Diploma In Digital Photography

Qualification Diploma In Digital Photography (Level 5)
Level 5

2014 intakes start 03 February, 31 March, 02 June, and 04 August

Applications close 21 days prior to the intake start date - please check the enrolment form for exact dates.


Intakes are 17 weeks long

Location SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Course Outline

This programme aims to:

  • Give students the skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to working or further training in the photographic sector.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills to standards recognised by the industry sector as appropriate.
  • Develop work habits and practices appropriate for further training and employment in the photographic sector.

Course Content

Note: Please check the equipment requirements in the Enrolment section to see what is required for each paper.


The programme is made up of the following papers:


Core Compulsory Papers – all four must be completed:

DDP103 - Practical Photography (Level 5) 15 credits

This paper provides a hands-on introduction to digital
cameras and contemporary photographic practice.
Students will undertake a series of assignments
exploring core photographic principles, including:
composition, camera controls, focus, exposure, and
lighting. Empowering students to become proficient
with a range of photographic equipment and workflows,
this paper provides the foundation for further study in
the Diploma in Digital Photography.


DDP106 - Photoshop for Photography (Level 5) 15 credits

This paper explores Adobe Photoshop, an industry
standard image editing application, and its usage in the
context of digital still photography. Through a series of
applied exercises, students will investigate Photoshop’s
diverse capabilities and develop proficiency with
essential tools and image editing techniques.
Manipulating digital images in a variety of creative
contexts, students will gain insight into Photoshop’s role
in photographic post-production.


DDP203 - Advanced Practical Photography (Level 6) 15 credits

Building on the work undertaken in DDP103, students
will continue their investigation of photographic
concepts and techniques. Utilising cameras with
interchangeable lenses and manual controls, students
will refine their understanding of topics including:
composition, framing, camera angles, lighting, exposure,
and narrative.

Prerequisite: DDP103.


DDP207 - Professional Photography (Level 6) 15 credits

This paper provides students with a concise introduction
to professional photographic practice, including basic
small business administration and popular genres of
commercial photography (EX: wedding photography,
photojournalism, food photography, sports
photography). Mimicking professional practice, students
will receive a series of creative briefs and will be tasked
with developing work that meets both technical
requirements and client expectations.


Prerequisites: DDP103 and DDP106.



Elective Papers – choose four from the following:


DDP111 - Photographic Auteur Study (Level 5) 15 credits

This paper explores seminal figures in the history of
photography and provides opportunities for students to
further develop their understanding of photographic
aesthetics and techniques. In a series of applied
exercises, students will use modern equipment to mimic
the work of well-known photographic auteurs.

Prerequisite or corequisite: DDP103.


DDP206 - Advanced Photoshop (Level 6) 15 credits

This paper provides an overview of the advanced image
editing tools available in Adobe Photoshop. It builds
upon the work completed in DDP106 and delves deeper
into image manipulation and photographic postproduction.
Through a series of hands-on exercises,
students will explore topics including: non-destructive
editing, advanced compositing, image restoration, and
photographic illustration.


Prerequisite: DDP106.


DDP231 - Portfolio (Level 6) 15 credits

Taking a project from proposal to final presentation,
students will apply their photographic knowledge and
skills to the development of a unified portfolio of
images. An academically rigorous and creatively
challenging paper, students will gain insight into
iterative visual design, project planning, visual problem
solving, and photographic post-production.


Prerequisites: DDP103 and DDP106.


DDF101 - Video and Audio Craft (Level 5) 15 credits

This paper provides an introduction to digital video,
including the language and aesthetics of film/ video
production. Through a series of applied exercises,
students will learn the fundamental skills of camera
operation and sound recording.


DDF105 - Video Editing (Level 5) 15 credits

This paper introduces students to nonlinear video
editing, including production methodologies and
aesthetics. Through the study of established works,
students will explore video editing techniques and their
impact on narrative development. Applied exercises will
introduce students to basic editing and post-production
topics, including: video capture, continuity editing,
transcoding, colour correction, and compositing. 


DDF110 - Media Culture (Level 5) 15 credits

From advertising graphics to art house cinema, we live
in a culture rich in imagery. Many of these images,
especially those associated with postmodernism and
advertising, are referential. The aim of this paper is to
broaden students' awareness of contemporary visual
culture and enhance their ability to contextualise the
images that bombard us daily. This paper will help
students to more effectively engage emerging forms of
creative practice.

