Information in English

Foto: Rafael Heygster

Foto: Rafael Heygster

Welcome to the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography programme!

Our programme represents a focus on visual journalism and documentary photography that is unique in Germany and counts internationally among the most prominent educational institutions for photography. Our profile provides a wide spectrum of media-related orientations that will enable you to become acquainted with various forms of visual expression and thus find your personal path in photography. Our concept of visual journalism and documentary work is quite broad; it extends from photographic essays, sociodocumentary reportages, portrait series and long-term personal projects to documentary films, multimedia online formats and documentary-artistic projects.

Do you enjoy photography and visual storytelling?

If you are a photography enthusiast and would like to learn how to tell stories with pictures, then you’re in the right place! Advance technical knowledge is not absolutely required for this programme. Rather, commitment, creativity, solidarity, courage, collaborative skills, a passion for photography and journalism, and an interest in political, ecological and social topics are indispensable.
The projects created in Hanover aspire to make a contribution to society and be relevant in terms of content. They stand out thanks to their narrative character and are published in print and online publications as well as exhibitions and photobooks.
The creative working process and an intensive personal examination of the subject always take centre stage. The aims of the study programme are neither mindless imitation of teachers’ visual strategies nor exclusively market-related functions. The core of the programme is the development of your own authorship and photographic character. Critical, reflective and competent visual experts are trained in Hanover.

Photo: Sebastian Dorbrietz

Intensive learning in the community

One of the strengths of our programme lies in the open, collegial and intensive exchanges that take place among students and teachers alike. In our seminars, we learn together and foster an honest, fair and constructive feedback culture. As is often the case with photographers, we maintain an informal relationship between students and teachers. Every class comprises 36 students. This comparatively small number means intensive, personal support from five professors, two research associates, an artistic associate, two technical employees, a programme coordinator and many lecturers from both Germany and abroad. Among students, close personal and future professional ties develop beyond each class. These ties will benefit you throughout your entire life. International guests are regularly invited, and excursions to photo festivals, symposia and international partner institutions take place.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our study programme is located in a modern university building on the former Expo grounds in Hanover. The programme’s technical facilities are second to none. A photography studio, B/W lab, modern spaces for computers, scanning and printing, as well as professional digital and analog camera technology are available. All equipment can also be borrowed. The university’s library, likewise located on Expo Plaza, carries both current and classic photo books as well as specialist literature; it is always being expanded.

Internationality and diversity

Internationality and diversity are vital to our programme. Everyone is welcome in Hanover and we offer equal opportunities for all. In our view, differences in sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, social and cultural origins serve to strengthen our community. Furthermore, because we are aware that we are not free of socially learned forms of discrimination, we consider it our duty to constantly question ourselves, to reflect and recognize various life realities. We actively examine how empowerment and visibility among marginalised groups can be further improved both in our programme and photojournalism in general.
Photojournalism and documentary photography function at the global level. Since 2017, we have offered an international class with an English-language curriculum: all students may participate in the courses. Our programme enjoys a unique network of partner institutions within and beyond Europe. This enables our students to become acquainted not only with another country, but another culture as well during a semester abroad. They can also get to know other students and benefit from outstanding photography training at another postsecondary institution. In order to best prepare themselves for studying abroad, students can attend language classes at Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Funding for foreign study can be provided by the Erasmus programme, DAAD scholarships and other organisations.

LUMIX Festival for Young Visual Journalism

Every two years the students from our programme, with support from Panasonic and the Freelens photographers’ association, organise the internationally recognised LUMIX Festival for Young Visual Journalism. The festival shows young visual journalism that actively investigates political, cultural, social, ecological and technological processes. Over five days in June, around 40,000 visitors from around the world make their way to the former Expo grounds in Hanover in order to examine current positions and tendencies in visual journalism. Along with an extensive programme of exhibitions, international photographers and experts are invited to the festival to inspire our visitors with presentations, portfolio reviews, interviews and discussion events. Thanks to tireless work on the part of a community of Hanover students, this student-run photo festival − a one-of-a-kind event in the world − is brought to life biennially and represents a true highlight in our students’ university experience.


The heart of the study programme in photojournalism and documentary photography is preparing students for actual professional practice in photography. Nonetheless, theoretical reflection of the students’ own work is a significant foundation for a professional approach to photography and picture media. We are convinced that in the face of our changing image culture, society needs challenging, self-reflective photography more than ever before. Therefore, our programme lays great value on mediating a comprehensive image competence – at both the practical and theoretical levels. More information concerning our extensive research activity and academic publications is available here.

Photo: Tobias Eineder

Duration of studies

The bachelor’s programme in photojournalism and documentary photography has a standard study period of eight semesters. An internship offering insight into potential future fields of work forms part of the programme. Moreover, Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts also offers a three-semester master’s programme in design and media.

Tuition fees

Few countries of the world can offer such high-quality programmes of study at such a reasonable cost. All the same, you should plan the funding for your studies carefully. The semester fee is currently 440 euros per semester; this includes a semester pass for state-wide public transport. In addition, you must allow 100-150 euros a month for materials etc. Under certain conditions, you can apply for a semester-fee grant before your programme begins. The Studentenwerk Hannover (Hanover Student Services Organisation) offers personal BAföG consultations and you have the possibility to apply for scholarships such as Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts’ WIR/Deutschland scholarship and the Design/Gestaltung/Film scholarship awarded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Practical experience

A fixed component of our study programme is a mandatory 19-week internship that is generally completed in the fifth semester. We enjoy exclusive internship agreements with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Leipziger Volkszeitung and Bremen’s Weser-Kurier; we also cooperate regularly with Spiegel and the picture-editorial staff from Zeit, Geo and Stern. Students undergo a six-month paid internship as editorial photographers or picture editors. In addition, internships frequently take place with freelance photographers, agencies, galleries and museums.

Job prospects

Our graduates follow individual, widely diverse professional paths. After studying, most work as freelance photographers for print and online media, companies or cultural institutions. Concurrently, they work on personal, long-term documentary projects that are realised thanks to support from scholarships and grants. Other graduates go on to work in picture-editorial offices, publishing houses, archives, galleries, cultural foundations, museums, television broadcasters, video-production companies, agencies or photography-related professions.


In the past, students from Hanover have received many distinctions even during their studies. These include the World Press Photo Award, UNICEF Photo of the Year, the Henri Nannen Prize, the Leica Oskar Barnack Prize, the CNN Journalist Award, the New York Photo Award and the College Photographer of the Year Award. A selection of our students’ projects is available here.

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