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 critical and ethical understanding of photography that will allow you to make significant cultural contributions.
The Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours) 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, photographers with commissioned practices (such as advertising, editorial or fashion photographers), photojournalists, socially-engaged practitioners, artists, designers, and other creative industry professionals seeking a more advanced studio practice in photography.
Honours is an opportunity to develop your professional practice through immersion in a year long, self-initiated, inquiry focused, creative project. Over the course of producing this project, you will become familiar with advanced principles and conventions of practice-based research.
You will have access to a range of specialised photographic facilities across the school to support your area of practice, including photography studios, professional capture equipment, post-production editing facilities, computer labs and large format fine art printing technologies.
You will be required to attend on-campus classes throughout the delivery of this degree.
Learning in this degree 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.
You will learn in an environment where the politics, meanings and functions of images are examined. Your studies will involve regular engagement in the 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 postgraduate level. This degree produces rounded graduates who are conscious of the ethical, social and cultural implications of their professional choices.
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.
Graduate successes have included exhibitions and prizes in Australia, France, Italy, Portugal, the UK, and New Zealand. Honours graduates have had inclusions in national institutions and festivals including the Monash Gallery of Art, the Centre for Contemporary Photography, the Head On Festival, Photo 2201 and the Ballarat Foto Bienalle.
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 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.
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 2.0 (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 1, 2022
- complete and submit the Photography Honours selection task by 5 December 2021. Tasks received after this date will be assessed in the order they are received until 25 February 2022, unless places are filled prior. Entry into this program is competitive and for your best chance at admissions into this program, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The link to submit your selection task will appear on the applicant dashboard after you have submitted your application.
- attend a folio presentation (short-listed and exempt applicants).
The selection task requires:
- A research proposal. Your proposal should indicate what you consider your project (research) will encompass, including, why this research project is significant to your practice. Why is it worth doing? Why might you be the ideal person to undertake it? You might 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. What area of the cultural, social or political world does it intersect with?
- Aims – what do you hope to achieve through your project?
- Methods – A description of your proposed research methods (practical or theoretical). 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 key texts that will inform your project. These may be texts that you have drawn from in past work. This may include texts you are yet to read.
Your proposal must be submitted in a single PDF and should be between 500 and 700 words.
Remember that you haven’t done the research yet so there is no expectation that you have definitive answers at this stage. The proposal is to demonstrate that the area of enquiry is viable.
- 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 cohere around a topic, rather than an assemblage of unrelated image types. You may upload your folio in a single PDF or supply a URL to your folio online.
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 can continue your studies in the MC270 Master of Photography, subject to the program's entrance requirement and receive 96 credit points of advanced standing into the master program.
You are guaranteed entry into the Master of Photography with 2 semesters of credit (equivalent to 96 credit points) when you successfully complete the Bachelor of Arts (Photography) (Honours)
2022 indicative fees
In 2022, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$3,985 to AU$14,630*.
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$315 maximum fee for 2022.
- 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.
Paying your fees and applying for refunds
For information on how to pay your fees or how to apply for a refund, please see Paying your fees and applying for refunds.
If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.
Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
The Australian Government has introduced changes to university funding and student contribution fees under its Job-ready Graduates Package.
The fees in the table below apply to students commencing their program in 2022. Fees for continuing students are available at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Each course (subject) falls into a band. 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 2022 for commencing students
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount (per EFTSL) in 2022
Education, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics, Statistics, Nursing, Indigenous and Foreign Languages, Agriculture
|$3,985 per standard year
$498 per standard (12 credit point) course
Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment, Computing, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology, Professional Pathway Social Work, Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies, Science, Pathology
|$8,021 per standard year
$1,002 per standard (12 credit point) course
Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science
$11,401 per standard year
Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications, Society and Culture
$14,630 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 FEE-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You 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 2022 is $315.
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.
Looking for answers or more general infomation?
For frequently asked questions or how to find more information regarding applications and enrolments, fees, student support services, university policies and more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.