Photography – Bachelor of Design with Honours

Great photographers shake us, shift our perceptions and entice us to see things differently. Learn from leading photographers and develop your technical skills with our professional cameras and specialist studios and labs.

Where you can study

Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry qualification

Specialise in Photography for your Bachelor of Design with Honours at Massey

When you study photography at Massey, you’ll be taught by award-winning photographers and designers. You’ll learn alongside other aspiring photographers in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Join the ranks of Massey photography graduates whose careers span the range from fine art to commercial, photojournalism to fashion photography.

Use state of the art digital suites and printers with technical support and explore alternative and historical wet-based photographic processes.

Find your creative niche through transdisciplinary opportunities, a broad grounding in fundamentals and plenty of flexibility in choosing electives.

Get the full picture

Visit the College of Creative Arts website

Further study

Further your design research and practice with a Master of Design or Master of Fine Arts at Massey, or go on to create new knowledge with a PhD.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

About this major

The Photography major in the Bachelor of Design with Honours consists of 210 credits.


Completing a minor is optional and may be a way for you to show the breadth of your degree.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major and be made up of at least 60 credits.

If you’re interested in doing a minor you should contact us using the Get advice button on this page. Our student advice team will be able to talk you through your options and help you plan your degree.

More on minors

More information:  ‘Yellow Book’.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Design with Honours

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Design with Honours core courses

Photography courses

Part One

Course code: 221157 Studio I (Lens) 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to creative and analytical thinking skills, idea generation and visualisation common to art and design practice. They will begin to acquire specific techniques, skills and processes in photographic image-making. They will learn to discuss and evaluate their work and the work of their peers.

Restrictions: 221101

View full course details

Part Two

Course code: 221257 Design Studio IIA (Photography) 30 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate creative responses to project challenges through critical awareness of contextual issues. Students will develop and apply core techniques, skills and processes in photography.

Prerequisites: (237130 or 237131) plus 221157 and two of: 198157, 212157, 213157, 213158, 222157, 222158, 223157, 224157, 296157 Restrictions: 221271

View full course details
Course code: 221258 Design Studio IIB (Photography) 30 credits

In this studio course students will continue to explore and articulate creative responses to project challenges through critical inquiry into contemporary issues relevant to photography. Students will further develop and apply core techniques, skills and processes.

Prerequisites: 221257 Restrictions: 221270, 221272

View full course details

Part Three

Course code: 221357 Design Studio IIIA (Photography) 30 credits

In this studio course students will establish a critical position through individual creative exploration and articulation. With opportunities for varied contextual applications, students will consolidate and expand photographic concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work.

Prerequisites: 221258 Restrictions: 221370

View full course details
Course code: 221358 Design Studio IIIB (Photography) 30 credits

In this studio course students will negotiate a critical position through individual or collaborative professional practices, with opportunities to apply their specialist skills to a range of contexts. In addition to advancing photographic concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work, students will develop and apply transferable skills relevant to professional environments.

Prerequisites: 221357

View full course details

Part Four

Course code: 221453 Photography Research and Development 30 credits

Research methods, practices and processes for Photographic Design and their application.

Prerequisites: B- average over 221358 and 237330; or B- average over 221370 and 221381; or PGDipDes admission

View full course details
Course code: 221454 Photography Research Project 45 credits

Application and development of research to an independent Photographic Design project.

Prerequisites: 221453

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

This is a selected entry qualification . This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.   

To enter the Bachelor of Design with Honours you will:

  • submit a portfolio (if you do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology (or equivalent) you may not need to submit a portfolio. See details below.)

Application closing date

  • For Semester One 2024 start: Applications close on 30 November 2023
  • For Semester Two 2024 start: Applications close on 30 June 2024.

Late applications will be considered subject to available spaces.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Portfolio requirements

There are three main ways to gain entry to the Bachelor of Design with Honours

Automatic entry

If you achieved NCEA Level 2 or 3 with Merit or Excellence overall, and a Merit or Excellence endorsement in an approved art, design or technology subject, you have automatic entry and will not have to submit a portfolio.

This also applies for Cambridge International students achieving an AS grade A or B in an approved art, design or technology subject.

Portfolio pre-approval entry

You can show work in progress to a Massey College of Creative Arts staff member during a school visit, Massey Open Day or other University event, or in a video call. They’ll look at examples of your work with you and if it shows the creative potential we’re looking for, they’ll sign a portfolio pre-approval letter. Then you won’t need to submit a final portfolio with your application.

Portfolio entry

When you apply online, submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.

See full details about portfolio requirements and pre-approvals

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The photography major develops skills necessary in diverse fields. Roles for photographers exist wherever visual documentation and communication are needed.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Design with Honours (Photography) have traditionally worked in areas such as

  • advertising
  • fashion
  • corporate promotion
  • illustration
  • food photography
  • architectural photography
  • humanitarian photography.

Their work appears in newspapers, magazines. and online.

Increasingly, photography careers combine still and moving image, and more opportunities are opening up in areas such as video design. Graduates are also employed to apply the documentation aspects of photography in such disciplines as medicine, science, forensic science, archaeology, and anthropology.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Art & Design

College of Creative Arts – Toi Rauwhārangi ranks in the global top 150 for art and design by QS World University Rankings.

Learn more

Reddot design ranking

Ngā Pae Māhutonga Wellington School of Design is ranked 1st in Asia Pacific by Red Dot in 2019, and continues to be the only school in Australasia to be included in the top 10. Recognition by this international design agency gives us a distinctive seal of quality for our design programmes.

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