Bachelor of Design (Photography).xml Bachelor of Design (Photography)

Qualifications and courses Study options
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DegreeFull time - 3 years, part time available

Annual Fees(indicative 2016)

Programme code



$6,300 - $6,900







Course related costs



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

Please enquire


Christchurch - Madras Street


Become an accomplished photographer, capable of working across a diverse spectrum of disciplines, and hone your artistic and professional skills for a fulfilling career behind the camera.

This programme aims to develop the student as an independent artist using lens-based media. Core skills taught include design strategies, studio and location-based photography, videography, post-production, and a range of photographic genres. In addition you'll choose three courses from a range of electives, which will enable them to develop complementary skills in particular areas of interest.

As well as studio courses, students complete a group of core courses in academic subjects. These include both professional and contextual studies, which will give them developed communication skills, a background in the history and sociology of creative practices, insights into contemporary professional ethics and some business skills.

You need to have a DSLR digital camera, with lens and dedicated flash and tripod. It is ideal for you to have a Mac notebook with Adobe Photoshop and the Adobe Design Suite is recommended.

Find out more about studying photography

Programme structure

To complete this Degree you are required to complete a minimum total of 360 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher) which must include 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved* subjects and

    • Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in writing and
    • Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627)

    Note: Students who have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (eg International Baccalaureate, Cambridge examination) should contact us for requirements.

    * NZQA approved subjects: see

Alternative requirements
  • Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

Additional requirements
  • Portfolio Applicants for the Bachelor of Design are required to present a portfolio demonstrating their art/design work with their application. The portfolio comprises up to 16 photographs of visual work including art, graphic or design work in any media, giving clear evidence of your ability to generate ideas and concepts towards a specific purpose. Drawing (process, descriptive or imaginative), composition, and technical skills will be given special consideration.
  • Written statement Applicants are required to answer three set questions based on their portfolio and future aspirations.

  • Interview Applicants may be required to attend an interview if there are any questions raised by their portfolio or written statement.
English requirements
  • If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills as listed below. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.

    • Note: If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements you are not required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

When there are limited spaces available we follow a selection process ranking applicants based on your application. Waitlisting is also available for this programme.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • Complete the Admission and Enrolment Form and submit this with the other application requirements.

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Your on-the-job experience may count towards part or even all of this qualification. To learn more, contact our Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL) .

Application documents

Career opportunities

Opportunities for graduate of this programme include:

  • freelance photographer
  • studio assistant/ second camera
  • independent creative practitioner
  • photography retailer
  • marketing assistant

Study pathways

Graduates can enrol in a wide range of programmes, including:

  • Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours) (Wintec)
  • MFA (University of Canterbury)
  • PGDipFA (Massey)
  • PostGrad Diploma in Art and Design (AUT)

Recommended school subjects

  • Design
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Graphics
  • English or English-rich subjects
  • Art history