Go beyond cameras and computers! Use digital tools to see, understand and create images that communicate and express your individual creative message through this diploma of photography.

This photography course is delivered by professional photographers, who share their knowledge of the latest equipment and techniques. Social media is also incorporated as a way of distributing images, extending your understanding and hatching new ideas, playing off what other people are doing with photography.

Your qualification options

Did you know, you can complete a course with similar outcomes and graduate with a higher qualification? Studying a Higher Education Diploma of Photo Imaging through our sister college Billy Blue College of Design allows you to:

  • develop key technical on-the-job skills valued by employers
  • access personal and professional development opportunities
  • graduate with a Higher Education qualification
  • pathway to a degree down the track
  • utilise a Government student loan covering all of your course fees






(Accrediting body Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA))




Choose to study part time or full time, on campus or online. You can even mix it up with part on campus, part online with blended learning.

(Mix of online and on campus study)

Full time
3 trimesters
20hrs p/w (15hrs facilitated, 5hrs direct-study)
Part time (only available to Domestic students)
6 trimesters
Trimester 1, 3, 5 - 8 hours
6 hrs facilitated and 2 hrs directed study
Trimester 2, 4, 6 - 12 hours
9 hrs facilitated and 3 hrs directed study


Part time online (only available to Domestic students)
6 trimesters
Trimester 1, 3, 5 - 8 hours
6 hrs facilitated and 2 hrs directed study
Trimester 2, 4, 6 - 12 hours
9 hrs facilitated and 3 hrs directed study

More about online learning

Course Assessment: competency based assessment - demonstrated skills and knowledge, practical and written projects, and presentations.


CATC has design colleges in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. You can also choose to study the entire course, or part of it, online.



46 - 52 Mountain St Ultimo



595 Little Collins St Melbourne



90 Bowen Tce Fortitude Valley




CATC Diploma courses can be studied fully online

Please note CATC Vocational Education Training (VET), courses are delivered by Think: Colleges Pty Ltd ACN 050 049 299, Provider Registration Code: 0269. HEP No. 4375. CRICOS Provider Code 00246M.


VET Training Package Entry Requirements - All students:

To enter this qualification, individuals must have the conceptual, technical and organisational skills to use of a range of professional digital and/or film cameras and accessories to produce a folio of photo imaging work that demonstrates the ability to respond effectively to different photo imaging challenges and requirements.

Skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience, or through formal study.

Evidence of Meeting Training Package Entry Requirements – All students:

  • Photo imaging portfolio
  • Short questionnaire about the photo imaging industry
  • Portfolio review and interview if required

Additional entry requirements:

Domestic students seeking Student Loans:

  • A completed Australian secondary education qualification or equivalent; OR
  • Undertake Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) testing and demonstrate competency at exit level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in both reading and numeracy.

International students:

  • Equivalent IELTS 5.5 (Academic) with no skills band less than 5.0
    • CLOSE

      Key Dates



      Start Date Census Dates Last Day Breaks

      Mon 20 Feb 2017

      10 Mar

      14 May

      15 May - 4 Jun

      Mon 05 Jun 2017

      23 Jun

      27 Aug

      28 Aug - 17 Sep

      Mon 18 Sep 2017

      6 Oct

      10 Dec

      11 Dec - 18 Feb 2018



      Estimated Maximum Course Cost AUD 21,022 (domestic students)

      Upfront payment

      This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.

      VET Student Loans

      VET Student Loans is a Government loan program that helps students pay for their tuition fees up to a set amount (known as a loan cap).

      Further information about VET Student Loans, including eligibility, is available at:

      VET Student Loans website

      But wait, you have options!

      Our sister college Billy Blue College of Design offers a Higher Education (HE) qualification that gives you the same employability outcomes and additional personal development opportunities.

      Eligible students can also access a Government student loan covering all course fees and will graduate with a Higher Education qualification valued by employers.

      Read more about this course here


      Students enrolled in this course may be eligible for government assistance, such as Austudy or Abstudy


      Upfront payment

      This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.



