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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Coursera Photography Courses

Coursera Photography Courses

Suppose you’ve been interested in learning more about photography and want to learn about it from people with experience and credibility in the industry.

If that is the case, then it’s definitely worth considering studying using Coursera, which has plenty of photography courses on offer that are led by some of the industry experts. 

So, if you want to learn more about what Coursera is, what it has to offer, as well as what some of the top Coursera photography courses are, then read on, and we’ll provide you with all of the information you need to know in order to develop your photography skills! (See also ‘Coursera VS Coursera Plus: Which Is Better?‘)

What Is Coursera?

If you’ve never heard of Coursera before, or are just generally unfamiliar with what the platform offers, allow us to explain a little more about it to help you understand: 

Coursera is one of the many online education platforms that currently exist on the internet.

Throughout their platform, they offer a wide and diverse range of courses, certification programs, and degrees, all of which come from the top universities and educational institutions around the world. 

Coursera was first founded by two professors working at Stanford University, whose goal was to make high-quality education accessible to everyone, regardless of their location, skill level, or background.

By studying using Coursera, you can take online courses in a wide variety of subjects, including computer science, business, art, and even photography.

A lot of popular courses found on Coursera are self-paced, meaning that you can complete them entirely at your own pace, and some courses even offer the option to receive a certificate upon completion.

Coursera also offers degree programs in areas such as computer science, business, and data science, which are delivered entirely online and are taught by faculty from leading universities.

Overall, Coursera is a useful and flexible way to access high-quality education from top institutions around the world without even having to leave your home.

It’s no surprise then that it’s such a popular choice for students and professionals who are looking to learn new skills or further advance their careers.

Can You Use Coursera To Develop Your Photography Skills?

Although there is a wide range of courses available on the platform, many people are shocked to discover that Coursera can be a good resource for learning photography skills too.

Coursera offers a wide range of online courses in photography, including both beginner-level courses and more advanced courses for experienced photographers.

These courses are taught by faculty from leading universities and educational institutions, and they cover a variety of topics related to photography, such as composition, lighting, editing, and more.

If you are new to photography and are looking to learn the basics, Coursera has several courses that can help you get started.

These online photography courses typically cover topics such as the fundamentals of photography, how to use most digital cameras, and how to take great photos.

There are also more advanced courses available for those who have some experience with digital photography and want to learn more about specific techniques or styles.

Overall, Coursera can be a good resource for learning photography skills, and it is a convenient and flexible way to access high-quality education from top institutions around the world.

However, it is important to keep in mind that Coursera courses are not the same as in-person classes, and they may not offer the same level of interaction and feedback as traditional photography courses.

So, if you want to learn more about some of the best photography and photography-related courses that you can undertake on Coursera, then check out the next section, which will give you some information about each of the courses we picked out! 

The Best Coursera Photography Courses

With the wide range of courses on offer on Coursera, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of excellent photography courses available for you to choose from. (See also ‘Does Coursera Run Black Friday Deals? [A Guide]‘)

So, if you’ve been thinking about picking up a camera and learning how to use it properly, or you’re looking to develop your photography skills further so that you can try to make it in the industry as a professional, then using Coursera to educate yourself and enhance your skills is a great idea, but which courses are going to be suitable for you? 

Here are some of the highest-rated photography-based courses on Coursera that we think are going to benefit you the most! 

photography basics and beyond: From Smartphone To DSLR Specialization – Michigan State University

Michigan State University already has an incredibly well-regarded photography course.

However, if attending college isn’t an option for you at the moment, then this incredible course offered by MSU through Coursera is definitely going to be the next best thing.

Considering that it’s currently the highest-rated photography course on Coursera too, it’s fair to assume that those who have taken the course previously have certainly enjoyed it. 

This 6-month course is perfect for the novice photographer, and it doesn’t matter whether the only camera you have access to is the one on your smartphone, as they’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to get the best usage out of your camera, providing you with a better understanding of the photography basics and fundamentals of camera control and composition, all whilst taking a deeper look into various different creative concepts, which will help you to express your inner-creativity even more in your photography.

The course is taught on an entirely flexible basis, which allows you to decide, set, and maintain the deadlines for assignments and work as you see fit, which is perfect if you already have a full-time job or are in full-time education.

And there’s no prior experience required either, so even if you’ve never taken a photo before, you can still benefit from what this course has to offer. 

