Photography Courses in New Zealand: Free Courses, Online Courses, Workshops and Degree

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Photography in NZ: Are you passionate about photography and want to learn new skills, techniques, and perspectives? Do you dream of capturing the stunning landscapes, wildlife, and culture? If so, you might be interested in exploring the various photography courses in New Zealand. Whether you are looking for a free, online, workshop, or degree course, there is something for everyone who wants to improve their photography. In this blog, we will share some of the best photography courses in New Zealand, including the institutes offering them and their tuition fees. Read on to know more!

Course OptionsBeginner workshops Diplomas (Level 5 & 6)Bachelor’s degreesMaster’s degrees
DurationFew hours to a few days (Workshops)1-2 years (Diploma)3-4 years (Bachelors degree)1-2 years (Masters degree)
InstitutionsUniversities (Canterbury, Massey, Otago), Polytechnics (Otago), Private institutes (The Photography Institute)
CostNZD 12,000 – 40,000 per year

Why Take Photography Courses in New Zealand?

Besides having scenic landscapes for muses, photography courses in New Zealand have many benefits to offer. Firstly, they are internationally recognized high-quality photography programs, offered by NZ universities and institutions. This can be particularly beneficial if you aim to pursue a photography career globally or continue your studies abroad.

Secondly, many photography programs in NZ emphasize practical skills and hands-on learning through workshops, field trips, and real-world projects. It equips you with the necessary skills to succeed in the industry. Thirdly, compared to some larger countries, NZ universities have smaller class sizes, allowing students more personalized attention from instructors. Last but not least, NZ’s growing creative industries offer many work opportunities for skilled photographers.

Universities Offering Photography Courses in New Zealand

Many institutes provide photography courses in New Zealand on various levels, such as diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate. Some of these institutes rank among the world’s top universities according to QS World University Rankings 2024. They are as follows:

  1. University of Canterbury
  2. Southern Institute of Technology
  3. Massey University
  4. Otago Polytechnic
  5. Universal College of Learning (UCOL)

Let’s explore these photography programs in detail:

Undergraduate Photography Courses in NZ

Undergraduate photography courses in New Zealand have a duration of 4 years (full-time). Given below are the bachelor courses in Photography available in NZ, with their tuition fees:

UniversityCourse OfferedTuition FeeDuration
University of CanterburyBachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in PhotographyNZD 35,875 per year4 years (full-time)
Massey UniversityBachelor of Design with Honours (Photography)NZD 37,470 per year4 years (full-time)

Postgraduate Course of Photography in NZ

Given below is the only traditional Master Photography course in New Zealand available for students:

UniversityCourse OfferedTuition FeeDuration
University of CanterburyMaster of Fine Arts in PhotographyNZD 40,600 per year1 year (full-time)

Diploma Course of Photography in NZ

There are plenty of diploma Photography courses available in New Zealand for students that offer a direct pathway to undergraduate programs in the discipline. They are as follows:

UniversityCourse OfferedTuition FeeDuration
Southern Institute of TechnologyNew Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5)
New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 6)
NZD 12,000 per year1 year (online/distance)
Massey UniversityGraduate Diploma in Design
PG Diploma in Design
NZD 37,470 per year1 year (full-time)
Otago PolytechnicNew Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 6)NZD 25,000 per year1 year (full-time)
Universal College of Learning (UCOL)New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 5)
New Zealand Diploma in Photography (Level 6)
NZD 25,000 per year

1 year (full-time)

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for photography courses in New Zealand for international students vary for each institute. But here are some common criteria for students to fulfil:

  1. A high school diploma or equivalent qualification.
  2. Work experience (if applicable)
  3. English Language requirements: IELTS – 5.5 – 6.5, TOEFL
  4. A portfolio of your photographic work
  5. An SOP outlining your reasons for wanting to study photography in New Zealand and your future goals.

Application Process

Here’s the general application process for the photography courses in New Zealand:

  1. Research different universities, colleges, and the photography programs they offer.
  2. Ensure you meet the academic requirements and English language proficiency for your chosen course.
  3. Prepare your portfolio showcasing your best photography work, highlighting the relevant style and skills for the chosen program.
  4. Create an account on the university’s application portal.
  5. Follow the instructions carefully, filling out the application form, uploading the required documents and submitting it well before the deadline.
  6. Some programs may require an interview or additional tests.
  7. If applying for a student visa, follow the immigration department’s process after receiving an offer letter.

Documents Required

Career Scope

Graduates from Photography courses in New Zealand face a competitive industry. They may face challenges finding well-paying jobs, especially in the beginning. So building a strong portfolio, networking, and marketing yourself effectively is crucial. As a freelancer or working on contracts, income can be unstable, and building a consistent client base takes time and effort.

Also, photography technology constantly evolves, requiring continuous learning and adaptation to stay relevant in the market. Given below are some popular job profiles and salaries that Photography graduates from NZ can expect:

Job ProfileSalary
Freelance PhotographerNZD 25,000 – 250,000+ per year
Studio PhotographerNZD 40,000 – 70,000+ per year
Wedding PhotographerNZD 45,000 – 90,000+ per year
Product PhotographerNZD 50,000 – 80,000+ per year
In-House Photographer (Marketing/Advertising)NZD 55,000 – 85,000+ per year
PhotojournalistNZD 40,000 – 75,000+ per year


Q1. What qualifications do I need to be a photographer in NZ?

Ans: While there are no specific requirements to become a photographer in NZ, you still need a tertiary-level qualification such as a BA in Fine Arts (Photography).

Q2. Which is the best photography school in New Zealand?

Ans: Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is considered to be the top photography school in NZ.

Q3. Which degree is best for photography?

Ans: BA in Photography (a 3-year full-time course) is thought to be the best degree in photography to lay a strong foundation in the discipline.

We hope that this blog gave you a complete overview of the Photography courses in NZ. Keep following Leverage Edu for more courses to study abroad. Thank you for reading!

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