Career Opportunities

  • This qualification provides graduates with the skills and techniques required for digital photography.  Graduates will gain an understanding of the issues faced by photographers in professional practice and how to respond to them. 
  • Students completing this programme may be able to cross credit completed papers to the SIT Bachelor of Digital Media.

Enrolment Information


  • Students entering the Diploma in Digital
    Photography programme are required to have a digital SLR or mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with manual controls. Point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones are not suitable for this course.
  • Adobe Photoshop (CS5 or later) is required.
  • Students, with the exception of those receiving course-related costs from StudyLink, must have the required equipment and software prior to commencing the programme.


Some elective papers require additional hardware or software:

  • DDF101 requires a video camera or video-capable DSLR and video editing software.
  • DDF105 requires either Final Cut Pro (any version) or Adobe Premiere Pro (CS5 or later).

Students are required to have the equipment prior to commencing the programme.




Part time (2 years to complete)

First enrolment –
two core compulsory papers

Second enrolment – two core compulsory papers

Third enrolment – two elective papers

Fourth enrolment – two elective papers


Full time (1 year to complete)

First enrolment - two core compulsory papers plus two
elective papers (with no prerequisite/s)

Second enrolment - two core compulsory papers plus
two elective papers (check prerequisites)



The following combinations of papers are recommended for these employment options:

  • A hands-on course to become a well-rounded photographer: DDP103, DDP106, DDP203, DDP207, plus… DDP111, DDP206, DDP231,
  • A course oriented towards wedding or event photography: DDP103, DDP106 DDP203, DDP207, plus… DDF101, DDF105.
  • A course oriented towards Photojournalism: DDP103, DDP106, DDP203, DDP207, plus… DDP206, DDP231, DDF101, DDF110



These are the suggested study plans for each of these employment options:


Professional Photographer


Part time


Year one

#1 or #2

DDP103, DDP106

DDP103, DDP106, DDP111

#3 or #4


DDP203, DDP207

Year two

#1 or #2

DDP203, DDP207






Wedding/Event Photographer


Part time


Year one

#1 or #2

DDP103, DDP106

DDP103, DDP106, DDF101, DDF105

#3 or #4

DDF101, DDF105

DDP203, DDP207

Year two

#1 or #2

DDP203, DDP207








Part time


Year one

#1 or #2

DDP103, DDP106

DDP103, DDP106, DDP206, DDP231

#3 or #4

DDP206, DDP231

DDP203, DDP207, DDF101, DDF110

Year two

#1 or #2

DDP203, DDP207


#3 or #4

DDF101, DDF110




Students wanting to complete both Diploma in Digital
Film (DDF) and Diploma in Digital Photography (DDP)
can “credit” three papers from one diploma to the other
(i.e. a student who has completed the DDF programme
can also complete the DDP programme by completing a
further five DDP papers). If you wish to apply for a cross
credit, please attach the completed form to your

Forms can be found at:



  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet).
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs).
  • Application forms are filled out on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes on the one application form.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover.


Assessments for this course typically include essays and practical assessments. There are no external exams for this course.


The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost of $6.50 per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration fee of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below.  You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.


Enrolment category

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and permanent residents (residing in NZ)

International Students

2013 Cost (NZ$)

$6.50 per credit ($97.50 per paper + admin fee $50.00 per application = $830.00 for 120 credit course) - includes GST

$100.00 per credit (+GST for those living in NZ – no GST for those living offshore)


Fees must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink.  Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or


Please check the textbook list to see the textbooks you
are required to have for the units you are enrolling in.

The list is here:

Additional Information

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have a computer and internet access. Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive a Welcome Kit that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.


Facilitator Assistance:  During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only).  All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study.  Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme.  Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.


We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section of our website at for further study and enrolment information.

Application Criteria

Applicants should have a keen interest in digital photography.  They need to demonstrate academic attributes which indicate a reasonable likelihood of successful completion of the programme.


Applicants should also have a basic knowledge of terminology associated with photography and basic photography and Photoshop skills.

Satisfactory Completion

For students to be considered to have satisfactorily completed this programme and be eligible for the awarding of the qualification Diploma in Digital Photography, they must have completed all scheduled course work requirements and assessments, successfully completed assessment requirements for all papers, and achieved a total of 120 credits as specified in the programme schedule.



Students can do more than eight papers for one diploma.


Students wanting to complete both the Diploma in Digital Film and the Diploma in Digital Photography can credit three papers from one diploma to the other (i.e. a student who has completed the DDF programme can also complete the DDP programme by completing a further five DDP papers.)

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