Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) - Photography

3 years full-time

See our point of view

Year 2017 course information
Award granted Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) 
Location Parramatta campus
Length 3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Next available intake

2017: February, April, July, October

Tuition fee rate Available fee rates can be found at
English language proficiency
English proficiency of at least an IETS level 6.0 (or equivalent).
Entry Requirements can be found at
Study mode On-Campus day
Level Undergraduate
Alternative entry pathway Certificate IV
Contact details Further information is available from Raffles College on:
T: +61 2 9633 3800
Online Enquiry

Photography is more than taking pretty pictures; it is about having a point of view and finding a way to share it.

Photography can be used as a powerful tool to persuade, inform, entertain, evoke response and incite change.

Studying Photography at Raffles will provide you an opportunity to share your creative vision, make a statement and offer a fresh way of seeing.

Whether you are completely new to photography or have been involved in photography for a while now, we invite you to share your point of view.


What you’ll learn in this photography course…

Clicking the shutter is only a small part of the big picture.

Whilst studying this course, you will discover what it involves to be a successful photographer and that it is much more than just taking a good picture.

We aim to prepare you for the real world. You will be challenged with industry-based briefs, working to tight deadlines and meeting the expectations of clients, with a high level of professionalism. We will provide you with opportunities to refine your presentation skills, by teaching you how to present yourself and your work in a professional and convincing manner.

We place great emphasis on planning and research. You will be challenged to develop strong concepts, to communicate ideas clearly and to think creatively.

There will be opportunities to collaborate with fellow photographers, as well as students from other disciplines including: graphic design, digital media, fashion design and fashion marketing. This will give you a realistic understanding of what it is like to work within a creative team.

You will be given a strong foundation in photography essentials that will allow you to confidently photograph a variety of subjects in a range of different settings. Working both on location and in our professional studios, you will gain an insight into professional photographic practice and sophisticated lighting techniques.

You will learn to edit and print, giving you an understanding of how to maintain control of your work in post-production. You will also be introduced to elements of design and videography, which will help to complement your photography work.

We encourage all students to make use of our professional studio facilities and photographic equipment to practice and develop their technique further in their own time. 

These facilities are available to our photography students for use outside classroom hours and for personal projects through our booking system.


Photography is for you if…

Are you driven and determined? Do you like taking pictures, often finding yourself observing your surroundings? Are you curious and eager to explore your creative potential? Do you enjoy solving problems and working in a variety of situations? Are you hard working and adaptable? If this is the case, the Raffles Photography course is for you!


Why choose a Raffles photography course?

If you are passionate about photography and are wanting in-depth mentoring that allows for growth and discovery; If you are open to exploring different styles of photography, that will challenge your conceptual and technical ability; If you have an appreciation for both contemporary and traditional photographic practice; If you are wanting valuable face to face time with industry engaged instructors and hands-on experience – Raffles is the place for you!



Studying Photography at Raffles can open up a variety of career options. Within the Photography industry there are many specialist fields including:

• Portrait
• Beauty
• Fashion
• Commercial
• Editorial
• Advertising
• Landscape
• Still Life
• Fine Art
• Nature
• Product

• Sports
• Documentary
• Music
• Lifestyle
• Food
• Film Stills
• Architecture
• Underwater
• Travel
• Photojournalism


Our course can also lead you to a number of creative careers closely associated with the Photography industry including:

• Photographic assistant
• Studio manager
• Photographic printer
• Retoucher
• Videographer
• Art Director
• Creative Director
• Director of Photography
• Digital Content Creator
• Gallery Director


Study options 

The Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) majoring in Photography is a full-time, 3-year degree available at our Parramatta campus.

More Information?

If you would like more information about our courses or would like to book a campus tour, please fill out your details and we will be in touch with you soon. 

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Ready to apply?

To apply online you will need to answer a few simple questions - this process will take around 10 minutes. Once we receive your application we will be in contact to discuss the details. 

