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What Is Photography?

Photography informs, communicates, represents, reflects and influences us. Visual images are everywhere in contemporary culture – as artworks, adverts, and social media posts to name a few.

Photographers can work as artists, for newspapers and magazines, in fashion, advertising or specialise in portraiture or wedding photography. A career in photography also offers a lot of creative and professional freedom.

What Courses Are Available?

Griffith College Dublin has a three-year BA (Ordinary, Level 7) in photography. Dun Laoghaire IADT and DIT both offer  four-year BAs (Honours, Level 8).

Studying Photography In College

Students will learn practical skills. These include darkroom processing, photographic techniques, and processing digital images. Many courses also offer business and management skills.

Students will also learn about the historical and cultural context of photography as well as theory.

Colleges of Further Education offer one year (Level 5) certificate courses for budding photographers. These courses are more vocationally oriented. They focus on practical skills such as film and digital photography, image downloading, Photoshop and image manipulation, and post-production. Some further education programmes combine these skills with media production or journalism.

Applicants may need to submit a portfolio as part of their application. Check with the course provider for further details.

Career Options

You will need a number of skills to be a professional photographer. These include good eyesight, excellent attention to detail, a creative streak, patience, and good technical/IT skills. People skills are also important. Ideally you should also have a good head for business and financial budgeting.

Related Jobs

Graduates of photography can also consider careers in things like graphic design, cinematography and visual media. Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Advertising art director
  • Film/video editor
  • Graphic designer
  • Magazine features editor
  • Medical illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Press photographer
  • Television camera operator

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Art therapist
  • Digital marketer
  • Media planner
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Museum/gallery curator
  • Stylist
  • VFX artist
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Web content manager
  • Web designer

Further Study

Having completed a course in photography, depending on the area you wish to get into, you could consider furthering your studies in areas such as graphic design or film production. It is often the case that graduates of photography will study a business course in order to set up their own photography business.


Do I need any photography experience or qualifications to take one of these courses?

No prior knowledge, experience or qualifications are needed. These courses have been designed for absolute beginners and keen amateurs.

Can one of these courses help me to start a career in photography?

On completion of a photography course you will have the skills to specialise in wedding photography, portrait photography, fine art photography, night photography, studio, product shots, landscape and fashion photography and more.

Where can I study Digital Photography?

Explore your options here.

Did you know?

Photographers used to hand colour their images before the advent of colour film. This was both a time- and attention-consuming procedure. Colours were applied with a fine brush. The colours were then fixed into place by breathing upon the plate.

Further Resources

Photography Ireland – forum and resource site for photographers

Irish Professional Photographers Association

Press Photographers Association of Ireland is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
European Studies
Multimedia and Web Design


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