Qualification - Diploma In Photojournalism

Course CodeVPH009
Fee CodeDI
Duration (approx)2100 hours

Becoming a Photojournalist requires:

  • Photographic knowledge and skill
  • An understanding of the market (ie. what publishers want)
  • Networks (You need to establish contacts within the real world and build relationships)
  • Persistence, Attitude and Commitment

This course is longer than some; but it focuses on all of these things. We aim to not only give you the knowledge; but also position you for the best chance at developing a career.

The Diploma in Photojournalism is a broad based, practically oriented training course that will develop the essential skills required to work in this field. The student will develop a variety of written and photographic work that can be used as the basis for a professional portfolio.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Diploma In Photojournalism.
 Business Studies BBS101
 Editing I BWR106
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Html - Writing An Internet Website VIT102
 Introduction To Psychology BPS101
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Photographic Practice BPH101
 Photographing People BPH102
 Publishing I (Publishing Children's Literature) BWR107
 Research Project I BGN102
 Advanced Freelance Writing (Applied Writing) BWR201
 Graphic Design BIT205
 Photographic Lighting BPH204
 Photographic Technology BPH201
 Photoshop VIT202
 Project Management BBS201
 Publishing II (Publishing Fiction) BWR202
 Research Project II BGN201
 Writing in Practice BWR308
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 6 modules.
 Introduction To Photography BPH100
 Visual Basic.Net BIT101
 Digital Photography (Short Course) BPH202
 Writing a Biography BWR205
 Editing III BWR307
 Editing Practice BWR305

Note that each module in the Qualification - Diploma In Photojournalism is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Thoughts on Developing a Portfolio

The presentation of your photographs is as important as the quality of the photos themselves.  Presenting your folio to people is just like going for a job interview (it often is an actual interview), so don't pull a pile of tiny torn shots out of a shoe box, you need to look organised and dependable. First impressions count. Get a good quality case, it’s worth the outlay, then make sure the quality of your images match the quality of your case.
Constructing the Portfolio
Make sure your prints are high resolution and of the best quality possible.  Whether you choose a mat or gloss finish is up to you.  What is the folio for?  What finish do they usually use in that industry? Your folio will change over time so be sure to factor this in when deciding what format to use.  
Don't use one of those commercial photo albums with the plastic pockets and the lined information fields on the left. This is not a year 6 assignment.  It's your livelihood.  
You want the photos to be large enough to be impressive but not so large that you need to hire a donkey to carry them.  You don't really want them any smaller than A4.  A4 is big enough to have an impact but not too big to carry. A3 would be a touch more impressive.
Photos you have selected should be consistently good quality images and prints and ideally there should be something unique about them - a quality which distinguishes your work from that of other photographers.
It's also worth looking at each image and asking yourself what that image says about you as a photographer.
The very first image in your album should be one of your best shots.  You want the folio to start off really strong, make an impact and carry the viewer through till the end.   It's a bit like a rock concert.  They start with one of their best songs in order to have an impact, and then they finish with another one of their best songs so they leave everyone on a high.  This is exactly what you want to do with your folio.
Start strong, make an impact and then end on another one of your best shots.  The last image in your portfolio is the last image the viewer will see and if it's really good it will stick in their heads long after the folio is closed.
Always use acid free paper and interleaves - this way they won't yellow with age.  There are a number of options for different glues etc, be sure to use those specifically for photos (acid free, etc).  They may be expensive but they're a lot cheaper than having to re-do your whole folio because poor quality adhesive or paper has ruined your photos.  It also means that the portfolio is of archival quality - so long after you have passed away, your work will remain as a testament to your skill (or passion).
You can attach the photos using the previously mentioned photo glue, you can use photo corners, or you can use adhesive photo dots.  It's up to you.  If you were displaying the shots on card or foam core around a room or gallery, Velcro dots can also come in handy.  
Remember you are a photographer, you are creative, make it look good and if possible match the folio style to the theme or goal.  So if your entire folio consisted of shots of ice sculptures and snow then you could enhance the folio with a clear icy looking cover, if your folio consisted of nudes, you could go for a soft, suede skin-coloured cover.  Alternatively, pick a style that you like such as classic black and white, 70's retro or whatever suits your images and personality, and carry that style throughout the book.

Meet some Of our academics

John Mason

John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

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