Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours)
In today’s visually sophisticated, but increasingly competitive and fragmented market, it is imperative for successful photographers to demonstrate a distinctive visual voice.
This honours degree will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills to effectively adapt to various ways of thinking and making photographic images.
You will be guided through personalised mentorship and individual supervision, as you are introduced to practice-led research and research methodologies.
Through intensive studio based research and workshop practice, you will develop creative autonomy and a more sophisticated understanding of photography to make significant cultural contributions.
This degree is designed for students who have successfully completed a three-year degree in photography, and who wish to undertake a further year of study to focus exclusively on an individual project.
The degree will also appeal to commercial photographers, artists, designers and other creative industry professionals seeking a more advanced studio practice in photography.
You will have access to a range of specialised photographic facilities across the school to support your area of practice; including shooting studios, professional capture equipment, post production editing facilities, computer labs and fine art large format printing technologies.
You will be required to attend on-campus classes throughout the delivery of the course.
Learning in this course uses a variety of teaching and learning approaches, with a major focus on intensive photographic production and workshop practice. The workshops are places in which you will refine and develop your practical, theoretical and conceptual skills through development of an independently generated project proposal negotiated with supervisory staff.
The course involves regular engagement in review, critique and analysis of work through discussion with staff and peers in both individual and group critiques and tutorials.
Independent research forms an integral part of the course structure focusing on locating and developing your photographic practice within a broader understanding of historical and contemporary photographic narratives and providing a firm foundation for embarking on a career as an independent photographer or as preparation for further advanced study at post-graduate level.
Assessment involves 'learning by doing' and will include developing a range of project based photographic works, written reflections, oral and visual presentations, proposals and exegesis documents.
You’ll receive ongoing feedback on the strengths and areas for improvement in your photographic practice from your lecturers and peers.
RMIT has many close links with photographic and aligned creative industries which take a variety of forms. Academics are professional photographers, photo-journalists, artists, editors, writers and curators maintaining strong linkages within national and global photographic practice and the community.
External industry experts and speakers are regularly engaged to speak to students through a number of forums, and international study tours are available.
RMIT holds existing and longstanding partnerships and connections with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Centre for Contemporary Photography, the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), regional galleries and many other photographic institutions.
The School of Art has a long tradition in and focus on international engagement. The awards available assist graduates to build international experiences into their practice and emerging careers. The following awards are conferred on those students who demonstrate outstanding art practices and academic achievement.
SITUATE is a residency program in the School for artists, curators and researchers, and honours students (along with postgraduate students) may apply for this program. SITUATE connects people through art by creating onsite real-time opportunities for creative experimentation, cross-cultural dialogue and global mobility. SITUATE manages a series of Reciprocal Residencies where we send RMIT affiliated and Australian artists overseas and receive artists from the partner organisations. Exchanges include:
- The Austrian Arts Residency Exchange
- The Canadian Indigenous Arts Residency Exchange
- The Taiwanese Arts Residency Exchange
- The Japanese Arts Residency Exchange
International Artists in Residence program
The School of Art has a longstanding global focus provided through many activities, but particularly the International Artists in Residence (iAIR) program, which provides students with access to international artists and academics who often feature as guest lecturers throughout the year.
You'll have the opportunity to apply for overseas art residencies, which have placed previous students in East China Normal University in Shanghai, China; Krems, Austria; Tokyo Wondersite, Japan; and the University of Lethbridge, Canada.
RMIT's Global Mobility also supports students to develop and undertake an exchange or a short-term mobility activity during their Honours study through our network of 165 partner universities worldwide.
Using critical enquiry, practice-based research methodologies and 'thinking through making’, the structure of this course allows you to take ownership of your photography education.
You will be allocated a senior academic as a supervisor who will provide support and guidance as you develop your honours project.
Choose a program structure
|Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours)||City Campus||
One year Full-time
One year Full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: BH125
Honours graduates will have more expansive employment opportunities within the enterprise formation and employment portfolio areas due to increased skills and time for self-directed and autonomous study.
Graduates will gain skills in creative thinking and problem solving that are valued by employers in a range of sectors. Specifically, graduates from this degree will be more competitive in those careers and markets where higher qualifications are desired, such as museums, galleries, government institutes, education, community organisations and private sector organisations.
Photography as an industry is constantly changing to meet global shifts in image culture, and the more traditional role of the ‘professional photographer’ has diversified to incorporate not only competition from related disciplines, but a broadening demand for discipline expertise and more complex understandings of the power of images in culture. This is evident in social media platforms, the speed of global image distribution and the extensive knowledge required to respond with sensitivity to vulnerable communities around the world.
