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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Southern Institute of Technology
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New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Jun 2024


Southern Institute of Technology


Develop your photography skills with the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5). This introductory course will immerse you into the world of photography and help you develop essential skills for the industry or your hobby.

This diploma will provide the base that you need in digital photography and post-production to progress to advanced studies or employment in the photography industry.

You will learn:

  • Introduction to Digital Photography
  • Professional Practice
  • Digital Imaging
  • Photographic Design
  • Digital Photographic Portfolio
  • Auteur Studies
  • Media and Imagery


  • NZDP100 Introduction to Digital Photography (15 credits)
  • NZDP101 Introduction to Digital Post Production (15 credits)
  • NZDP102 Photographic Design (15 credits)
  • NZDP105 Digital Photography (15 credits) (Macro lens or adaptor required)
  • NZDP106 Digital Post Production (15 credits)
  • NZDP107 Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • NZDP108 Digital Photography Portfolio (15 credits)

Electives - choose one paper from the following

  • NZDP103 Auteur Studies (15 credits)
  • NZDP104 Media and Imagery (15 credits)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5) will have the skills and knowledge to work in junior technical or assistant roles in the photographic sector.

Recent graduates of the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5) have started their own photography businesses, however many graduates have chosen to use the course to develop and mature their knowledge and skills for personal photography goals.

Satisfactory Completion

To satisfactorily complete the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5), and be awarded this qualification the student must successfully achieve:

  • A minimum of 120 credits in accordance with the Programme schedule for the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5)
  • The student will normally be expected to complete the New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5) full-time over one year or part-time over four years.

Qualification Pathways

For those wishing to pursue further study, SIT offers

Bachelor of Screen Arts (where students can specialise in either animation, digital filmmaking, digital content creation or fashion digital technology)

Entry criteria

Applicants for this programme of study should have a keen interest and aptitude in photography, as evidenced by the portfolio required to be submitted for assessment by any applicant new to the programme of study. The portfolio should consist of 5-6 images showing the applicant’s skills in a variety of subjects and genres.

School Leavers

Applicants should be a minimum of 18 years of age, and have attained NCEA Level 3.

Mature Applicants

Applicants over the age of 20 years at time of enrolment will be considered where they can demonstrate the ability to succeed in a programme.

English Language Requirements

IELTS test - Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5
TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)
TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)
Cambridge English Examination – B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current:
Level 4 (General) or (Workplace) b) Level 4 (General) or (Employment)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36
Language Cert - B2 Communicator International ESOL Written (LRW) HIGH PASS with no less than 25/50 in each skill and Spoken (S) PASS
Trinity ISE - ISE II with no less than merit in any band

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