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Course Outline

Semester 1

PH035: Photography Essentials 1 (6 credit points)
Photography Essentials 1 introduces the initial process of image capture using digital photographic cameras and related equipment. This subject concentrates on the functions and use of DSLR cameras. Students are encouraged to learn through demonstration and practical application. The subject also introduces students to digital photography workflow, from file processing, to the final production of a photographic image (for both screen and print).
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PH036: Photography Essentials 2 (6 credit points)
This subject introduces the advanced functions of DSLR cameras and aims to further refine skills and technique in using these cameras and related equipment, including a variety of lenses, as well as portable flash and night photography. Students will be encouraged to experiment with the custom settings and modes available on their cameras. Basic lighting principles will be introduced, examining both continuous light sources and flash and how lighting can be used to create mood and atmosphere.
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CC142: Ideas and Thought (6 credit points)
This subject seeks to introduce students to philosophy, culture and visual art. It discusses the interrelatedness of key philosophical, cultural and artistic ideas and encourages a scholarly way of thinking. Providing an overview of some of the major historical periods it focuses on an influential thinker of each age.
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AC007: Computing for Design (6 credit points)
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to relevant design industry software. Students will develop functional competence in using this software to prepare, graphics and text, manipulate scanned and downloaded images and present material for publishing.
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Semester 2

PH037: Studio Essentials (6 credit points)
Studio Essentials aims to consolidate and extend knowledge and skills in image capture using digital photographic cameras and equipment. The subject is designed to familiarise students with the photographic studio with particular concern for the operation of professional equipment in a manner that observes OH&S principles. The major aim is to thoroughly prepare students for the advanced subjects of Photographic Practice in later semesters.
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DN019: Drawing, Design Principles and Colour Theory
Students will be given an understanding and foundation in: basic drawing techniques; design elements and principles; colour mixing and colour theory (both practical and theoretical); composition; and professional mounting and presentation skills.
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PH038: Exploring Photography (6 credit points)
This subject has a strong theoretical orientation. It concentrates on a range of topics concerning photographic practice with the aim to enhance student’s appreciation and better understanding of the photographic process, its culture, its craft and the history and exemplars that made it such an important medium of visual communication.
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CC143: Visual Communication (6 credit points)
Students will be exposed to history and theories of perception, cognition and communication. They will then apply these theories to design their own works. The aim is for students to be able to communicate to an audience effectively.
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Semester 3

PH039: Photographic Practice 1 (6 credit points)
Photographic Practice consolidates and builds on the technical foundations laid in Studio Essentials, allowing students greater creative freedom in interpreting the exciting studio based briefs assigned. This subject also introduces students to the important practice of location photography and the skills involved in combining available light with electronic flash. On location students learn the critical importance of the viewfinder to frame and isolate, select, avoid and enhance elements to bring order and an aesthetic value to an image that exists in reality. In the studio, students will further refine their lighting technique, learning to light a variety of subjects, both moving and still.
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CC145: History of Visual Communication (6 credit points)
This unit will enable learners to recognise, and understand, the major historical developments of Visual Communication through research of the major fine art and design movements. The course integrates factual historical knowledge with an exploration of the interpretations and theories surrounding historical change. The main objective in studying past art and design languages and forms is to give students a solid grounding and context for contemporary Visual Communication in regard to their own design practise.
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PH040: Retouching and Print Media (6 credit points)
Retouching & Print Media provides a strong foundation for the processing, production and management of files to produce quality photographic images as required for the final presentation of briefs initiated in other photography subjects. At this stage the focus is on the eventual presentation of high quality digital images suitable for exhibition, professional portfolios and for reproduction in various print media. Students are introduced to commercial retouching techniques. In addition, students learn how to create digital portfolios and professional printed portfolios.
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CT090: Video for Photographers (6 credit points)
With DSLR’s now providing high-definition video, photographers are under increasing pressure to include video production in their services. However capturing satisfactory video requires additional knowledge skill and equipment. This subject introduces photography students to the knowledge, skills and equipment required.
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Semester 4

PH041: Photographic Practice 2 (6 credit points)
This subject prepares students for the professional practice of photo shoots where student teams assist as necessary with staging, styling, costume, make up, lighting, camera, props and background. At this advanced level students must demonstrate their willingness and ability to assist and when responsible, the disciplined management of project creation, time constraints and their assistants to successfully complete commercially applicable assignments.
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Students will select an elective
PH042: Photographic Practice 3 (6 credit points)
Photographic Practice 3 expands on previous knowledge and experiences of both location and studio photography. This subject encourages the professional presentation of work with a growing level of individuality, imagination and conceptual sophistication. Great emphasis is put on the quality and standard of work being produced individually.
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CC144: Design Meaning and Culture (6 credit points)
This subject will allow learners to investigate contemporary design in relation to its cultural context. They will analyse aspects of their material world to familiarise themselves with the main contemporary approaches to and critiques of design. This subject gives them the knowledge and skills to analyse the interaction between design and various cultural and social values. Secondly, it alerts them to some of the social and ethical issues confronting professional designers. It also traces the discipline’s foundations and analyses texts about mainstream, class, gender, ethnic and youth subcultures.
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Students will select an elective

