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Diploma of Photo Imaging

Billy Blue College of Design

Kick start your career in photography with the Diploma of Photo Imaging at Billy Blue College of Design. Throughout the course you will develop your technical and conceptual skills, allowing you to explore which photographic direction you want to pursue and how to apply this to launch a successful career.

By the end of the course you will have the skills, knowledge and practical experience needed to start your own photography business or land a great job in a photography studio or agency. Career opportunities may include a Photographer or Assistant Photographer in genres such as: Commercial Photography (for traditional and online media), Advertising/Editorial News and Documentary, Photojournalism, Fashion, Product, Architecture and Interiors, Beauty, Wedding, Food, Portrait, Creative Arts, Technician and Photo Editing.

As an accredited Higher Education qualification, the Diploma of Photo Imaging can also be used as a platform for further specialised study at Bachelor level.

Throughout the course you will:

  • Gain practical skills using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Premiere, as well as equipment like DSLR cameras, studio lighting, video rigs and more;
  • Have the opportunity to identify and explore your own personal style and build a professional portfolio;
  • Be able to book studio spaces outside class hours, so you can refine your skills and experiment with different techniques.
  • Explore both still image and video formats
  • Learn real workplace skills so you have the confidence to manage many types of photography assignments from start to finish.

Learning under lecturers who are professional practising photographers, Diploma of Photo Imaging students will be exposed to the latest photographic practices and styles and will complete assessment tasks grounded in industry practice.

You will graduate as a curious, independent thinker with essential workplace skills that enable you to conduct research and solve problems in photography. Our graduates are taught to stay hungry for knowledge and to continue experimenting with photography in different ways.

Build skills and a professional portfolio

The Diploma of Photo Imaging provides graduates with technical, creative and conceptual skills. Students also have the opportunity to produce a professional portfolio of work, which will help with gaining employment and finding clients.

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.

Careers in Photo Imaging

Position Titles may include but not limited to Photographer or Assistant Photographer in the following genres:

  • Fashion
  • Food
  • Architecture
  • Wedding
  • Portrait
  • News
  • Sports
  • Film Stills
  • Schools
  • Re-toucher / image manipulator
  • Photo technician
  • Photographic sales

Quick Course Guide

Qualification Title DIPLOMA OF PHOTO IMAGING    

Study Options – Domestic Australian students

Full-time Blended*

Part-time Blended*

Full-time online

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 (no more than a third of the course online)

Start Dates

February, June, September.

Course Length

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years maximum

Admission Criteria

Completed year 12 or equivalent. No minimum ATAR required.

Demonstrated ability to undertake study at the required level:

  • broadly relevant work experience (documented e.g. CV), demonstrating a reasonable prospect of success; OR
  • formal, informal or non-formal study, completed or partially completed, demonstrating a reasonable prospect of success; OR
  • written submission to demonstrate reasonable prospect of success; OR
  • written submission to demonstrate reasonable prospect of success; OR

View full course admission information

Finance Options - Domestic Australian students


This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.


FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses.

Further information within this Course Information Sheet.

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 ($54,869 in 2016-17). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.


Upfront payment: this means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.

Course study requirements

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.


Practical assignments, research projects, presentations and report


Sydney Campus

Brisbane Campus

Melbourne Campus


Delivered by

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia


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

Provider obligations

Torrens University is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015.

Accrediting body

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

Course Fees

For details, please click here.

CRICOS Course Code


Course credits

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. Find out more

Key Dates

Start Dates Census Dates Last Day Breaks
Mon 04 Nov 2019 25 Nov 9 Feb 23 Dec – 05 Jan 2020
Mon 17 Feb 2020 6 Mar 10 May 11 May – 1 Jun
Mon 1 Jun 2020 19 Jun 23 Aug 24 Aug – 14 Sep
Mon 14 Sep 2020 2 Oct 6 Dec 7 Dec – 15 Feb 2021

Course Structure

The course structure comprises 11 core subjects at Level 100 and 1 core subject at Level 200

Level 100 11 core subjects
Level 200 1 core subjects

Course rules

To qualify for Higher Education Diploma of Photo Imaging, student must complete a minimum of 80 credit points including the satisfactory completion of all core subjects noted below.

4 subjects are worth 10 credit points each.

8 subjects are worth 5 credit points each.


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 serves as an introduction to communicating with imagery, from initial concepts and quick sketches through to more sophisticated visual responses, utilising a variety of media. With an emphasis on exploration within historical, practical, and technical parameters, ‘Thinking Visually’ aims to enable the student to effectively articulate ideas through both drawing and photography. Students will develop skills in observation, idea generation, and effective visual communication through a combination of theoretical studies, observational drawing and material experimentation.

This introductory subject places design process and practice within the context of a chronological survey of major historical eras of influence. Students are encouraged to engage with the historical socio-political movements influencing design trends of each era through research and reflection.

Academic skills (research, referencing, essay writing, and sentence structure) and design software skills are taught in weekly lessons. Students use the academic and software skills to document historical research and generate creative responses to the themes of historical eras.

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 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 introduces the foundational theory and practice of motion graphic design and live action camera production. The unit introduces basic skills in concept development, asset creation, 2D animation and compositing suitable for motion graphic production. The process of developing a live action video piece is also introduced, from pre-production through to postproduction, and including fundamental sound design principles. Students will gain basic skills in camera-based production including basics of lighting, sound recording and editing.

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.

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.

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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.