IOP® Certificate in Photography (Online Photography Course)

What you'll learn

The comprehensive IOP® Certificate in Photography online course is perfect for complete beginners or for those who want to improve their photography skills. 

  • 15 in-depth units giving you the essential photography knowledge in easy to manage sections
  • 5 Assignments with Extensive Tutor Feedback
  • 2 hours of dedicated live tutor chat every week
  • Unlimited time to complete the course*
  • CPD Accredited IOP® Certificate in Photography (pdf)

You can compare our two flagship courses here. 

If you want personal Tutor support, please take the Professional Diploma in Photography. This course does not offer 1-2-1 Tutor support outside the assignments set. 

* You have lifetime access to the course but you must log in at least once every 12 months to keep your account active

Each units consists of different types of learning materials to appeal to all students and will be made up of study materials labelled READ, PRACTICE, WATCH, INTERACT.

An Introduction to Digital Photography
This unit provides an essential introduction to digital photography. From equipment to camera types, this unit is a great refresher or the perfect starting place for beginners. Unit comprises:

READ » Introduction to Digital Photography
READ » Understanding Photography Jargon
READ » Auto Focus
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on Important Camera Functions Part 1
EXTRA STUDY » Keeping Focus
INTERACT » Camera lens assessment
INTERACT » Introductory Test Questions

Understanding the Technology of Digital Photography
A good understanding of the technology of digital photography giving you the knowledge you will need to get off the Auto setting and to gain much more control over your camera.

READ » Understanding the Technology of Digital Photography Part 1
READ » Understanding the Technology of Digital Photography Part 2
READ » Shooting RAW
INTERACT » Check Your Knowledge of Photography Terms
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on Important Camera Functions Part 2
READ » Quick Start Guide to Metering Modes
INTERACT » Understanding the Technology Test Questions

Controlling Light with Apertures
Improve your photography instantly by learning about aperture settings, depth of field and exposure.

READ » Controlling Light with Apertures
READ » Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distance
INTERACT » Check Your Knowledge of Apertures
READ » A Useful Chart
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on the Exposure Triangle
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on the Histogram
INTERACT » Apertures Test Questions



Mastering Shutter Speeds
The choice of shutter speed has a profound effect on the way that moving subjects are recorded. Discover how to create silky water and how to freeze action shots as well as how to create impressive effects.

READ » Mastering Shutter Speeds
READ » Quick Start Guide to Shutter Speed DOWNLOADABLE
INTERACT » Shutter Speed Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » The Art of the Freeze Frame
EXTRA STUDY » Long Exposures

PRACTICE ASSIGNMENT » Assignment Shutter Speed

Cracking Composition
In this unit, we look at how to compose a beautiful photograph. You will learn about leading lines, shapes and how to use colour in composition. This unit alone will change the way you take photographs forever.

READ » Cracking Composition
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on COMPOSITION
INTERACT » Cracking Composition Test Questions

EXTRA STUDY » Rules of Composition
EXTRA STUDY » Framing Your Work

Advanced Composition Skills
Learn the fundamentals of advanced composition skills from using colour to create a mood to using unusual perspectives.

READ » Advanced Composition Skills
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on Advanced Composition
INTERACT » Advanced Composition Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Composition Project
EXTRA STUDY » Reflection Photography Tips
EXTRA STUDY » Architectural Composition

PRACTICE ASSIGNMENT » Assignment Composition

Using Light Effectively
All the fundamental principles of photography are linked to use of light. This is one of our most in-depth and detailed units.

READ » Using Light Effectively
READ » Tutor Case Studies
WATCH » IOP Instructional on Natural Light
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video The Histogram
WATCH » IOP Instructional Video on The Inverse Square Law
INTERACT » Using Light Effectively Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Embracing the Darkness
EXTRA STUDY » A Guide to Flash Photography


Holiday and Travel Photography
Make your travel shots memorable with this helpful unit. We look at planning the perfect travel shot and encourage you to consider different perspectives when shooting abroad.

READ » Holiday and Travel Photography
INTERACT » Holiday and Travel Photography Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Travel Photography

Landscape Photography
Take stunning landscape imagery. Learn how to use depth and light to create a professional landscape picture.

READ » Landscape Photography
READ » Quick Start Guide to Lens-Mounted Filters
WATCH » LEE Filters ND Standard Filters (Neutral Density Standards)
WATCH » LEE Filters ND Grads (Neutral Density Graduated Filters)
WATCH » The Big Stopper from LEE Filters
INTERACT » Landscape photography Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Shooting the Weather
EXTRA STUDY » Landscape Photography Tips

Special Projects
Take your photography skills a step further learning how to shoot panoramas. We also introduce HDR photography to help you produce a perfect exposure.

READ » Special Projects
WATCH » Time-lapse movie examples
WATCH » Create a Living Photograph

READ » Quick Start Guide to Dynamic Range DOWNLOADABLE
INTERACT » Special Projects Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » HDR Hints and Tips

Unit 11: Black and White Photography Skills
Producing beautiful black and white shots is an art form and takes knowledge and practice. Learn to ‘see’ in mono and take black and white shots to be proud of.

READ » Black and White Photography Skills
INTERACT » Black and White Photography Skills Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Impact of Mono

Unit 12: Perfect Portrait Photography
Take a perfect portrait in any situation. Once you have perfected this technique, expect to be on call for every family event!

READ » Perfect Portrait Photography
READ » Potted Guide to Portraiture
READ » Wedding Portraits
INTERACT » Perfect Portrait Photography Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Advanced Portraiture
EXTRA STUDY » A Guide to Gig Photography
EXTRA STUDY » Candid Photography

Unit 13: Image Editing Techniques
Image editing techniques and skills are key to becoming a competent photographer. This unit addresses these key skills and offers comprehensive advice on essential editing techniques.

READ » Image Editing Techniques
INTERACT » Image Editing Techniques Test Questions
EXTRA STUDY » Editing A Beginner’s Guide

Unit 14: Make Money from Photography
We give you hints and tips on how to make money from photography. This unit also includes a tutorial on how to make a photography website from scratch worth up to £2000.

READ » Making Money from Photography
WATCH » Make your own photography website
INTERACT » Making Money from Photography Test Questions

Unit 15: Final Assignment
This is your final graded assignment. All feedback is provided by the Course Director. We will ask you to submit a portfolio of three images for grading (landscape, portrait and free choice).

Unit 16: Certificate and Feedback
In this unit we ask you to tell us what you thought of the course and provide you with your Diploma in Photography certificate as well as your member badge.

The IOP® Certificate in Photography is suitable for:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Perfect for those who are completely new to photography, it starts with the complete basics and develops at an easy pace into more complex photographic concepts.

For those improvers who prefer to work alone and without personal Tutor support. 

Any digital camera that allows you to control the manual settings is perfect for this course. Even the most basic compact cameras offer that functionality these days. Look at your camera manual – can you change the aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings? If so, your camera is fine for the course.

Any PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or smartphone is suitable for viewing the course and course videos.
A reasonable broadband internet connection (2mb and above).

Non-essential equipment
The following items would be worth investing in, perhaps in the future and as you work through the course, developing your skills.
They are not essential for the course.

Any questions?

If you need to ask anything
about our Diploma in Photography or other photography courses, read our FAQs

Hints, tips and offers

Read our blog for the latest special offers and photography hints, tips and articles.

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