Modern And Contemporary Art And Design Specialization – MoMA

Modern And Contemporary Art And Design Specialization - MoMA

The MoMA is a huge name in the world of art, which is why so many people are drawn to this course, and although this isn’t a course that focuses specifically on photography, it’s definitely a great course to enroll yourself in if you’re looking to develop your understanding of the way in which artists experiment with and utilize new forms of technology, and it’ll also allow you to become more confident in looking at and analyzing modern art and contemporary design. 

For the budding photographers out there, the “Seeing Through Photographs” section will be the one that is most interesting, which takes a deeper look at photography from its origins in the mid-19th century all the way to the current day, and looks to bridge the gap from just seeing a photograph, to truly understanding what a photograph contains. 

This 7-month course follows a flexible approach, meaning that you can cater your learning to your current lifestyle, and there is absolutely no prior experience or knowledge needed, so it’s a great course to take if you want to learn more about the theoretical and conceptual side of photography, and you’ll even be able to put some of the concepts you learn into practice in your own photography too! 

Getting Started With Adobe Photoshop – Northwestern

Again another course that might not be directly related to photography, but learning how to utilize Adobe Photoshop is essential for any budding photographer, as it’s a key tool when it comes to editing and brushing up photos before you plan on uploading them anywhere.

Although it might initially seem like an easy programme to use, any experienced photographer will tell you that learning how to use photoshop is a difficult process, so having it taught to you by an industry expert is definitely a worthwhile investment of your time and money. 

This course is an extremely short one, and only contains 2 hours of course content, and by the end of it it you will be able to confidently navigate your way around Adobe Photoshop, and will also be able to create a small project too, learning more about some of the key terminology, and convenient shortcuts along the way too. 

Overall, this course is a great way of becoming familiar with Photoshop, especially if you’re planning on using it as you develop your skills with your digital camera, and since it’s such a short course, it means that you can complete it in a weekend if you have the free time. 

Edit Your Photos For Social Media Marketing Using PicsArt – Coursera Project Network

If you’re going to upload your photographs to social media, especially for marketing purposes, then learning how to properly edit and develop your photos are important camera craft aspects of photography to learn, and although many people do try to develop their skill set in this area on their own, learning it under the guidance of experienced instructors is a great way to ensure that you have the skills needed to successfully edit and create social media-ready photo content. 

Focusing specifically on PicsArt, an editing platform that allows users to edit photos and videos, which has integrated social media sharing abilities, this beginner-friendly course is only 2 hours long, so although it’s short, it’s definitely worth enrolling in if you want to develop your knowledge of what sort of editing is required of exciting pictures before they can be used for social media marketing purposes. 

This course only uses the free version of PicsArt too, which not only helps to keep the learning costs low but also teaches students how they can make the most out of a free editing tool, as many social media marketing campaigns often feature a low-budget!

So, if you think this course is going to help aid in developing your photography and photo editing skills, then we’d definitely recommend enrolling! 

Is Coursera Worth Using?

Trying to determine whether or not Coursera is worth it for photographers will ultimately depend on the individual’s goals and needs. The second option is to find free online courses and try them out before committing to a platform.

Coursera can be an especially good resource for those photographers who are completely new to the hobby, or who are looking to learn new skills and improve their craft, as it offers a wide range of online courses in photography taught by faculty from leading universities and educational institutions.

These courses cover a variety of topics, including composition, lighting, editing, and more, and they can be taken at your own pace, which can be convenient for those with busy schedules.

However, it is important to keep in mind that Coursera courses are not the same as in-person classes, and they may not offer the same level of interaction and feedback as traditional photography courses.

One of the most notable downsides to using a platform such as Coursera in order to learn and develop your photography skills is that these courses do not typically provide the same level of hands-on learning experiences as in-person classes, which can be important for some photographers, as some people find it hard to follow along with the instructions if they aren’t shown directly!

Overall, whether or not Coursera is worth it for photographers will depend on the individual’s goals and needs, as well as their budget and available time.

So, if you’re thinking about whether or not studying photography courses using Coursera is going to be worth it, then it is definitely a good idea to carefully consider your own circumstances and research the courses and programs available on Coursera before making a decision.


If you’re looking for an online education platform that contains photography courses taught by some of the most notable educational institutions in the world, then Coursera will definitely appeal to you, and its flexibility is another reason why people opt to use it too.

Why not explore the courses we listed and more to find the photography course that is going to be right for you? 

So, check out some of these amazing courses today to develop your photography skills!