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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
Universal College of Learning (UCOL) logo

New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 6)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date



The New Zealand Diploma in Photography Level 6 prepares you for a professional photography career. Benefit from the long term success of photographic training at UCOL, setting the benchmark for professional photographic imaging across New Zealand.

Focusing on the exciting diversity of contemporary professional photography, you will develop advanced knowledge and in solving visual problems through idea generation, composition, lighting and using various equipment.

We’ll introduce you to a range of photographic ideas from fashion and advertising through to wedding and portrait, product and still life, documentary and video, architecture and food. You’ll build your industry portfolio and develop your creative talent in a practical, career focused way.

UCOL brings you strong links with the photographic industry and opportunities to showcase your work on a local, national and global stage. UCOL Photography students have attained unprecedented success at the NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards, achieving New Zealand Student of the Year for twelve consecutive years, New Zealand Tertiary Institution of the Year for eight consecutive years and winner of the Canon Eyecon Award for six consecutive years.

Past students have gone on to craft successful careers in areas of fashion, wedding, portrait, newspaper and architecture, here and abroad.

Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of this qualification will be able to work in entry-level professional photography practitioner roles or as self-employed/freelance practitioners.

  • Portrait photographer
  • Fashion photographer
  • Wedding photographer
  • Food photographer
  • Architectural photographer
  • Photo-journalist
  • Product photographer
  • Newspaper photographer
  • Photoshop retoucher
  • Videographer
  • Photographic assistant
  • Production manager
  • Studio manager

Course Information

  • Photographic Practice 2A
  • Digital Production 2A
  • Photographic Practice 2B
  • Digital Production 2B
  • Photographic Communication 2C
  • Photographic Industry & Business 2C

Industry Connections

The programme has strong industry connections in New Zealand and overseas:

  • Canon New Zealand
  • New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP)
  • AIPA (Advertising & Illustrative Photographers Association)
  • INFOCUS – The Iris Awards
  • Manawatu Standard
  • New Zealand Police Forensic Department
  • New Zealand Army
  • Te Manawa Museum
  • Palmerston North Airport
  • Horizons Palmerston North
  • BCC (Building Clever Companies), Palmerston North

Entry criteria

Students must have successfully completed the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5).

English language Requirement: IELTS - Academic: Score of 6 with no band lower than 5.5; TOEFL (iBT) - Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18); Cambridge English Qualifications - B2, C1, or C2 with score of 169; no less than 162 in each skill; OET - Minimum Grade C or 200 in all subtests; NZCEL - Level 4 (Academic); and Pearson Test of English (Academic) - Score of 50 with no band less than 42.

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