Looking for your shot? Kickstart your life behind the lens with 10 of the best photography schools in Australia

So you’ve got yourself a DSLR. Now what?

Much like a band who’s ready to drop their first single or book their first gig, you’re already armed with the most important asset a creative needs; interest.

But the next step is often the hardest of them all. Do you chase work or do you firm up your skills with a proper education? You’ll find people preaching both paths these days, but here’s a helping hand for those looking to hit the books a little.

photography schools in australia dani hansen photographer polish club oxford art factory
Polish Club shot by Dani Hansen. See the full gallery here

Are you a young shutterbug keen to take the next big step? Here’s a list of photography schools in Australia for you to digest.

CATC Design School

While the Sydney campus is nice and close to home for Happy Mag, CATC also has bases in Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Operating since 1982, it’s a staple Aussie college.

Currently offering a Diploma in Digital Imaging and a Creative Photography Short Course (currently unaccredited), you’ve got the option of a beginner’s course or something juicier if you study at CATC. All courses can also be undertaken online or on-campus. Choices!

Australian Centre for Photography

The ACP has been around for 40 years, even longer than CATC. They’ve also been publishing Photofile, Australia’s leading photography journal, since 1983.

They offer a huge range of courses, workshops, tutoring and school programs, even giving you the option to undertake specialist training in certain fields (say, a course on portraiture or architecture photography).

Free exhibitions are on constantly, so check one out to see what ACP is all about.

Billy Blue College of Design

Billy Blue is another institution where you can grab yourself a certified diploma in photography. It’s a massive college, offering courses in graphic design, digital media, fashion design and more. You’ll be well hooked up with a few like-minded friends by the time you walk out the doors.

Every campus (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide) is having an open day on August 12. Grab the details here.

BEL shot by Liam Cameron. Read the full interview here

Sydney Photographic Workshops

These are the Sydney’s most popular photography workshops right now, so they’re doing something right. Sydney Photographic Workshops seem to be hitting 10s across the board, offering everything a formal education grants you but in a workshop format.

If you’re looking to jump into photography you can probably skip over their half day ‘Essentials’ course, but their eight week Beginners workshop comes highly lauded.

Open Colleges

Since you can do pretty much everything on the internet these days, it would be remiss not to mention an online course. If you’re that way inclined, Open Colleges is a great option.

Once enrolled you’ll gain membership into the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, the country’s leading industry body.


The Sydney based SignaturePhoto offers one-off snap courses much like Sydney Photographic Workshops, except they get a little more creative.

Offering a forward-thinking course in iPhone photography as well as a massive photographic tour to Northern Thailand, it’s something to take a look at if you want an experience as well as an education.

Mossy shot by Liam Cameron. Read the full interview here

Photography Studies College

PSC is another mainstay of photographic education, having operated in the beating cultural heart of Melbourne for 40 years. They offer a degree and an advanced diploma in digital photography.

Like the Australian Centre for Photography, PSC also hold public exhibitions (albeit not as regularly). Check out their schedule here.


The photography program at RMIT has been around since 1887, actually making it the longest running in the world. Also situated smack-bang in the centre of Melbourne, you’ll find yourself in the guts of one of Australia’s great creative hubs for the three years you study.


Griffith is another high-end university that offers a formal photography course. Studying at a more classic university has its benefits and drawbacks, it’s not for everybody but some alumni definitely walk out with an experience they’ll never forget.

Their open day is this Sunday, July 23. Register here.

the pinheads dani hansen
The Pinheads shot by Dani Hansen. See the full gallery here


The University of Technology in Sydney is one of the country’s best, and it just so happens that they too offer a Bachelor in Photography.

Unlike the course at Griffith, you’ll be slotted into their design school rather than the arts curriculum, meaning you’ll be hanging with the architects, fashionistas and other visually inclined students rather than the media crowd (like those dirty journalists).


You can see more of Dani Hansen’s work here, and Liam Cameron’s here.