Message from UTC Sheffield City Centre

We have increased student online learning using Teams as the predominant method of delivery. This may be supplemented with face to face delivery on site in the coming weeks, for those students who require additional support. All students have been sent information on how to download and set up Teams. Should any student have difficulties with this, please contact and we will address your query as soon as possible. Therefore, our offer of face to face teaching, in line with government advice is that we will invite key worker/vulnerable/students who cannot access online delivery.

Please see the Letters page and the Covid-19 Update page for more information.

In these unprecedented times, we are sorry that we are unable to run the parents evening on 15 July 2020.  If you have any pressing concerns, please contact

Message from UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Coronavirus update: From 15 June, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is open to a wider cohort of identified Y10 and Y12 students as well as to vulnerable students and children of key workers. Please see the Letters page and the Covid-19 Update page on our website.

Meet Our Employer Partner: Duncan Philpott

Posted: 20 November 2018

"I’ve been in to UTC several times to talk to the students about what a professional photographer does, based on my own career, and what it’s like to work to a brief from a client."

We asked action and sports adventurer photographer Duncan Philpott about his work with the UTC Sheffield Creative and Digital Media team.

Did you always want to be a photographer?

Well I did a maths degree, but I started taking photographs when I was 13 and it became a real passion. I got my first commission in my first year at uni, covering a mountain biking event, and it just grew from there. I finished my degree but it made me realise that I didn’t want to work indoors.

How did you build your business?

I got to know Steve Peat, a well-known mountain bike athlete who lives in Sheffield. Steve has been ranked number one in the world a few times and with that came plenty of press interest. A lot of my initial work was thanks to Steve who recommended me to companies and media who wanted to feature him – for example, Five Ten, a major sports footwear brand that’s now owned by Adidas. I built connections in the sports adventure world, because that’s what I’m interested in – especially biking – and my business took off.

What kinds of jobs have you done?

My clients are a real mix. I’ve worked for globally renowned brands like Nike and Red Bull and covered international cycling events such as the Enduro World Series. I’ve worked all over the world – in fact, one year I travelled across five different continents. Latterly I’ve been focusing on more UK-based work and now have clients like Sheffield City Council, working out the Outdoor City campaign, but still doing big brand jobs.

What have you been doing at the UTC?

I’ve been in several times to talk to the students about what a professional photographer does, based on my own career, and what it’s like to work to a brief from a client. I illustrate it with two very different briefs – a detailed brief from an agency working for a big brand, with all sorts of prompt cards, and a plain text email that might come directly from a smaller client. The idea is to give the students a sense of realism. I help them consider how best to approach the briefs based on my professional experience in the field.

What tips would you give to students thinking about a career in photography?

You need a really clear idea of what you want to achieve and how to make money from your work. There are various ways of doing that – getting a long-term contract or a series of contracts, pitching ideas to media outlets then going off and capturing the images, or shooting compelling images first and pitching them in – they all have pros and cons. Whatever you do, you’ll need a really strong portfolio to get off the ground, so you need to be out there shooting for yourself, building up interesting and compelling photos you can pick from.

Read more employer projects:

Meet our employer partner, Giles Grover, founder of Small Machines
Meet our Non-Destructive Testing Partner Lavender International
Meet our computing employer partner, Razor
Meet our employer partner, Nigel Stafford, from Clear Channel

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