Taught course

Digital Photography: Discover your Genre and Develop your Style

FutureLearn · The Open University
University Credits

Entry requirements

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To study this microcredential, you should be able to operate a camera in semi-automatic or manual mode and will have a solid, theoretical, and practical understanding of the basics such as ISO, shutter speed, exposure and depth of field.

You should have access to a camera where you are able to take pictures in a manual settings mode. You can use a smartphone, providing you have an app that allows you to take manual control of the camera’s settings.

It is expected that you will have an intermediate level of understanding of a digital photography workflow and intermediate photo editing skills.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential is designed for competent photographers who have had some prior learning on the basic technical skills needed to take photographs, either from a formal qualification or from practical experience.

This microcredential is not suitable for complete beginners who need to develop basic technical skills and understanding of photographic theory. Beginners should consider completing an introductory course, such as Digital photography: creating and sharing better images.

Months of entry


Course content

Explore different photographic genres, styles, and approaches in this fully-online 10 week Microcredential course.

Created in collaboration with the UK’s leading photography organisation, the Royal Photographic Society, this microcredential will give you a broad overview of a number of photographic genres and the knowledge, skills, and techniques to create better photographic narratives.

Build your photography skills and learn how to work to a brief

This course will encourage you to explore different areas of photography to help you identify where you want to develop your creative photography skills, confidence, and knowledge. Some of the subjects covered in this course include:

  • ‘Things’ – including product and food photography
  • ‘People and events’ – exploring portraiture, sports, and photojournalism
  • ‘Environment’ - looking at wildlife, buildings, architecture, and landscapes

You will learn how to work to a brief and how to prepare and take images to create a body of work within these subjects that tell a visually cohesive story. You will discover how your approach to taking or displaying an image can affect how it is understood and explore the conventions related to particular genres.

Develop a photography project that realises its intent

Building on your basic photography skills, you’ll start to understand what it means to be an intentional photographer as well as how to think about and write a Statement of Intent that explains the purpose and objective of your portfolio.

This course is delivered on the FutureLearn platform and you will also access a third-party image sharing site, at no extra cost. This site is used to share your images with fellow learners and develop your photographic eye by learning and practising how to give feedback on each other’s images.

Learn from experts, with The Open University and the Royal Photographic Society 

Created by The Open University in collaboration with the Royal Photographic Society, you’ll learn from current thinkers and experimenters who specialise in particular genres and approaches to photography.Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. You will share ideas and experiences with co-learners, building skills, confidence and knowledge from peer to peer feedback and weekly challenges to experiment and explore your new creative approaches, techniques and practices, and the concept behind your intent.

At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded by academic experts from The Open University. The assessment requires you to submit a set of 12 images and a statement of intent. You will also be required to show how you have worked with others in the group, evidencing feedback on other students’ work.

The FutureLearn social learning experience is designed to encourage learners to interact and benefit from a stimulating learning community. On-course mentors encourage collaboration between learners and offer guidance. Feedback on images throughout the course will come from your co-learners. After you’ve completed the course you’ll receive detailed, personal feedback on your assessment from academic and subject matter experts.

This course replaces Digital Photography: Creating a Professional Portfolio (OU course code: TZFM200.) It is a completely new course, however the assessment is similar in shape and level. If you have any questions, please contact us prior to enrolling.

What skills will you learn?

  • Genre specific field skills
  • Critical reflection
  • Visual awareness
  • Researching and working to a brief
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Intentional photography
  • Confidence in visual literacy
  • Collaboration with others

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Recognise photographic genres/areas and their conventions, styles and approaches
  • Create a set of high quality (visually and technically proficient) images in your chosen subject genre that communicate a clear narrative
  • Communicate clearly in writing about your individual photographic approach to your chosen subject
  • Use information technology to organise and publish your images online
  • Use communication skills to participate in online discussion areas
  • Confidently use a digital camera to construct a photographic narrative to communicate the intention of your photographic portfolio of work
  • Create high quality images that show a high level of craft, creativity of approach and appropriate artistic vision
  • Create a professional written Statement of Intent that explains what your portfolio is about, the purpose, objective or intent of the work
  • Engage in peer assessment of images online

Information for international students

This is a fully online course and can be studied from anywhere in the world.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • University Credits
    3 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

What you will receive

10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from The Open University

You’ll receive an Open University certificate confirming that you have received 10 academic credits. Credits are awarded on passing the final assessment.

The assessment requires you to submit a set of 12 images and a statement of intent. You will also be required to show how you have worked with others in the group, evidencing feedback on other students’ work.

A Certificate in Photography from the Royal Photographic Society

The certificate is free to members of the Society or available for an additional £12 for non-members.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Not Specified100

Course contact details

FutureLearn Community Team