Bachelor of Creative Arts and Media, majoring in Photography

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Creative Arts and Media, majoring in Photography

Photography prepares you for a fulfilling career in a photographic field of your choice.

Working in state-of-the-art specialist photographic studios, you'll have access (free) to lighting and photographic equipment, high-end printers and JCU's media arts computer laboratories.

You'll work with skilled imaging professionals who'll teach you the concepts, art, and technology, behind images that have fascinated the world - and they'll share their experience and help you move towards the career you've dreamt of.

Many students ask us how much they need to invest to get started? At JCU we supply almost everything but do ask you to invest your enthusiasm and imagination. What you need to create, we supply – cameras, printers, studios, studio lighting, gallery exhibition space, expert teaching, experiences, and so much more.

You may also have the option of studying a fourth year with JCU's partner university, the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg, Germany - which would give you two degrees.

Townsville, External, Cairns
Start dates
February, July
3 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus, Off campus

Career opportunities

Photography career options are vast.

JCU Bachelor of Creative Arts & Media - Photography graduates work in diverse areas of photography and digital imaging.

You'll learn the skills required to find a career in an art studio, or in digital art making, news photography, immersive imaging, science imaging, commercial photography, photojournalism, image manipulation, educational technology, magazine content and production, advertising, electronic publishing, teaching, wedding/portrait photography.

Course highlights

Where else on earth is there a university like JCU, that's situated right at the centre of some of the world's most spectacular coastlines and rainforests, and right near the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park? With a community comprised of many creative people from all over the world, including Australia's own Indigenous peoples, JCU offers the perfect place to study Creative Arts.

You'll study with enthusiastic and creative JCU students, and you'll be able to volunteer at festivals and exciting local events, which helps you build creative networks. As well, you'll be able to participate in solo and collaborative projects that are made possible by JCU's partnerships with arts and creative industry bodies.

Course overview

You can study JCU’s Bachelor of Creative Arts & Media - Photography at JCU's Cairns or Townsville campuses, or entirely online.

The course will help you develop practical skills through hands-on training and by working with professionals on location and in the studio. You will learn the principles and practice of digital photographic capture, both on location and in the studio, as well as digital image processing and output. Photographic critiques, different photographic genres and visual narratives are also covered during your studies.

All Creative Arts & Media students study core subjects that focus on creative industries, culture and collaboration, and prepare you for professional practice.

As a photography student, you'll study subjects specific to photography, such as:

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (311481) - Apply now
Cairns (321481) - Apply now
External (311489) - Apply now

OP Score/Rank is representative of 2017 entry requirements and is therefore indicative only. Entry scores for 2018 will be finalised in the major offer round.


Major Structure


Level 1

NM1200:03 Digital Photography

NM1210:03 Lens Based Practice

Level 2

NM2220:03 Creative Concepts of Lighting

NM2230:03 Photography Criticism

Level 3

NM3200:03 Photography Genres

NM3210:03 Visual Narratives


Choose 6 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1

NM1400:03 Introduction to Media Design

NM1500:03 Introduction to Media Arts

NM1600:03 Introduction to Music, Sound & Moving Image

Pathway into course

The Diploma of Higher Education is a one-year course (or two years, part-time) designed to help people who may not meet the academic requirements for entry into a Bachelor degree course. The course is also designed to help students develop the necessary skills to be successful university students.

The Diploma consists of a combination of introductory and first year degree subjects. Successful completion of the Diploma will give you a recognised qualification in its own right.

Graduating with the Diploma will also allow you to enter many JCU Bachelor degree programs and may give you credit, for some of the subjects you successfully complete.

Contact, if you have any questions or call Anne Chatelain (07) 47815740 in Townsville or Gabi Newman (07) 4232 1155 in Cairns.

Applicants with TAFE diplomas in the creative arts can apply for credit.


Bachelor of Creative Arts and Media

Course code


Course type

BAC – Bachelor Pass (AQF level 7)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

English (4,SA)

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 – Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

In the context of a JCU graduate on successful completion of the Bachelor of Creative Arts & Media graduates will be able to:

-   Appraise the global traditions, practices and theories informing creative arts practice

-   Evaluate theoretical and conceptual insights into media arts practice;

-    Compare direct experiences of the nature of the global creative industries sector including insights into career management strategies for artists

-    Develop an appreciation and understanding of indigenous perspectives

-    Demonstrate a high level of digital technology based expertise in at least one discipline area of creative practice

-    Apply specialist professional knowledge in at least one of the discipline areas of creative practice

-    Demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of urban and natural tropical environments

-    Illustrate an awareness of intellectual curiosity, ethical behaviour and sustainable practice in the arts and creative industries sector

-    Practice collaborative enterprise within creative communities emerging within the knowledge economy

-    Demonstrate advanced oral, written and networked communication skills suitable for the contemporary information and communication technologies sector

-    Employ strong problem solving, research, critical thinking and analytical skills required for contemporary arts practice.

Course Structure


Level 1

IA1007:03 Linking Indigenousness or IA1015:03 Indigenous Australians: Survival, Identity and Cultural Diversity

NM1010:03 Digital Toolbox

NM1810:03 Introduction to Creativity & Innovation

Level 2

NM2018:03    Creative Culture: The Value of the Arts

NM2017:03    Visual Arts in Perspective

NM2020:03    Visual Communication & Creativity

Level 3

NM3012:03 Creative Collaboration Project

NM3013:03    Professional Portfolio


Select a Creative Arts & Media Major from Table A


Select a minor that is different to your major from the Inter-Disciplinary Minors list or Select 9 credit points of any undergraduate subjects plus 3 credit points of any level 3 undergraduate subjects


Select a second minor that is different to your major from the Inter-Disciplinary Minors list or Select 9 credit points of any undergraduate subjects plus 3 credit points of any level 3 undergraduate subjects


Type of major

Mandatory, Single/Double

Credit points in major

24 credit points









Media Arts




Music, Sound & Moving Image












Not all majors are available in Cairns

The first and second years of the course will be available internally in Cairns in 2017 and the whole course will be available internally in Cairns in 2018.


Not all majors are available in Townsville


The first and second years of the course will be available externally in 2017 and the whole course will be available fully external in 2018.


Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

7 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year


Course progression

Must successfully complete 36 credit points of level 1 and level 2 subjects before attempting any level 3 subject

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

This course includes work integrated learning in the second year. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense.

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students.

Special assessment


Professional accreditation


Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for
final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award in their final teaching period and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject, may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject. However if that subject is required for accreditation, then the criteria specified by that accreditation will apply.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

48 credit points, with no more that 9 credit points of advanced standing awarded at level 3.


Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 5 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 12 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


This is a joint degree


Inclusion of majors on

Any major may appear on the testamur

Exit with lesser award

Students who have completed 24 credit points of their course award requirements, and withdraw from or fail to meet the requirements for progression in the later years, may be eligible for the award of Diploma of Tertiary Studies.

Course articulation

Not applicable

Special Awards

Not applicable


Honours availability

Available as an additional 24 credit points of study [end-on]


By invitation of the Dean of College. Candidates must have obtained a minimum average grade of a Credit (GPA 5) for level 2 and 3 subjects.


The Bachelor of Creative Media (Honours) degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees. Please refer to the Bachelor of Creative Media (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

What is Photography?

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.