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Diploma of Photo Imaging

Billy Blue College of Design

Key curriculum principles

The Diploma of Photo Imaging has been designed to provide graduates with a broad base of generalist Photo Imaging knowledge, skills and experience suitable both for entry‐level employment in the Photo Imaging sector and/or as a platform for further specialised study at Bachelor level.

The course structure is designed to interweave theory, practice and connection. Each of these themes in turn represents distinct modes of thinking, enquiry and knowledge acquisition in relation to photo imaging.

Throughout the course students:

  • explore underpinning theoretical bodies of knowledge as a source of ideas and methods (theory informing practice);
  • engage in practice both as a means of skills acquisition and as a crucial mode of thinking (practice not only informed by but informing theory); and
  • make connections, both with the history and contexts of photo imaging and with industry mentors and communities of practice.

The course aims to develop graduates who are intellectually curious, rigorous independent thinkers, ethical and reflective practitioners with a commitment to lifelong learning.

Throughout, students will have the opportunity to engage with authentic learning experiences and assessment tasks grounded in industry practice.

Graduates will acquire skills in research and problem‐solving that they will be able to use to maintain and develop their professional disciplinary currency once in the workplace. Their disciplinary and academic knowledge base will also provide a platform for further undergraduate study in Photo Imaging related fields.

Quick Course Guide

Qualification Title DIPLOMA OF PHOTO IMAGING    

Study Options – Domestic Australian students

Full-time Blended*

Part-time Blended*

Part-time online

*Blended (face to face on campus plus facilitated online)

Study options – Overseas students

Full-time Blended*
* Blended - face to face on campus plus facilitated online

Start Dates

Major intakes: February, June, September.
Up to 3 mid-term intakes may also be available.

Course Length

Full-time: 1 year (3 trimesters)

Part-time: 2 years (6 trimesters)

Entry Requirements

Academic Entry Requirements (All students):

Australian Year 12 or equivalent with ATAR 56;

Additional Entry Requirements (All students):

  • Submission of a Photography Portfolio and a short questionnaire.

Special Entry Requirements:

Students not meeting the Academic Entry Requirements may demonstrate their ability to undertake study at this level by:

  • Having prior industry / work experience, and / or completed or partially completed subjects or courses of a degree, associate degree or diploma from an accredited institution;

International students;

in addition to the above, must also have a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 with no band less than 5.

Finance Options - Domestic Australian students


For full fee paying students, payment options are also available.

FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($54,126 in 2015-16). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Course study requirements

The total hours required for the course are 1248. Each subject involves either 10 hours or 8 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 or 5 hours self-directed study.


Practical assignments, research projects, presentations


Sydney Campus

Brisbane Campus

Melbourne Campus


Delivered by

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia

Accrediting body

Torrens University Australia is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

CRICOS Course Code


Get a career as a photographer in the following genres:

  • Wedding
  • Portrait
  • Glamour
  • News
  • Sports
  • Fashion
  • Food
  • Architecture
  • Film Stills
  • Schools
  • Re-touching / image manipulating
  • Photo technician
  • Photographic sales

Build Skills and a Professional Portfolio

The Diploma of Photo Imaging provides graduates with a range of technical, creative and conceptual skills. Employment opportunities may include working in photographic studios, news organisations, fine art galleries, magazines, educational institutions, government departments, publishing companies, stock photo agencies, audio-visual/video production companies and advertising companies.

Entry Requirements - General

  • Australian Year 12 or equivalent or higher qualification with ATAR 56; and
  • Submission of a Photography Portfolio and short questionnaire

Through the Photography portfolio and short questionnaire, students must be able to demonstrate camera skills and digital techniques to support learning at Diploma level. In particular, they must be able to provide evidence of their ability to:

  • produce a range of examples of photography work that respond effectively to different challenges
  • engage with the photographic process by developing solutions to photographic problems through research, reflection and the generation and refinement of ideas
  • show examples of computer skills, using photo imaging industry software, which may include, but not be limited to the Adobe Creative suit
  • apply knowledge of graphic design trends and technologies
  • The above mentioned skills and knowledge may have been acquired through personal or work experience, or through formal study.

Entry Requirements - Special

Special Entry Requirements allow entry to prospective students whose previous background demonstrates capacity to undertake study at this level. Explicit entry criteria have been established by which prospective students are assessed, and are published on the College website:

Entry Requirements – International Students

In addition the above entry requirements, international students must also have at least an Academic IELTS score of 5.5, with no band lower than 5.

Location, Study Duration and Start Dates

This Photography course is delivered at Billy Blue campuses in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Online. Billy Blue studio learning facilities provide lively, creative, and multicultural atmospheres where collaboration and co-creation are encouraged.

The course can be completed in as little as one year of full-time study, so you quickly gain skills and experience for a career head start. A two year part-time option is also available.

There are three major intakes every year for this course: February, June and September, and up to three mid-term intakes may be available, depending on the course demand.


This subject introduces students to the concept of academic literacy in a higher educational context. Students will be able to study the relevant resources and explore strategies and techniques that will allow full participation in their new academic environment.