      Students require the following equipment and materials to be able to complete the Diploma of Photo Imaging:

      • DSLR Camera body: preferably Canon or Nikon
      • Short zoom lens, such as:
        • For full frame sensor cameras: Canon 24 -70mm f2.8 USM lens or Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 ED lens
        • For reduced frame sensor cameras: Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens or Nikon AF17-55mm f2.8 ED-IF AF-S
      • Tripod such as Manfrotto 190 XB
      • Camera Flash, such as Canon 430EX/580EX or Nikon SB700/SB900

      Students will need to consider the following equipment and materials to benefit their studies and professional career.

      • Radio transmitter and receiver for camera flash
      • Hot shoe flash adaptor (only if your camera does not have sync lead connection)
      • 2GB – 8GB Flash Card
      • Card reader
      • 5 Way collapsible reflector (5 Way – 105cm aprox)
      • Polariser filter
      • Shutter release cable
      • Padded camera + lens bag
      • Lens cleaning brush
      • Lens cleaning tissue
      • Photographic printing – as required
      • Professional quality folio prints - as required

      This is not a definitive list. Additional purchases (e.g. lenses, lighting etc.) will be dictated by your particular interests and the career opportunities you may wish to pursue after your studies.

      Please be advised that photo printing costs will be incurred for photo printing during the course. Also, as there is an Exhibition subject (assessment requirement) as part of the course, which requires photo media production, students should prepare for approx. $200 as an additional cost of student exhibition.


      Students studying at CATC (full time, part time or online) are required to have a computer throughout their studies. On-campus students are required to have a laptop, Online students a laptop or desktop computer as well as a printer, scanner and phone.

      Laptop computer requirements

      Mac OS (preferred)

      • 15-inch screen (preferred)
      • Multicore Intel processor (Dual core i5 minimum) 2Ghz or better
      • Mac OS X 10.7 (10.9 or more recent recommended)
      • 8GB of RAM (minimum)
      • 500GB hard drive
      • 2GB graphics processor
      • Students should also have a 500 GB (Min) external hard drive for storing/backing up work.


      • 15-inch screen (preferred)
      • Multi-core Intel processor (Dual core i5 minimum) or AMD processor: 2GHz or better.
      • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (Windows 8.1 or more recent recommended)
      • 8GB of RAM (minimum)
      • 500GB hard drive
      • 2GB graphics processor
      • Students should also have a 500 GB (Min) external hard drive for storing/backing up work.

      Essential software:

      • Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe InDesign are essential for all students studying Photo imaging.

      Additional software:

      • Adobe DMG Convertor (free download).

      Depending on the specialisations you choose, we might also recommend owning other specialist software.


      We recommend students purchase a subscription membership with Adobe Creative Cloud (Student and Teacher Edition). We suggest the ‘Complete — Student version’, which is heavily discounted and provides full access to all Adobe applications. At time of writing, it is advertised at $16.99/month.



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      The purpose of this subject is to establish principles and practices for working with digital images. This includes understanding their technical properties and parameters, using various software tools for managing their cataloguing, editing, processing and storage whilst employing efficient work flows. Within the subject students will research and experiment with alternate manipulation and enhancement strategies in the pursuit of a personal creative style that can be applied to images captured in their other subjects.

      Units of competency:
      CUFPOS402A Manage media assets
      CUVDIG501A Refine digital art techniques

      In this subject students are introduced to the properties of light and its evaluation, measurement and control in photo capture. Students learn basic techniques of lighting, including how to identify and manipulate the colour, quantity, quality and direction of light.
      Insights into the emotive nature of photo lighting will be gained as students complete a range of class-based exercises leading to the ability to recreate a lighting design.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI518A Explore the descriptive and emotive nature of photo lighting

      This subject presents the fundamentals of art and design focusing on how they relate to photography. Students will also need to study the history of photography and the major influences and commentators of the industry. There are a series of short tasks that build to a comprehensive understanding.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI516A Research the role and use of photo images in visual communication

      This subject lets the student become intimate with their camera and lens(es) to develop a comprehensive understanding of their capabilities. The emphasis during this subject is on building comprehensive experience in taking pictures under a range of conditions so it becomes second nature. A percentage of time is devoted to students receiving feedback on their recently taken images and learning to give constructive criticism to their peers, enabling them to start seeing and thinking like a photographer.

