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Certificate in Introductory Photography

Level 5

Learn the basics of photography as a medium to express creative ideas in UCOL’s Certificate in Introductory Photography.

Ducati photograph
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: Palmerston North, Whanganui

Duration: 10 weeks, part-time* (see Advice & Guidance)

To be confirmed

Domestic Fees:*
$100.00Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

International Fees:*
Please enquire.

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

Develop introductory knowledge and skills in solving visual problems through idea-generation, composition, lighting, use of equipment, image processing and presentation. You’ll gain practical skills and be equipped for higher level study in photography.

Bring along whatever camera you have, even if it is just your cellphone. We teach you how to use your or our camera in full manual mode, so that you can create interesting and good quality images.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of the Certificate in Introductory Photography will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in a variety of potential employment opportunities, including in the field of photography, image processing and image presentation.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Photographers.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

 Course Information

This course will cover:

  • Camera basics
    • Shutter speed
    • Aperture
    • ISO
  • Metering
  • Light basics
    • Make your own daylight studio
    • Using fixed lighting
    • Reflectors
    • On camera flash - basics
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Design elements
  • Communication
  • Photographers
  • Computer work
    • Introduction to Photoshop
    • Bridge
    • Adjusting photos for best results - not just creativity
  • Colour management
  • Mounting images with window mounting
  • Exhibition

 Learning Facilities

Excellent industry-standard learning facilities.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

This programme has open entry.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

Although there are no English Proficiency requirements for training schemes, it is recommended that International Students have an English language proficiency of an IELTS Academic Module score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or an equivalent test including TOEFL). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

 Advice & Guidance

It is recommended that students have met the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

The Certificate in Introductory Photography, Level 5 (Training Scheme), comprises 20 credits.

The following are the timings for class, which comprise seven hours a week. The Saturday session is every second week. Note that the following hours may vary slightly from time to time and will be confirmed on the first night of class.

  • Palmerston North - Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 8:30pm and Saturdays 10am - 3pm.
  • Whanganui - Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 8:30pm and Saturdays 10am - 3pm.
  • Wairarapa - Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 8:30pm and Saturdays 10am - 3pm.
  • Auckland - Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 7:30pm and Saturdays 10am - 4pm.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.