Course Description

Want to find out more about the Photography Studies Intensive? Express interest to connect with this program and receive updates.

Express interest

The Photography Studies Intensive offers you the unique opportunity to learn the basics of photography and earn a Certificate in Photography Studies in an intensive 12-week program. This unique fast-track program covers all required production, technology, and studio courses.

The focus of the program is on production, and learners will have the opportunity to create a number of portfolios, discover their creative potential, and demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge. You do not need to have any prior experience in photography. This program is designed to appeal to anyone who has an interest in photography as a hobby or profession, including those who wish to upgrade their present level of expertise, retrain or make a career change, establish their own business, improve opportunities for advancement or job placement in photography-related fields, or prepare for entrance into the degree program at an advanced level (subject to space and availability).

Note: The electives are set to complement production courses in the summer program. The selected courses provide a very strong basis in a variety of subjects that are fundamental to the photography process, and offer the student an excellent tool set for creative expression. If you want to take additional related courses, you may do so in other terms. 

What’s Included?

The courses in the Photography Studies Intensive program include the following three required courses and five elective courses for the Certificate in Photography Studies:


Anique Jordan"After doing some research, I found that the Photography Studies Intensive was the best option for me. I was looking for a program that I could complete quickly and that would teach me the foundational skills I needed. This 12-week program was challenging at times given the condensed format, but the camaraderie built with other students and my instructors kept me motivated until the end." – Anique Jordan

Equipment and Facilities

The Photography Studies Intensive is located in the School of Image Arts, in the centre of the Ryerson University’s campus in downtown Toronto. Our facilities and equipment are current and provide an opportunity to learn proven professional skills with up-to-date technology, software, and techniques.

Please note that use of equipment and facilities outside of class time will not be provided. All work using equipment and facilities must take place during class time only.

Program Advisor

Our Program Advisor is here to help! Brigid Elmy can assist both Canadian and international students with information, advice, and next steps, and can connect you with other on-campus services and supports. Let us help you plan your Photography Studies Intensive learning experience.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 6674 (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EST)

Online chats are also available during these times. Contact Brigid to request an appointment time.

Email: belmy@ryerson.ca

International Students

The Photography Studies Intensive welcomes international learners. You do not need a study permit to enrol in this program. Contact Brigid Elmy at belmy@ryerson.ca for more information about the enrolment process.

If you intend to continue your education beyond this program and study in Canada for more than six months, you must apply for a study permit from outside of Canada. Need information about permits and visa requirements? Contact International Student Support at issask@ryerson.ca.

Note: All Chang School programs are considered to be part-time. International students enrolled in Chang School programs are not eligible to work during their studies and cannot apply for a postgraduate work permit when their program is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

How competitive is the entry process? Is it better to have photography experience before trying to apply?
No previous photography production experience is necessary. The requirements for admission are the same as those for registration in the Certificate in Photography Studies program.

How do students benefit from the program?
This program is committed to providing aspiring photographers with a strong set of skills, along with entry-level knowledge and experience recognized by the photography industry. The program also puts an emphasis on collaboration, and photography as an art and craft. One of the greatest benefits of the Photography Studies Intensive (CDFP 999) is the establishment of relationships with long-lasting collaborators.

How much photography do you actually do compared to theory during the Photography Studies Intensive?
Each student will make about four or five portfolios in the Photography Studies Intensive.

Who benefits the most from this program?
Students that are willing to make the effort to network in the industry will do well. The program will also benefit those who may be focused on pursuing related further study, e.g., undergraduate or postgraduate school.

What does this program provide to its graduates?
Graduates will receive a Certificate in Photography Studies recognizing completion of the curriculum.

Is there any financial support available to students?
Visit Need-Based Financial Aid for more information on Ryerson bursaries and government assistance.

The Chang School Photography Exhibition

The Chang School's Photography Exhibition, organized by instructor Joël Bénard, gives students an opportunity to display their strongest photographic work in a juried show. Students enrolled in visual studies courses – including Photography Studies, Film Studies, Image Arts, and Digital Art Production – are eligible to submit their images. Each year, leading professionals from the photography community select several works for their particular merit. The winning artists receive valuable awards that include gifts from photography-supply outlets and arts organizations.

Exhibitors are welcome to invite guests to the opening reception, where they can mingle with their colleagues and gallery visitors.

Our 2020/21 exhibition will take place May 1–14, 2021*. Visit ryerson.ca/ce/photoexhibit for information on attending the exhibit or volunteering your time, and view our past winners, awards, and sponsors.

*Dates and guidelines for attending the exhibit and opening reception are subject to change. Visit ryerson.ca/ce/photoexhibit for updates.

Questions? Contact photoex@ryerson.ca.

Contact Us

For further information, contact Dennis Miles, Academic Coordinator.

Email: dmiles@ryerson.ca


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, this course currently isn't available.

Please browse our courses for more options or check back later for updated scheduling.