Burnside High School Burnside High School

NCEA Level 3 Visual Arts Photography

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms F. Dwyer.

Recommended Prior Learning

Open entry. Students who have not taken Level 2 Photography will need to put in extra time in Term 1 to catch up on essential skills covered in the Year 12 course. Where a Level 2 Visual Arts External Standard has been attempted and not achieved, entry is at the discretion of the HOD.

Students are able to take more than one Visual Arts course. Each course counts as a unique domain for University Entrance. For example students taking Visual Arts Photography and Visual Arts Design would count as 2 separate University Entrance Domains.

This course has a NZQA Scholarship option. Many Photography students have successfully gained scholarships in recent years, including outstanding scholarships.

Visual Arts Photography is a course for students who wish to work on an individually chosen proposal. 

This course prepares students for a wide range of careers in Photography and Creative Industries. Students will extend their knowledge of photographic practice within an art context. The main focus of this course is the production of a three panel folio submission. Students select an individual theme for study, based on their strengths. They will develop their ability to think critically about photography as picture-making and explore reasons why photographs are made and valued. 

The space is well resourced with a computer suite and purpose built photography studio. Students will extend their skills in a range of processes and techniques including studio workshops, with an emphasis on digital photography and the use of Adobe Creative Suite software including Photoshop. Students will be encouraged to enter the scholarship examination based on their internal assessment grades. 


Visual Art in Year 13 covers a group of single subjects. Five single subjects are offered and students can enter up to two of these, or three at the discretion of the HOD. The subjects offered are: Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.


NCEA Level 3

Learning Areas:

Creative Arts

Career Pathways

Animator/Digital Artist, Architect, Architectural Technician, Art Director (Film, Television or Stage), Historian, Artist, Artistic Director, Tattoo Artist, Film/Television Camera Operator, Graphic Designer, Event Manager, Make-up Artist, Curator, Director (Film, Television, Radio or Stage), Visual Merchandiser, Media Producer, Game Developer, Primary School Teacher, Photographer, Tertiary Lecturer, Private Teacher/Tutor, Secondary School Teacher

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

There is a cost of $44 which contributes toward basic materials and folio boards. Students will also need their own digital SLR or mirrorless camera, an SD card, USB storage and an A3 clearfile folder. Either a 1 TB external storage device or laptop is ideal. Students will need to purchase their own photographic paper available through the school; allow $70 for this over the year.