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Diploma of Contemporary Photography

Level 6



Two academic years

(Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design Bachelor of Fine Arts – four academic years)


26 January 2015 (Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design - February 2015)

Career Opportunities

Exhibiting photographer, freelance photographer, photojournalist, photographic technician,incorporation of photography into art or graphic design practice, museum and curatorial work.

Further Study Possibilities

Graduateshave gone on to study: Auckland University of Technology (Bachelor of VisualArts); Unitec (Bachelor of Fine Arts).

Entry Requirements

Portfolio and interview. NCEA Level 2, preferably Level 3 (High School Year 12/13) or equivalent. English language entry requirements, IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

Tuition Fees

 $19,656 per academic year

Course-related costs

$2000 per academic year + cameras and equipment up to NZ$2000

Individual Course Components

Technical aspects of photography, contemporary practice, history of photography, drawing,digital media, business studies.

Course Summary

Emphasis is on learning through making work and producing photographic images to a high standard. During the course, students are encouraged to develop a strong,personal and creative direction in their work through the briefs that cover awide range of topics and ideas. At the end of the course, graduates will have produced a body of photographic work that can be used for a portfolio.

First Academic Year

The course introduces the technical aspects of photography while encouraging students to develop the ability to think conceptually. A broad range of technical aspects of photography, including camera operation, black and white film development, printing, the use of studio lighting and digital imaging are introduced. Drawing skills that relate to photography are also introduced.These are centered on the aspects of visual perception and language, literally training the eye to see.

Second Academic Year

Alongside in-depth studies of the technical aspects of photography, students develop their own area of interest or specialization. Students, under the supervision of a tutor are required to develop and produce documentation on the evolution of a body of work. Components of photographic art, theory and history continue in academic year two with the focus being on the examination of photography as an art form, within the context of modern art movements and contemporary theoretical discussion. Practical application of the business studies component allows the student to work with real-life client briefs in preparation for their entry into the commercial environment.

Following the Diploma of Contemporary Photography students can go on to the Diploma of Art (Advanced) and then can apply to enter the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree through Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.