Otago Polytechnic

Certificate in Digital Photography (Level 5)


Dunedin (Cumberland Street Campus - see map)

One year full-time

On campus - 360 Cumberland Street, Dunedin 

Please note: This programme will not run under this name in 2019 (due to a national review of qualifications that NZQA are currently conducting across all tertiary institutions). It will be replaced by the New Zealand Diploma in Digital Media and Design (Level 5)* - more info available soon! 

This Certificate is about giving your photographic aspirations a flying start.

Turn your hobby or creative talents into a career you’ll love. Photography is an increasingly profitable and interesting career choice that can lead to employment in many dynamic industries around the world.

This programme will give you a fantastic grounding in digital photography skills. Our campus studios and editing suite utilise industry-standard equipment and digital editing software. Assignments include excursions to distinctive and stunning locations within the South Island and you are encouraged to explore further afield.

During this programme, you will learn the techniques and skills required to produce memorable and attention-grabbing imagery by specialising in digital imagery and manipulation. This is a great starting point for a photographic career but can also be used as a launch pad into any of the other visually-orientated industries and programmes.

*subject to final approval

2018 domestic fees (indicative)
  • $7,648
Career possibilities 
  • Photographer or photographic assistant in commercial studios, newspapers, retail camera companies, processing labs or tourism industry
What will this programme cover?
  • History of photography
  • Digital workflow
  • Elements and composition of photography
  • Specialist techniques
  • Personal guided project
  • Video techniques and moving image
  • Studio photography
  • Portraiture.  
Further study options 

This qualification can then lead to further degree studies in Visual Arts.  

Entry requirements
  • We prefer that you have at least 48 NCEA credits at Level 2, with
    • no less than 12 credits in each of four subjects and some personal computing skills including file management.
  • Applications from mature students (over 20) are welcome.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study.
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.5. This must come from one test taken in the preceding two years or from an NZQA-approved test equivalent to the required IELTS level.

If you don’t have the entry requirements above, talk to us about whether you have the equivalent skills and knowledge or to determine if this is the right programme for you. 

Please note: this programme is subject to minimum numbers.

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate). 

Additional costs 

You must provide your own digital camera.

Student loans and allowances 

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 


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.

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