my classes and have met people from so many places. It was a goal of mine to make friends not only from Africa, but from all over the world. The Global Lounge is a great place to meet new people, have a cup of coffee and hang out.

    “It’s a good decision coming here. I’d do it over and over again. I’ve learnt a lot in so many ways. If you have the opportunity, you should really consider here. The experience has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every second of it.”

    Read Claudia's profile

    Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America)

    Testimonial from Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America), student at Nottingham Trent University

    "I am 21 and have changed my plans but I think it is the best decision I have made in my life. Fashion has always been my dream and since being here last year, I had never felt such a sense of belonging.

    "I chose NTU because of the social side and the sense of community. This seemed so prevalent here; I have made so many friends from all over the world. There is so much to do in the city. It is so friendly and unified!"

    “My main piece of advice would be to do research about the city before you arrive. Make sure you know where your accommodation is in relation to the rest of the city and where you will be studying, that is really important. I had no idea how big the city was so at the beginning it took time to find out what grocery stores there were and where was good to eat out. Research will help with this as well as not being afraid to explore and find new things. You can ask anyone for help too as it is a really friendly city."

    Read Makayla's profile

    Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India)

    Testimonial from Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “While applying I considered other university courses but NTU had better facilities to offer and the course offered a proper melange of theories and real world applications. I was very particular about module structure, programme-based ranking and university rankings. NTU has a prestigious reputation and the quality of learning they provide is something I considered while applying to this University.”

    “Location was one of the key features of this University as you will find everything conveniently located. Another important aspect is that it is very student friendly. Nottingham has been like living a dream - it has given me a once in a life time opportunity to explore and live independently.”

    “Every day has become a new learning chapter. I believe that my learning as a postgraduate student has significantly enhanced my capabilities and skills set which will help me for my future career. Postgraduate study has given me a new dimension to my career plans as I have discovered new career opportunities where I can work and give back to society. I plan to work as a counsellor or child psychologist in a school or charitable organisation and, after gaining few years of professional experience, I would also consider pursuing a PhD.”

    Read Kamakshi's profile

Location of Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University main campus is shown on the map below:

Explore Nottingham Trent University

Click the following videos and images to expand or play