Graduates with an Honours degree will be more competitive in a global market with a qualification more recognised in Asia and Europe, and ideally positioned to respond to, and impact the changing photography industry.
RMIT is committed to providing transparency to the admissions process. In line with this commitment, we provide you with information that will help in making informed choices about your undergraduate study options.
RMIT admits students from a range of educational pathways, including Year 12 results, previous higher education or vocational education study, work experience, and for some programs - interviews, auditions or portfolios.
To get a better understanding of admissions at RMIT, view our admissions information.
Applications will be accepted until Friday 17 July 2020 unless places are filled earlier.
The highest level of education you have previously completed will determine which category applies to you.
Applicants with Higher Education study
Successful completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a relevant photographic discipline with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 (out of 4.0).
Applicants with recent secondary education (current or within the past two years)
Secondary education (Year 12) is not considered for entry into this program.
Applicants with Vocational Education and Training
Vocational education and training (VET) is not considered for entry into this program.
Applicants with Work and Life Experience
Work and life experience is not considered for entry into this program.
Semester 2, 2020
You must complete and submit the Photography Honours selection task.
The link to submit your selection kit will appear on the applicant dashboard after you have submitted your application.
Short-listed and exempt applicants will be invited to a folio presentation.
The selection task requires:
- A research proposal. Your proposal should indicate what you consider your project (research) will encompass, why this research project is significant to your practice, along with an indication of how you intend to plan and undertake your project research (including any specialised facilities that may be required). You should include the following headings:
- Proposed project title
- Research topic outline – A description of your proposed project, including any historical, contemporary and theoretical contexts relevant to your project
- Aims – Using point form, list three distinct sentences, stating three separate project aims.
- Methods – A description of your research methods (practical or theoretical), or how at this stage you consider your Honours project may occur. Here, if necessary, you may also provide some indication of any specific requirements necessary for your research (this may form as an explanatory paragraph and/or dot points.
- Prior Reading – List 4 to 5 key texts or research topics in point form that may have specifically or generally informed your practice to date.
- Professional experiences – Using point form, list any significant professional experiences you may have undertaken that relate to the field of photography. For example, this may include assisting or volunteering for photographers, creative practitioners or arts organisations, exhibitions and projects, or any creative collaborations). (Approximately 500 – 700 words) Your proposal must be submitted in a single PDF.
- A folio of photographic images. Folios should include approximately 10-12 recent works. Photographic work should have been taken and edited to completion over the past 18 months. Please include titles of works, and where applicable: date, medium and dimensions. Your folio should include examples of your best work, rather than a combination of image types. You may upload your folio or supply a URL to your folio online.
Semester 1, 2021
Selection task details and submission dates will be available on 2 August 2020.
Art and Design application tips
View the following videos for some practical application advice:
To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
- TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.
For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.
Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.
Credit and recognition of prior learning
Credit, recognition of prior learning, professional experience and accreditation from a professional body can reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant experience. Find out if you might be eligible.
Upon successful completion of this program you may be eligible to undertake further studies in related programs at RMIT University, including the Master of Photography (coursework), Master of Fine Art (by research) or PhD (Art) subject to the program's entrance requirements.
If you successfully complete BH125 Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours) with a GPA of 3 (out of 4) you will be guaranteed entry into MC270 Master of Photography (coursework).
2020 indicative fees
In 2020, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,684 to AU$11,155*.
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$308 maximum fee for 2020.
- Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.
Annual fee adjustment
Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.
Defer your payment
You may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
Learn more about fees for undergraduate study.
All undergraduate and honours degrees have Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available. In 2020, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,684 to AU$11,155.
In a CSP, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government. Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set each year by the Australian Government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of the courses in which you enrol, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
Courses (subjects) fall into one of three bands. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.
Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.
You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2020
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount in 2020
Band 1: humanities, behavioural science, social studies, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, education, nursing
|$6,684 per standard year
$835 per standard (12 credit point) course
Band 2: mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, other health, allied health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture
$9,527 per standard year
$11,155 per standard year
The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to the full amount of their student contribution.
You may be eligible to apply to defer payment of the Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) through the SA-HELP loan scheme. If you use SA-HELP, the amount will be added to your accumulated HELP debt.
How does a HELP loan work?
If your HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to the full amount of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You will only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.
The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2020 is $308.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.
In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) in each calendar year.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Student visa holders must have cover for the total duration of their visa.
- Some programs incur additional expenses.
You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.