CUA50915 Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging

This course at NCAT Photography prepares you for a career as a photographer across a range of industry areas including commercial, domestic portrait, media, wedding, illustrative and fine art photography.
This is a face to face course with practical, theory and workshop sessions covering digital and analogue processes, making it unique. Our subjects group units of competency to provide students with skills and knowledge for the Photographic industry. The main aim is to produce a portfolio of work specialised to the student’s needs demonstrating a high level of conceptual research and technical competence and refinement.

About CUA50915 Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging at NCAT


Students work in photographic environments such as studios, darkrooms and on location and visit galleries and a variety of industry workplaces. Students must complete individual work briefs, tests, participate in workshops and demonstrations, group discussions, presentations, excursions, interviews and self-evaluation exercises. Guest speakers feature and maintain our strong connection to a dynamic industry and educational pathway.

Our Diploma course will provide you with new technical skills to operate a vast array of professional studio, analogue colour darkroom and camera equipment. You will become skilled in the use of medium and large format cameras and in our professional studios you will learn to use artificial light and flash to produce the highest quality images. As well as mastering colour processing and printing, you will use authoring tools such as Dreamweaver to enter the creative world of web design technology. Couple the latest imaging tools of the 21st century with your imagination and the creative possibilities are endless.

This qualification reflects the role of photo imaging practitioners who possess a sound theoretical knowledge base and use a range of specialised and technical competencies to plan, carry out and evaluate photo imaging techniques, processes and services. People with CUA50915 Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging are able to work in a range of commercial and artistic photo imaging disciplines. The qualification also prepares people for learning at higher levels, including Degree qualifications in photo imaging practice.

CUA50915 Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging

Course Details

Northern College of the Arts & Technology RTO 6736

Intake Dates and Course Length

This one-year course runs over four terms from February to mid -November. Students must attend six hours a day four days a week.

Career Outcomes

Graduates may work in a range of photographic and photoimaging fields, ranging from commercial photography to fine art photography and photoimaging.
Job prospects for graduates from the qualification are in commercial areas such as portrait, wedding, fashion as photographic assistants. Many of our graduates set up their own businesses in these areas and other niche markets.
Our students have also successfully followed a fine art photographic path involving degrees in higher education in photography and producing their own photographic work

Entry Requirements

NCAT requires applicants have the CUA41115 Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging or extensive experience in Photo Imaging, such as a certificate IV level in Visual Arts or Design with a focus on photo media, or have relevant employment experience in the photography field.
We highly recommend applicants complete CUA41115 Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging. Candidates must demonstrate Photo Imaging skills that support learning at a diploma level in an interview and evidence of:
• an ability to respond effectively to different photo imaging challenges and requirements and a capacity to refine concepts and images in line with current industry standards
• engaging with the design process, solving problems by research and generation and refinement of ideas
• knowledge of the photo imaging industry trends and traditions
• technical photo imaging knowledge and skills
• use of a range of professional digital and / or film cameras and accessories for image capture
• use of professional camera and lighting equipment for a range of subjects in different physical environments
• enhancing and manipulating techniques using current industry standard software
• use of electronic processing techniques.
Skills and knowledge may have been acquired through personal experience, work or Certificate level study.


All applicants must apply online through NCAT. For information or to arrange an interview phone NCAT Photography on 03 9478 5816. At the interview, applicants will be able to show their work, visual diaries, sketchbooks, storyboards and any other support materials for consideration for entry to the course. Enrolment is at the college.
Pre Training Review.
Literacy, language & numeracy are assessed prior to enrolment to establish individual needs.  A course advisor will discuss the outcomes of the review and make recommendations about whether the course is suitable for you, and identify additional support where required. Our LLN tool is The Core Skills Profile for Adults developed by Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER).
Students must obtain a Working with Children Check prior to enrolment.

Pathways and Accreditation

When you graduate from the Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging course you can apply for degree courses in fine art or photography & photo imaging.

This course is government accredited and has national recognition
The qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 5

Fees and Finance Options

Full Tuition Fee $12465.00

Students eligible for a Government subsidised place (Skills First):  (Actual nominal NCAT Hours: 885 Hours @ $6.00 =$5310.00)

Skills First subsidised fee $7155.00

Students with concession:  General concession (No general concession) N/A Indigenous concession $1,431.00
This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth government funding.

VET Student Loans: (VSL)

You may be eligible to apply for a capped loan under the Australian Government's VET Student Loans scheme. The maximum payable for Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging is $10,342.
  • VET Student Loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements.
  • A VET Student Loan gives rise to a VETSL debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid
For more details see the VET Student Loans page, or contact NCAT.

NCAT Amenities fee $345.00                  Materials charge: $1150.00

Total tuition full fee payable + amenities + materials charge $13960.00

Total tuition subsidised fee payable + amenities + materials charge $8650.00

Total tuition fee minus Indigenous subsidy + amenities + materials charge $2,926.00

Materials charge: The materials charge covers the class materials required over the duration of this course. This includes;

* Darkroom printing paper 8 x 10 inch for gelatin silver and Type c for printing

* 35mm film (black & white) *

* Canson Smooth Pearl inkjet paper (A4) (digital paper)

* Contributes to the purchase and maintenance a range of digital and analogue cameras so students can do the course without needing to purchase a camera

* Film supply is not unlimited and will be distributed on a weekly basis according to coursework requirements. Materials and equipment required for external projects/ home use are to be purchased separately.

Please note: Fees apply only to local (Victorian) students and may be subject to change.

Course Structure

Days of Attendance

Monday to Thursday. For full timetable details contact NCAT Photography

The hours displayed are nominal, actual classroom hours delivered may differ.

CUAPHI501 Apply visual communication theory to photo imaging practice - 45 hrs
CUAPHI502 Research and apply photo imaging trends - 45 hrs
CUAPHI513 Employ colour management in a digital imaging workplace - 45 hrs

BSBCRT402   Collaborate in a creative process - 40 hrs   
BSBREL401    Establish networks - 35 hrs
CUADIG508    Refine digital art techniques  -  80 hrs
CUAPHI503    Explore the descriptive and emotive nature of photo lighting - 45 hrs
CUAPHI504    Employ specialised imaging technologies - 70 hrs
CUAPHI505    Produce commercial photo images  - 50 hrs
CUAPHI506    Provide photographic portrait services - 50 hrs
CUAPHI509    Plan and produce visual art photo images - 45 hrs
CUAPHI511    Make illustrative images for publication and display -
CUAPHI512    Plan and produce stock photo images - 45 hrs
CUAPPR502   Develop own sustainable professional practice - 45 hrs
CUAPPR503   Present a body of own creative work - 60 hrs
CUAPRI501    Refine printmaking techniques - 75 hrs
SITXEBS003   Build and launch a small business website - 85 hrs


Learning and assessment is integrated. Evidence is collected and feedback provided to students on an ongoing basis. Subjects cover a variety of contexts and use a range of strategies to meet learner needs. These include: group-based, work-based, project-based, self-paced, and involve practice and experience in our studios and darkrooms which are a simulated work environment. Job briefs for each subject outline tasks to be completed, the competencies to be demonstrated and the practical outcomes to be produced.

Link to Information about VET & VET Student Loans