Diploma of Photo Imaging


  • Get prepared to take your photography career to the next level with a Diploma of Photo Imaging (CUV50411)
  • Recognised by the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP)
  • Choose to study online or on campus

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At a glance

Study mode



CATC Design School (RTO 0269)
Career Opportunities
  • Photographer
  • Commercial Photographer
  • Advertising Photographer
  • Fashion and Glamour Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Portrait Photographer
  • Magazine Photographer
  • Adventure Photographer

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Recognised by the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) for membership requirements.

  • Year 12 or successful completion of a Language Literacy & Numeracy (LLN) test
  • Minimum of 3 examples of photo imaging artwork
  • Short questionnaire about the photo imaging industry

You will also need access to a digital SLR camera.


NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne


Course length
Mixed mode: full time 1 year (3 trimesters) | Mixed mode: part time 2 years (6 trimesters) | Online: part time 2 years
Study mode




Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Competency based assessment
Start date

Six start dates per year

CATC Design School (RTO 0269)

CATC Design School produces skilled designers who are ready to work.

Their courses in photography, graphic design and interior design are highly regarded in the design industry. The specialist college is well known for delivering award-winning graduates with the right skills.

CATC’s flexible study options mean you can finish your course more quickly than you would studying a similar course at a university - and step into your design career sooner.

Think: Colleges Pty Ltd (RTO 0269) trading as CATC Design School


The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


  • Year 12 or successful completion of a Language Literacy & Numeracy (LLN) test.
  • Minimum of 3 examples of photo imaging artwork
  • Short questionnaire about the photo imaging industry

You will also need access to a digital SLR camera.

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Interpreting client briefs
  • Consulting with clients to refine objectives
  • Selecting the appropriate technologies and workflows to capture images, including type of camera, image recording media, lighting, post capture processing and outputs
  • Working from a studio or in a range of locations
  • Editing and restore images using aesthetic, conceptual, compositional and technical skills

Workshops for online students

Online students are required to attend 2 on-campus weekend workshops,.

Course structure

14 units


  1. Camera & Capture

    Become intimate with your camera and lens(es), developing a comprehensive understanding of their capabilities. You'll take pictures under a range of conditions so it becomes second nature. A percentage of time is devoted to receiving feedback on recently taken images and learning to give constructive criticism to your peers. You will start seeing and thinking like a photographer!

    Unit of competency:
    CUVDIG401A - Experiment with techniques to enhance digital images

  2. Career Preparation

    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.

    Units of competency:
    CUFIND401A - Provide services on a freelance basis
    CUVPHI517A - Research and exploit photo imaging trends

  3. Colour Management & Workflow

    Conduct research into colour theory and the application of device-independent colour-management workflows. You will also gain an appreciation of the need to manage colour from capture through to output, investigating a digital production environment. Explore an expanded suite of graphics programs and how they relate to the Photo Imaging industry.

    Units of competency:
    CUVPHI529A - Employ colour management in a digital imaging workplace
    CUVGRD504A - Create and manipulate graphics

  4. Commercial

    During this unit, you'll explore the many facets of commercial photography, looking at the required professional business attitudes needed in order to meet a client's brief. There is a studio element to this unit, requiring you to work in studio conditions to appreciate equipment, running costs and OHS requirements. You'll explore several genres of commercial photography, covering lighting strategies for a range of commercial applications. Learning will be in the context of industry-relevant briefs and the skills necessary to produce commercial photo images in the areas of food, architectural and fashion photography.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI521A - Produce commercial photo images

  5. Digital Imaging

    The purpose of this subject is to establish principles and practices for working with digital images. This includes understanding their technical properties and parameters, using various software tools for managing their cataloguing, editing, processing and storage whilst employing efficient work flows. Within the subject students will research and experiment with alternate manipulation and enhancement strategies in the pursuit of a personal creative style that can be applied to images captured in their other subjects.

    Units of competency:
    CUFPOS402A - Manage media assets
    CUVDIG501A - Refine digital art techniques

  6. Domestic Portraiture

    Take what you've learned about light and apply it to the medium of portraiture. (Your selfies will be amazing.) You will also be involved in planning and carrying out many aspects of professional shoots including promotion, marketing, invoicing and client relations.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI522A - Provide domestic portrait services

  7. Exhibition

    Exhibiting your work is a major part of increasing public awareness of the photo image and potentially gaining clients and wider recognition. During this subject students build a coherent concept within which to create an exhibition of a body of work.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI525A - Plan, capture and exploit visual art photo images

  8. Folio

    Begin developing your portfolio ready for graduation. Using both print and web, explore how to best present your personal work to other professionals and clients. During the term you will have a chance to identify and explore your own personal style, engaging in soul-searching self-evaluation before seeking and applying feedback from industry professionals.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPRP503A - Present a body of own creative work

  9. Industry Project

    Students have the chance to further increase both their lighting and commercial understanding during this subject by working with a client and completing professional jobs. Students are asked to take, plan and complete two briefs to deliver on a client’s requirements and build their professional experience.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI527A - Make illustrative images for publication and display

  10. Introduction to Light & Lighting

    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, quality and direction of light.

    Insights into the emotive nature of photo lighting will be gained as students complete a range of class-based exercises leading to the ability to recreate a lighting design.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI518A - Explore the descriptive and emotive nature of photo lighting

  11. Media & Documentary

    Get serious about your study with editorial and social documentary photography. Photo essays are developed and critiqued in reference to external editorial needs, requiring you to interpret the written word into dynamic and thought-provoking images. If you've only ever taken shots for your own pleasure, you'll be introduced to understanding client needs and effective working strategies.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI523A - Produce media photo images

  12. Moving Image

    With the opportunity to shoot moving image available on most modern DSLRs, many photographers are increasingly sliding into this realm. This unit gives a solid understanding of how to plan, shoot and review moving images. It also looks at how to work with digital video as part of your promotional arsenal by going behind the scenes, documenting your process and working method.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVACD512A - Work with photo media in creative practice

  13. Specialisation

    This allows the student to develop an area they are particularly interested in. They explore the history, techniques and key people of the area before developing their own skills and producing a piece of work based on their findings. In the final part of this subject students seek out and receive advice from the key people they have identified, adjusting their approach and identifying required skill development based on the feedback.

    Unit of competency:
    CUAIND401A - Extend expertise in specialist field

  14. Visual Communication

    Anyone can point a camera and press a button, but this unit will see you engage with idea-generation techniques, design principles and concepts as they relate to photography. Study key influences from the history of photography and photographers in contemporary practice.

    Unit of competency:
    CUVPHI516A - Research the role and use of the photo image in visual communication

Support and delivery

Studying with CATC Design School

Studying online explained

When you study online with CATC Design School, you can:

  • Study from anywhere, when it suits you best.
  • Graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.
  • Get comprehensive support from teachers via phone and email.
  • Access course materials online.
  • Interact with teachers and fellow students via platforms like virtual classrooms, forums and video calls.

If you study online, you’re welcome to visit your closest campus and meet with tutors for one-on-one assistance.


After graduation, you'll be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP).

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