The course will provide students with research skills (information literacy), critical analysis, writing and language techniques. Transferable skills including time management and teamwork are incorporated in the course. The aim of this subject is to provide knowledge and skills needed for Higher Education, to help students to manage their own success and to assist students in reaching their academic potential.

This subject aims to introduce students to the foundations of photo imaging and to develop comprehensive technical skills of operating a digital camera and build experience in taking pictures under a range of conditions. A percentage of time is devoted to students receiving feedback on their recently taken images and learning to give constructive criticism to their peers, enabling them to start seeing and thinking like a photographer. This module is compulsory for all first trimester Photo Imaging students and will serve as a strong foundation to pursue more advanced and specialised photography subjects.

The purpose of this subject is to establish principles and practices for working with and enhancing digital images. This includes understanding the technical properties of images, using various software tools for managing their cataloguing, editing, processing and storage whilst employing efficient workflows. Within the subject, students will research and experiment with manipulation and enhancement strategies in the pursuit of a personal creative style that can be applied to images captured. Students will be assessed based on their editing techniques and the ability to manage digital assets.

In this subject students are introduced to the properties of light and its evaluation, measurement and control in photo capture. Students learn basic techniques of lighting, including how to identify and manipulate the colour, quantity, and quality and direction of light. Insights into the emotive nature of photo lighting will be gained, giving students the skills to creatively modify and apply light in a range of settings.

This subject presents the fundamentals of art and design focusing on how they relate to photography. Students will also study the history of photography and the major influences and commentators of the industry. Students explore theories of visual communication as tools to inform their own approach to visual narrative.

This subject develops the students’ storytelling techniques in the context of editorial and social documentary photography. Students develop skills in the visual narrative as well as pitching techniques - understanding the editorial 'audience' as a pre-cursor to producing a documentary narrative for a proposed publication. Students gain an understanding of the needs and expectations of editorial clients as well as effective working strategies for media photographers.

In this subject the students further explore advanced digital image techniques and a suite of graphics programs related to the photo imaging industry. They will also gain extensive knowledge into colour theory and colour management workflows, and manage colour consistency from capture through to output in a digital production environment.

In this subject students are introduced to the main genres of commercial photography. Students consider how to interpret, plan and execute a commercial brief in the context of a client's needs and expectations. Building on ILL103 (Introduction to Light and Lighting) students further develop their lighting skills for a range of commercial applications.

In this subject students explore the different types of portrait photography, looking at various approaches and techniques used in portrait photography. They will further explore advanced artificial lighting and manipulation of natural light. Students also get to plan and carry out a portraiture shoot and study the business side of professional photography including: promotion; marketing; invoicing; and client relations.

This subject looks at freelance work and how to charge and market yourself effectively. Students also research trends and emerging technologies that could affect or create opportunities within the market place; looking at ways to exploit these opportunities and build entrepreneurial attitudes to assist them.

In this subject students begin to develop their folio for graduation. Utilising both print and web, students explore innovative ideas and options to best plan, develop and present their works to other professionals and clients. Students will have a chance to identify and explore their own personal style and engage in self-evaluation before seeking and applying feedback from industry professionals.

This subject allows students to explore moving image through genres such as documentary, short narrative film, domestic and corporate film productions. Students will learn to develop their skills and understanding of pre-production, production and post-production aspects of film making within the genres mentioned previously. In pre-production, students will investigate the importance of planning and then going onto hands-on engaging experience with the technology and tools involved in capturing live footage. Students will then study video editing techniques using industry standard software packages and have an all-round experience of quality film production.

Frequently asked questions - Diploma of Photo Imaging

Yes, all Billy Blue qualifications are government-accredited and nationally recognised. In addition, Billy Blue’s close industry links ensure that your Billy Blue qualification is highly respected within the design industry.

Billy Blue was created by the industry for the industry, and maintains strong industry links. All lecturers are industry practitioners, possessing inside knowledge and experience that they pass on to you.

The college is respected and renowned in the industry - the clear choice for anyone seeking a career in design.

The college provides you with the opportunity to seek work experience while you study, and also ensures that you graduate with a professional portfolio that can land you serious work.

Design houses and other employers regularly contact Billy Blue when looking to hire, so job opportunities may be communicated directly to you – even before you graduate.

In addition, Billy Blue hosts a graduate exhibition that is attended by top professionals in the design and advertising industries – students have been known to get calls from prospective employers following the exhibition.

Yes, RPL is available upon academic approval.

Billy Blue Diploma courses are eligible for FEE HELP (Australian students only). FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($54,126 in 2015-16). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia has campuses located in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. All campuses are centrally situated, close to public transport and cultural/commercial precincts enabling ease of access and connection to services.

There are three major intakes per year for each Billy Blue course, plus special, mid-term intakes may also be available. You can enrol anytime during the year and start in the semester of your choice. However, do note that there is a maximum of 25 students per class in face to face delivery, so it’s important you enrol early to secure your place.

Contact your consultant now for information on available spots in the next intake.

All students require a laptop to bring to classes.