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June 28, 2011

Sheffield College launch flagship Press Photography Course

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Written by: Kyle Raffo

Applications are now being accepted for a flagship press photography course that has been the career launch pad for many high profile media snappers.

The pre-entry press photography and photojournalism course at Norton College, part of The Sheffield College, will run from September 2011 toApril 2012.

Next year’s course is more compact to make it more financially competitive for students, especially those who move into the area and pay for accommodation.

It will run for 24 weeks, include 400 teaching hours in addition to independent studying and projects, and cost £2,400 plus exam fees.

Accredited by the media industry’s training body, the National Council for the Training of Journalists, students on the course cover photojournalism, media law, photographic knowledge and practice, and news and caption writing.

Robert Rathbone, Photojournalism Course Leader, Norton College, said: “The course specifically equips promising press photographers with the skills that the media industry needs.
“It gives them as wide ranging an experience as possible to prepare them for the variety of real life assignments they’ll need to deliver on when they get a job.”

Student Jonathan Gurr, 28, who moved from Hertfordshire to study at Norton College in 2010/11, has just clinched a job with Wales News Service in Cardiff.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the practical side of the course and the hands on job related experience. If you want to go into the media industry, the course is tailor made to help you achieve that.”

This year’s trainees have attended a series of high profile events rubbing shoulders with the national and regional press pack on the first  week of their course to photograph the Queen when she visited Sheffield.

They’ve covered the global manufacturing festival attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, sat on the front row of the Clothes Show catwalk and gained hands-on experience of a live outside broadcast at BBC Children in Need.

They’ve learnt how to cover crime stories at magistrates and crown courts and gained an insight into the work of the frontline emergency services.

The college has a long-standing reputation for training successful photographers, highlighted by a new national exhibition on display in the Guardian atrium and open to the public until July 15.

The NCTJ press photography and photojournalism exhibition, unveiled earlier this month, is part of the charity’s 60th birthday celebrations. It showcases the work of NCTJ trained practitioners over the last 40 years, many of whom studied at the college in Sheffield.

For more information go to or call 0114 2602600. Find out more about the course and how to apply, and view some students’ work at

Find out more about the exhibition at under ‘news’

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