Graduates of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge for various entry-level positions in many areas within creative industries. With a focus on digital content creation in photography, video and sound, areas can include:
- fashion and editorial
- news media, photojournalism and documentary
- sports and events
- weddings and portraiture
- post-production editing
- travel and vlogging
- corporate and commercial
- stills and video in the film industry.
- Applicants under 20 must have completed a Level 3 qualification in a related field OR demonstrate equivalent knowledge and skills. For applicants 20 years of age and over there are no minimum academic requirements.
- All applicants are also required to submit a portfolio.
- In exceptional circumstances, an applicant under the age of 20 who doesn't meet the academic requirements may be granted entry to the programme where they supply evidence of their ability to succeed in the programme.
- If English is not your first language, you must provide:
- New Zealand University Entrance OR
- Overall Academic IELTS 5.5 with no individual band score lower than 5.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR
- Acceptable alternative evidence of the required IELTS (see here for NZQA proficiency table and here for list of recognised proficiency tests).
If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.
Where there are more eligible applicants than places available, applicants will be selected based on the strength of the submitted portfolio and the above entry criteria.
Recognition of prior learning
If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification in the course of your life. www.capable.nz
Portfolio and written requirements
Please send us three (3) examples of your photographic work (still and/or moving images).
> Submit your portfolio digitally as a PDF uploaded to the OP website. Combine your images into a single digital document and save as a PDF.
> Upload any moving image work to a website (e.g. YouTube or similar) and include links as a page of your portfolio PDF.
> There is a 2MB file size limit for the portfolio upload.
Thank you. We are looking forward to seeing your photographic work.
- Please write a short covering letter to accompany your application. A double-spaced letter of not more than one page (300 words) explaining why you want to come to study on the program and what your relevant experiences have been to date.
Pathways into the programme
If you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, don't panic! Our New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design (Level 4) has been designed to help you bridge the gap. By completing this Level 4 Certificate, you'll gain the academic entry requirements you need to apply for the Level 5 Digital Media and Photography Diploma.
You need to have:
- a basic camera for still and moving image (e.g. smart phone or similar, or compact camera) that you can carry all the time
- an external hard-drive for keeping your digital files (eg. 1TB USB hard-drive)
- a pair of monitoring headphones and a good quality 32GB SD card (e.g. Sandisk).
You are welcome to bring your own DSLR camera or similar, but we will provide cameras.
You will study
Our programme combines practical skills in both still and moving image production across a variety of contexts including advertising, portraiture, fashion, events, news media, web TV, documentary, live streaming and vlogging.
You’ll learn about:
- camera expertise including still images, video production and moving images, recording sound
- post-production and editing
- image analysis and criticism
- iterative design processes
- workflow and process management
- interpersonal skills including teamwork, collaboration and networking
- business skills including licensing, permissions and copyright, Health and Safety laws and practices, analysing web data
- professional skills including working independently, research and problem-solving, working intuitively, responding to briefs and working to deadlines.
This diploma consists of six, four-week project courses running consecutively and one longer project at the end. The courses grow in complexity and we expect more independence from you as the programme progresses.
Photographic Techniques 1: The Image
Learn how to apply practical skills of lens-based content creation in portraiture principles.
- Meet a client brief in relation to portraiture.
- Select and apply appropriate tools and processes to meet a client’s brief.
- Reflect on photographic processes and outcomes in relation to meeting the client’s brief.
Photographic Techniques 2: The Studio
Learn how to apply the practical skills of lens-based content creation in a controlled environment.
- Respond to prescribed objects with appropriate tools and processes.
- Document and reflect on photographic processes and outcomes of work.
Photographic Techniques 3: On Location
Learn how to apply practical skills and principles to the creation of location-based imagery.
- Design and plan location-based imagery, incorporating relevant sustainable and cultural principles.
- Apply appropriate tools and processes to implement the design.
- Document and reflect on processes and outcomes of location-based imagery.
Photographic Techniques 4: The Event
Learn how to apply relevant lens-based approaches and strategies to a dynamic environment.
- Respond to a dynamic environment by adapting tools and processes to obtain effective outcomes, incorporating relevant sustainable and cultural principles.
- Reflect on the effectiveness of chosen lens-based approaches in relation to dynamic environments.
Photographic Practices 1: The Tableau
Learn how to apply practical skills and principles to the creation of a composed scene.
- Design and plan a tableau for a fixed vantage point.
- Work in a team to implement tableau designs.
- Document and reflect on processes and outcomes of tableau designs.
Photographic Practices 2: Reportage
Learn how to capture live action in order to give an account of events.
- Plan a strategy for capturing live action, incorporating relevant sustainable and cultural principles.
- Execute a plan to capture live action to present an account of an event.
- Document and reflect on processes and outcomes of the live action account.
Photographic Practices 3: Storytelling
Develop a client-driven or self-initiated project that tells a story to an audience.
- Research, plan and produce a narrative project, incorporating relevant sustainable and cultural principles.
- Document, present and analyse processes and outcomes of the narrative project.
This is a full-time programme with approximately 20 hours per week contact time and around 15 hours self-directed study.
Further study options
This programme provides a pathway into the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 6) where you can develop your photographic practice to a professional level. With a focus on self-initiated projects and entrepreneurship, you’ll build your technical and business skills within your chosen specialist field or industry. You’ll develop an industry-ready portfolio full of your best practice, experience and digital content so you’re ready to hit-the-ground-running when you graduate!
Student loans and allowances
Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances.) Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit: www.studylink.govt.nz
While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.