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Durham Global Photography Competition and Exhibition

Get involved in the annual Durham Global Student Photography Competition! The competition is open to all current students and this year's theme is 'inclusivity'. All entries must be made by 12:00 (noon) on 7 February 2024.
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A close-up image of someone's hands holding an old photograph showing a young girl, whilst behind can be seen many old black and white photos, scattered across a table surface
Voting and ballot box

Voting and online exhibition now open!

The entries are now all in. To view the photos and vote for your winners please visit both pages from the two links below

Click to view the Global Durham (Abroad) photos Click to view the International in the UK photos

The annual Durham Global Student Photography Competition is open to all current students, including: students who are on- or have had a Global Opportunity (such as a year studying abroad, an international Placement Year, Volunteering or Global Internship) or virtual/online opportunity at home; international and exchange students at Durham; and students supporting any international activity in Durham. Students don't need to have gone abroad to enter - as long as there is an international outlook.

The competition is open from December 2023 until the deadline at 12:00 (noon) on 7th February 2024.


Students are encouraged to think about - and capture in a photo – the Global Week theme of ‘inclusivity’ with an international angle. What does this mean to you? It could mean feeling included in a new place, helping others through an international transition or it may be becoming a global citizen and feeling included through a celebration of our own diversity. Students are, therefore, encouraged to interpret ‘inclusivity’ widely. Whether it’s a feeling, person, or place, we want students to try to capture that essence in a photograph.


While addressing the theme of inclusivity, prizes will be awarded in three categories: ‘International in the UK’, ‘Global Durham (abroad)’ and ‘Panel’s Choice’.  First prize in each category will receive a £50 Amazon voucher with a runner up receiving a £25 Amazon voucher.


The categories ‘International in the UK’ and ‘Global Durham (abroad)’ will be open to an online student vote. The vote will open after the submission deadline. To vote, students must give a rank three photos in each category.  Their first choice will receive 3 points, their second choice will receive 2 points and their third choice will receive 1 point.  After the scoring deadline all points will be counted, with the photo receiving with the highest number of points winning.

All photos will also automatically be entered into a ‘Panel’s Choice’ competition. These will be judged by a panel, composed of Durham staff.  This panel will make an award based on: artistic expression; creativity and originality; quality of image; international content; and emotion and impact. 

Winners will be announced at the Global Durham Awards and will be contacted by email. 


The competition is only open to current Durham students, including exchange students. A maximum of 2 photos may be entered per student (either two in one category or one in each category).

  • Each entry should have:
    • a title of no more than ten words
    • a brief description/story that explains why the photo was chosen and why it is special to the applicant (100 words max).
  • Photos should be of a size that properly resolves on a computer screen (i.e. without distortion or pixellation). The maximum filesize is 5 MB (if you have larger images, please use a search engine: "Ways to Reduce Images Size Without Quality Loss" for further advice).
  • Photos must be original material and taken by the student entering the competition.
  • Students from the School of Modern Languages & Cultures must ensure that photos entered into this competition are different to any that they enter into the MLaC Year Abroad photo contest.
  • Entries must comply with the GO Photo Competition Terms and Conditions


Photographs many be analogue or digital (though analogue works will need to be scanned); colour, sepia or black and white. To ensure the competition is accessible to all students (including those whose only camera may be a smartphone) photos should not have undergone significant digital or professional editing (such as significant retouching or the removal of objects in Photoshop (or similar)).  More ‘standard’ procedures such as cropping, image orientation, limited contrast and brightness adjustments and converting colour photos to black and white are permitted. Photos must not contain watermarks or digital signatures.

Photo Usage

We hope to be able to inspire future students to undertake Global Opportunities both abroad and virtually in Durham through the stories and images of our students. The photos of our students can tell that story infinitely better than a bought stock image can. To that end, a database will be created of inspiring photography that we can share on the University’s website and social media. Winning photos will also be displayed at the Global Durham Awards. By entering this photo contest, applicants will be agreeing permission for Durham University to use their photo(s) in future promotional material. Please read the GO Photo Competition Terms and Conditions for further details.

How to Enter

The competition opens December 2023 and closes at 12:00 (noon) on 7th February 2024. Late entries can not be accepted.  Photos must be submitted via the online application form – emailed entries will not be accepted.  The form will ask entrants to read the GO Photo Competition Terms and Conditions before entering. Please use the following link to enter:

How to Vote

Photos will be displayed with an online voting form during the Durham Global Week. Voting will close 28th February with winners announced at the Durham Global Awards ceremony. A link to the voting page will be announced via Dialogue signposts and other Global Opportunities social media (search: @DUGlobalOpportunities), inviting students to view the gallery of entries and vote online.  Voting students will be required to vote for three photos in each category, ranking them from one to three.


Film reel on a white background

Durham and the arts

Did you know that Durham supports the arts through more than just its degree programmes? For example, students go from all faculties to work and create at the the Venice Biennale and the university has a creative collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI)

Find out about the Venice Biennale Fellowship Find out about our British Film Institute link