Postgraduate Diploma Live Online

Develop an in-depth understanding of the photography skills, techniques and processes to start your own business.

Deadline for enrolment:

Start Date


€3,145 (Easy-pay plan available)


Approximately 9 months

Work Placement

Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement with a photography company. All placements are made in the Dublin and Cork areas.

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Study Option
Live Online
Course Location
Course Level
Comparable to level 6 on the NFQ
Entry Requirements
18 years old or over
15 practical assignments
The Photography Academy of Ireland is recognised by the International Approval and Registrations Centre (IARC).

Completing this course will enable you to start your own successful photography business by honing your skills to create, plan and manage your own photography projects as well as giving you an in-depth understanding of your camera.

Designed around 15 practical assignments, you will incrementally develop the advanced techniques and a deep understanding of the industry that you need to succeed as a professional photographer.

As a Live Online student, you will attend tutor-led classes online taught by industry professionals. You will also have full access to the Online Learning Centre, which contains course material created by industry experts including instructional videos, written content and assignments.

Our tutors provide all the support, knowledge and in-depth feedback you need to progress through your course and are always contactable through the Online Learning Centre.

On average a student studying around 15 hours per week can complete the course in 18 months, a student studying around 30 hours a week can complete the course in 9 months*.

*Completion time is based on the approximate time it has taken past students to complete the course. Students have up to 36 months to complete the course.

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Class Schedule

View the schedule for the evening classes and the weekend classes in Live Online.


The list below provides an overview of the topics covered in this course.

    • How the Camera Works

    Experiment with your own camera’s manual settings. Learn the fundamentals of composition, focus, and light to create still life photographs. Learn about:

    • Composition
    • Aperture, focal length and perspective
    • Light metering and white balance
    • Exposure compensation
    • Light & Lighting

    Examine the importance of light in photography. Understand different lighting techniques and the importance of equipment and planning for a photoshoot. Learn how to:

    • Experiment with different lighting styles and settings
    • Develop lighting diagrams to plan a photoshoot
    • Undertake studio and ‘on-location’ photoshoots
    • Create studio portraits and environmental portraits
    • Photographic Methods & The Design Cycle

    Produce creative portraits for an album cover and learn about the stages of the design cycle - a structured approach to creative work from initial idea to completed photographs. Learn about:

    • Interpreting a client brief
    • Developing, selecting and testing ideas
    • Developing plans for a photoshoot
    • Post-production and editing techniques using industry software
    • Evaluating client feedback
    • Cultural Movements in Photography

    Examine how society, history, technology, economics and culture influences photographic practice. Complete a research project to learn about key historical movements in photography. Learn how to:

    • Use research methods
    • Analyse key movements in history
    • Develop key insights about contemporary influences on photography
    • Present research findings professionally
    • Photography in the Studio

    Research the central role the studio has played in the development of photographic practice through history. Develop skills in studio practice that are used to create professional looking images. Produce a range of photographs in a studio setting in response to a client brief. Learn how to:

    • Use appropriate studio lighting, equipment and sets
    • Develop a plan for a studio-based photoshoot
    • Take photographs in a studio setting using a range of techniques
    • Use post-production to create finished photographs for an audience
    • Present photos for print and online use
    • Photography on Location

    Develop skills needed to take photographs in uncontrolled environments. Understand the techniques needed to adapt photoshoots to changing spaces, subjects and contexts. Complete a photoshoot on location to practice and build specialist skills. Learn how to:

    • Analyse a client brief in terms of context and logistics
    • Examine locations and take test photographs before undertaking a photoshoot in order to identify necessary techniques, equipment and permissions
    • Experiment with different approaches before and during a photoshoot
    • Develop a plan for completing an on-location photography project
    • Creative Thinking & Independent Practice

    Use your skill-set to complete a photography collection for an exhibition based on a set theme and topic. Learn how to:

    • Work independently on a photography exhibition project
    • Experiment with creative concepts
    • Use visual language to express ideas
    • Improve critical thinking and analysis of project needs
    • Manage a project
    • Present finished photographs and development work
    • Portfolio Creation & Career Planning

    Examine career goals and different pathways into professional photography. Develop a portfolio for clients and potential employers that demonstrates your skills and photographic interests. Learn how to:

    • Investigate the photography profession
    • Examine strengths and weaknesses in your skill-set
    • Identify career goals
    • Plan career development milestones
    • Curate a professional looking portfolio


All our tutors are photography professionals working in the industry.

The Photography Academy of Ireland

Our philosophy at the Photography Academy of Ireland is to make high-quality education accessible to all by empowering people to do what they love. Through the power of online and blended learning, our students are able to harness their creativity and practically apply it to succeed in their chosen careers.

Pursue your ambition - because the future is today!

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Choosing the right course

We offer a range of photography courses to suit your goals.

Why not contact our experienced staff for advice, or browse to our other courses.

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