      Units of competency:
      CUVDIG401A Experiment with techniques to enhance digital images

      In this subject students have the chance to develop idea generation techniques through the medium of editorial and social documentary work. Photo essays are developed and critiqued in reference to external editorial needs, requiring students to interpret the written word into dynamic and thought provoking images. Students are introduced to understanding client needs and effective working strategies.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI523A Produce media photo images

      In this subject students conduct research into colour theory and the application of device independent colour management workflows. They will also gain an appreciation of the need to manage colour from capture through to output and will further investigate the management of colour in a digital production environment. Students explore an expanded suite of graphics programs and how they relate to the Photo Imaging industry.

      Units of competency:
      UVPHI529A Employ colour management in a digital imaging workplace
      CUVGRD504A Create and manipulate graphics

      Students further develop their understanding of light through the medium of Portraiture. Artificial lighting is introduced and students investigate working with live models. Students also get to plan and carry out a professional shoot including promotion, marketing, invoicing and client relations.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI522A Provide domestic portrait services

      During this subject students get the chance to explore the many facets of commercial photography. Students look at the required professional business attitudes needed in order to meet a client’s brief. There is a studio element to this subject which requires students to work in studio conditions to appreciate equipment, running costs and OHS requirements. Students will explore the genres of commercial photography and be introduced to lighting strategies for a range of commercial applications. Learning will be in the context of industry relevant briefs and the skills necessary to produce commercial photo images.

      Units of competency:
      UVPHI521A Produce commercial photo images

      Exhibiting your work is a major part of increasing public awareness of the photo image and potentially gaining clients and wider recognition. During this subject students build a coherent concept within which to create an exhibition of a body of work.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI525A Plan, capture and exploit visual art photo images

      With the opportunity to shoot moving image available on most modern DSLRs, photographers are moving more and more into this realm. This subject gives a solid understanding of how to plan, shoot and review the moving image. It also looks at how to work with digital video as part of your promotional arsenal by documenting your process and working method.

      Units of competency:
      CUVACD512A Work with photo media in creative practice

      Students have the chance to further increase both their lighting and commercial understanding during this subject by working with a client and completing professional jobs. Students are asked to take, plan and complete two briefs to deliver on a client’s requirements and build their professional experience.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPHI527A Make illustrative images for publication and display

      Students begin developing their portfolio ready for graduation. Utilising both print and web, students explore how to best present their personal work to other professionals and clients. During the term they have a chance to identify and explore their own personal style and engage in self-evaluation before seeking and applying feedback from industry professionals.

      Units of competency:
      CUVPRP503A Present a body of own creative work

      This subject looks at freelance work and how to charge and market yourself effectively. Students also research trends and emerging technologies that could affect or create opportunities within the market place; looking at ways to exploit these opportunities and build entrepreneurial attitudes to assist them.

      Units of competency:
      CUFIND401A Provide services on a freelance basis
      CUVPHI517A Research and exploit photo imaging trends

      This allows the student to develop an area they are particularly interested in. They explore the history, techniques and key people of the area before developing their own skills and producing a piece of work based on their findings. In the final part of this subject students seek out and receive advice from the key people they have identified, adjusting their approach and identifying required skill development based on the feedback.

      Units of competency:
      CUAIND401A Extend expertise in specialist field



      Photography influences almost everything we see!

      Photography is a competitive field but there are many fantastic opportunities for the talented and well-trained across fashion, travel, digital media, advertising, architecture, fine arts and photojournalism. This photography course will give you the latest technical skills, insider advice and the chance to create your own working portfolio. Everything you need to stand out from the smartphone-at-gigs crowd.

      Graduate Spotlight

      Sophie Towers

      2012: Studied business at uni
      2013: Graduated from CATC
      Now: Owner at Sophie Towers Photography

      Possible careers in photo imaging

      • Commercial photographer
      • Advertising photographer
      • Fashion and glamour photographer
      • Sports photographer
      • Portrait photographer
      • Magazine photographer


      Discover where an exciting career in photography can take you. Meet our lecturers, ask questions and get a big dose of inspiration.

      See Open Day dates
      "From the very beginning of the course you should be thinking to yourself ‘What can I add to my portfolio?’ and run with that. "

      If you take all of the set tasks seriously and actually work to creating images that you want to be shooting, you will end up with a large amount of work to add to your portfolio.

      Bianca Holderness, Graduate   |   PHOTO IMAGING HEAR FROM MORE STUDENTS

      Student Showcase