Semester 5

PH043: Industry Portfolio (6 credit points)
The aim of Industry Portfolio is to consolidate and synthesize all previous knowledge, skills, techniques, conceptual ability and professionalism to develop photographic work of a high standard as expected of a commercially viable, professional portfolio. In addition to project work, tutorial discussions identify the roles and responsibilities of a professional photographer and the business of a commercial photography.
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CC139: Major Project (Part 1) (6 credit points)
This subject introduces students to a range of academic and professional research methods appropriate to visual communicators. Students will develop, present and negotiate an innovative project proposal and prepare a self-initiated brief. The purpose of this brief is to create a blueprint for the student’s Major Project to be finalised in the subject CC140 Major Project Part 2.
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DM006: Design and Business Management (6 credit points)
This subject will give students an appreciation of what it is like to be part of a commercially based organisation and recognise that management is a generic process that underpins all human activity.
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CC149: Internship Preparation (3 credit points)
This Industry Preparation will guide students through the process of taking the necessary steps in obtaining a position in an approved company. It will assist students to undertake appropriate research to investigate and familiarise themselves with the Industry and the nature of employment opportunities available in their Professional field. The students will acquire practical insights of what is required in preparing a Professional Job application, attending interviews and undertake formal negotiations with prospective Employers.
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CC150: Self Promotion (3 credit points)
This subject will assist students to develop brand that reflects their personal aesthetic. Students will be helped to tailor their portfolio, in order to target niche areas of the Photographic Industry, with the purpose of securing an internship and/or work. An emphasis will be placed on keeping up to date with relevant industry events, trends and contacts.
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Semester 6

CC141: Internship (6 credit points)
This subject will prepare students to enter into full-time employment in their area of specialization upon graduation. It will provide students with the opportunity to test their career aptitude and aid them adjusting from college to full-time employment. It will present students with the opportunity to develop attitudes conducive to effective interpersonal relationships, increase their sense of responsibility, and help them acquire good work habits. It will offer the opportunity for students to understand informal organizational interrelationships and provide in-depth knowledge of the formal functional activities of a participating organization.
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CC140: Major Project (Part 2) (12 credit points)
This subject will enable learners to integrate their cognitive, creative, practical and technical capabilities to manage a major, self-generated project. Working independently or collaboratively, learners will produce a culminating work as evidence of professional expertise in their major area of study.
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Ph045: Advanced Retouching (6 credit points)
This subject builds on the foundations of photographic retouching techniques covered in the subject Retouching & Print Media and develops these skills to towards displaying a professional standard of commercially based image retouching and enhancing.Students will be given a variety of challenging briefs as well as working on their personal work. The focus will be on producing high quality digital images that show a creative vision, individuality and to explore the endless possibilities of photographic retouching and image manipulation made possible through modern technology.
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PH050: Small Flash Lighting (6 credit points)
Once limited to on-camera Press/Wedding/Event photography battery flash photography has had a stunning resurgence. With the modern DSLR camera now providing instant image feedback via its LCD and the availability of improved, compact, battery-powered flash units (Speedlights) and affordable and reliable wireless flash triggering systems location photography, once limited by the size of studio flash gear and the need for one or more assistants plus access to mains power or the use of generators has been set free.
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PH044: Documentary Photography (6 credit points)
This elective subject introduces the role and responsibilities of a photographer working in the complex field often referred to as photojournalism, social documentary, press photography and street photography. The subject presents the role of the photographer as the creator of images to illustrate a narrative in support of news material most often appearing in the print media, as well as personal photographic projects. The subject investigates notions of narrative - how images combine with text to inform and give insight; objectivity versus subjectivity.
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My Experience

"My favourite part about studying at Raffles College, is being able to collaborate with various students from other faculties. As an aspiring Fashion Photographer, having the opportunity to collaborate with fashion design and fashion marketing students has not only improved my professional work ethics but has also allowed me to gain knowledge from their point of view. Another aspect that I love about Raffles is the tight knit community that we have. In some ways it almost feels like a family. When I first visited Raffles for my initial interview to apply in 2013, I immediately felt very welcomed, the students and staff supported me and my experience and have continued to do."

Lynuz Macalalad - Current Photography Student
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