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Digital photography

Digital Photography: Creating a Professional Portfolio


Take your digital photography skills to a professional level.

Most people own a camera that would’ve been the envy of professionals 10 years ago, but it takes more than clicking to create amazing digital images.

On this microcredential, you’ll explore the theory and practicalities of digital imaging, from how light refracts through a camera lens to what makes a visually pleasing scene.

As well as theoretical work, you’ll tackle a series of hands-on assignments designed to progress your technical and artistic skill and share them with a supportive online community. You’ll experiment in applying a range of photography techniques to a specialist photographic genre – from nature and people to architecture and fine art – challenging you to step outside of your photographic comfort zone.

Each week, you’ll learn from a different genre guide prepared by specialist photographers or leading industry partners, as you split your time between practical image capture and editing and online theory. You’ll also dedicate two hours a week to online peer review, in order to critique and learn from the work of others.

You’ll use the diverse range of work you create to build a photography portfolio for professional work in photography.

Royal Photographic Society logo

This microcredential is supported by The Royal Photographic Society

This microcredential has been created in partnership with the Royal Photographic Society.

Key features

  • Delivered in partnership with the worldwide learning platform, FutureLearn.
  • Gain a Certificate in Photography from The Royal Photographic Society on completion.
  • Awards academic credit at undergraduate level.

Course summary

Study level
OU – Undergraduate (OU level 2)
SCQF – 8
FHEQ – 5
10 weeks | 10 hours per week
Next start dates
29 March 2021
12 July 2021

What you’ll learn

This microcredential is for competent photographers who want to develop their professional portfolio. The course teaches the key principles of digital photography and imaging, equipping you with basic skills to navigate fast-moving technological developments in digital photography.

In addition to the theory, there are a series of weekly hands-on practical assignments designed to maximise student enjoyment and progression through the subject.

The course includes many practical activities that show you how to technically and creatively improve your images using a range of photo-editing software. These will:

  • teach you how to critically evaluate your own and others’ work in the spirit of continuous technical and artistic improvement
  • encourage you to experiment with the principles of digital photography and imaging in front of a stimulating and supportive online community
  • help you begin to create a professional portfolio of which you can be proud.

By the end of the course, you’ll have learnt how to:

  • apply photographic techniques to create interesting images
  • demonstrate knowledge of the internal workings of modern cameras and how they create images
  • identify different photographic genres and the most effective techniques used in each
  • produce high quality digital images using a combination of manual methods and editing software
  • develop your own photographic style and give constructive feedback on others.

Professional relevance

This course provides the knowledge and skills to help amateur photographers take the next steps towards professional photography. Creating a portfolio of work that explores an explicit photographic intent is a requirement for a number of distinctions, qualifications and recognitions, including the RPS Associateship Distinction (ARPS).

On completion

On successful completion, you’ll be awarded:

  • 10 academic credits at undergraduate level
  • The Royal Photographic Society Certificate in Photography.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

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Start dates

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