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 Photography Certificate Home Study Course

Developed by professional photographers to train professional photographers, this course gives you a very sound foundation for a career in the modern photographic industry.
This is a rapidly changing industry; and this course is continuously being updated to meet these rapid changes.

Course Structure

The certificate consists of six modules.

All students must undertake the following four compulsory modules:

You then choose an additional two modules from the following:


What is covered by the modules in a typical Certificate?

Introduction to Photography

  • Discuss the principles those underpins photography and examine the evolution into digital technologies.
  • Explain how photographic images are able to be captured on film. This lesson will also explain how photographic images are able to be captured by digital cameras.
  • Provide you with a firm understanding of how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking photographs. It provides a framework, upon which you will base your work in future lessons.
  • Determine appropriate application for a range of common items of photographic equipment and develop an understanding of how digital images can be transferred effectively from a digital camera
  • Explain how photographic film is developed.
  • Describe the process by which photographic film may be enlarged. Also explain techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images.
  • Work more effectively with light when taking photographs.
  • To identify and avoid common faults in photographs.

Photographic Practice

  • Compose photographs in a way that matches a predetermined aim.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs of people.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs of landscapes or other natural subjects.
  • Differentiate between appropriate use of colour and black and white photography.
  • Create varied visual affects through the use of special techniques.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better illustrative photographs.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs for use in print or electronic media.
  • Determine the nature and scope of business opportunities in photography.

Photographic Technology

  • Describe in technical terms, how an image forms when a photograph is taken.
  • Explain the nature of light and how this relates to the finished photographic product.
  • Describe how sensitivity of a photo sensitive surface and its development affect the photographic image.
  • Explain sensitivity relates to development affect the photographic image.
  • Explain the composition and manipulation of white and coloured light to create different photographic images.
  • Discuss the chemical process that occurs in producing a colour film photograph.
  • Explain how the photographic image may be manipulated by using optical filters or other camera attachments, other than lenses.
  • Explain how the photographic image may be manipulated by using lenses.

Digital Photography

  • Describe the scope and nature of digital photography
  • Select appropriate equipment for use in digital photography
  • Explain how technology enables digital images to be captured.
  • Compare different digital cameras and select an appropriate camera for a particular application.
  • Control the effects created in a digital photograph which you take.
  • Describe techniques which can be used for digitally capturing images from film photographs, or graphics.
  • Explain how digital images can be transferred effectively from a camera (or scanner) onto another device (eg. a computer, video monitor, television set, etc).
  • Describe techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images.
  • Explain how digital photos can be manipulated and changed to produce altered images.
  • Discuss the scope and nature of special effects that can be created with digital photographs.
  • Identify how and where digital photography can effectively be used.


  • Open digital files using Photoshop
  • Resize images and save them in multiple file formats
  • Create original graphics using the Photoshop tools
  • Manipulate individual elements of a graphic composition or image
  • Improve the quality of an image (clean it up) by applying modifications
  • Apply interesting filters and effects to images or compositions
  • Prepare your files for the web, print or email

Photographic Lighting

  • Discuss the scope and nature of lighting as relevant to photography.
  • Describe how different light sources will affect different images in varying ways.
  • Describe how different filters can be used to create different lighting effects.
  • Identify the differences between different types of light meters.
  • Describe the range of equipment which can be used to help achieve more desirable light conditions for photography.
  • Explain contrast and how to compensate for imperfect light conditions.
  • Explain how to use tone to create the desired final image.
  • Distinguish between utilisation of light in a studio and on location.To view detailed outlines of each of the modules click on the modules above, one by one.
Fee Payment Options

You can pay either

  • Full Fees
  • As a two part payment plan
  • As a four part payment plan

If you pay in full on enrolment, the fees are discounted.

If you pay in 2 parts, the first half of the course is supplied initially; and the second part payment is not made until you have completed the first half (at which time the second half of the course is supplied).

If you pay in 4 parts, the first half is still supplied; you are then billed a second payment (due 2 months later). The third payment becomes due when you commence the second half of the certificate.The fourth part is due 2 months after that.


Why Study the Course?

This is a great course to choose, if you want to not only learn about the subject now; but keep learning after you finish studying. We believe a good course should not only develop intelligence and knowledge; but also:

  • Improve your ability to communicate with others within the discipline
  • Develop problem solving skills relevant to this discipline 
  • Expand awareness and develop creativity
  • Facilitate networking (develop contacts within an industry)
  • Develop attributes that set you apart from others in your industry
  • Motivate you, build confidence, and more

According to some authorities, success is actually only affected about 20% by your knowledge and intelligence.

Our school works at helping you in a holistic way, to develop all of the things
mentioned above, in a way that relates to the discipline you are studying; and
in this way, giving you the capacity to apply yourself to unanticipated problems,
to understand new information as it emerges, to see and seize on new opportunities as they reveal themselves, and to continue to grow your abilities within your discipline as you progress through life after study.

In a world that is changing faster all the time; it is difficult to even be certain how this industry might change between the start of your course, and the time you finish studying.
With this in mind; any course that is to have long term value in today's world, must develop broad generic skills (as above). This approach to education is not unique to ACS, but it is an approach tested, proven and adopted in our courses; and an approach that is also used by some of the most successful, cutting edge universities and colleges around the world.


Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.


Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.







Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


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 Photography Certificate Distance Learning Course


This course prepares you for a career in the photographic industry. It creates awareness and understanding in the industry, helps develop knowledge and skills in using a camera to a professional standard, and teaches you the all important communication and business skills needed to be successful in the real world.

Student Comment (from N. Huettmann, Germany)
"Yes, I do learn a lot" ...." I'm absolutely satisfied"..."Because I already run my own business as a photographer, the freedom to handle the course whenever I find the time is just great".

Check out our eBooks

Photographic TechniquesExplore how to take better photos. This is a book packed full of practical tips, from the authors own experience, coupled with a solid introduction to well established and widely practiced photographic techniques. This is a well illustrated, excellent reference for students of photography; and an equally useful source of inspiration to the amateur photographer.
Professional Practice for ConsultantsExplore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.
Starting a BusinessBusinesses don't need to fail! This is concise, easy to read, and alerts you to all of the things that commonly make a difference to business success or failure. Seven chapters are: “A Reality Check”, “The Product or service”, “Managing a Business”, “How to Find Customers”, “How to Make a Sale”, “Delivering the Product or Service”, “Pitfalls to Avoid”.