Industry Focused

Infocus Logo

Infocus - The Iris Awards

Infocus is the annual Photographic Competition for Professional Photographers, which is an extension of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography.

UCOL staff recommends our Photography students enter the student category of this National competition to enable them to further learn how to “polish” their images to a high professional level. They are also encouraged to participate in the background running of this competition (guided by the lecturers) so they can understand the complexities and expectation of their industry. This also enables them to mix with their future peers/employers - they enjoy the company of like-minded people on a professional level. An incredibly valuable experience for all students and staff.

Infocus website

Te Manawa Logo

Te Manawa

Te Manawa and UCOL collaborate with a range of projects. The most recent is that of the “Roman Machines” where our third year Illustration students created sculptures with clay, while the public enjoyed talking to and interacting with the artists.

UCOL’s end of year Graduate exhibition is held at Te Manawa, in order for the students to work in a professional team and experience what is involved in exhibiting their work and understanding the importance of professionalism.

Staff also embracing what Te Manawa has to offer the community by joining in workshops, presentations and sharing their skills with a large range of audiences.

To consolidate this relationship – Te Manawa is currently offering selected students, 6 month internships. These can be in various disciplines where a student is required to apply and interview for placement – which in itself provides an opportunity to enhance skills.

Te Manawa website

NZ Army Logo

New Zealand Army

UCOL worked with the NZ Army to enable soldiers to experience the presence of photographers in the field, while UCOL’s Year Three photography students gained valuable insight into the work of a photojournalist.

The purpose was to allow the soldiers to experience having media people present while in action. At the same time, it gave our students the opportunity to work in intense situations with the troops while developing the role of a Visual Journalist on assignment.

NZ Army website


New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography

New Zealand Institute of Professional photography has worked alongside UCOL in order to encourage and educate New Zealand’s emerging photographers. This has been done through NZIPP providing a range of National and International speakers and visiting lecturers to engage with our students. They arrange workshops and are available for assistance, when needed.

NZIPP are a body of excellence in professional Photography throughout New Zealand.

NZIPP website

Horizons Logo

Horizons Palmerston North

Horizons are working with UCOL staff and students by providing a range of real life projects for the students to work on. Project teams come into class with a requirement briefing. Students then explore, research and provide a range of solutions, with lecturers guidance. When the project is researched, explored and solutions created, they are then presented in an industry type presentation to the team. The latest project – “typographic water tower” has been taken on board by Horizons and they are now exploring the implementation of the chosen solution.

Horizons website

BCC Logo


BCC is about turning new ideas into growing businesses through mentoring, support, and access to capital. We connect existing businesses to investment funding, and help turn new ideas into sellable products and services.

UCOL and BCC work together providing experience, contacts and resources needed to get companies setup, running and ready for growth. Through programmes like market validation and a chance to pitch for investment, BCC and UCOL staff consistently encourage young minds to turn their ideas into thriving business.

BCC are also the gateway to Callahan Innovation funding, which can fund up to 50% of the costs of R&D projects.

The BCC website

Palmerston North Airport Logo

The Palmerston North Airport

UCOL students enjoyed working in collaboration with Palmerston North airport ‘from a service design perspective’ by looking at ways of improving the airport consumer experience. This involved research, observation and visual concepts. PN Airport are now considering the submissions for further development From this it has lead to one of our senior students to be working directly with the CEO to bring this project to fruition. These projects enable students to engage with genuine industry requirements and meet the needs of community and business.

The Palmerston North Airport website