The discussion about the need for public photography education in Greece started in the late 70’s by professional photographers and in particular the Association of Artistic Photographers of Athens. At that time, photography education was virtually non-existent both in Greece and in other European countries.
In Europe, private schools and public education mainly covered the technical training of photographers with study programs lasting up to two years at most, while few educational institutions included three-year photography training in areas such as Photojournalism, Advertising and Art Photography. In Greece, only one private school provided basic photography education lasting only one year.
In 1984 the Ministry of Education proceeded to the establishment of two new departments at the School of Graphic Arts and Artistic Studies of the TEI of Athens, the Department of Photography and the Department of Preservation of Works of Art and Antiquities. The seven-semester and one-semester internship program began in October 1985 with the admission of the first students of the Department of Photography.
The program syllabus was determined by the need for a substantial photographic education that would give students the ability of theoretical approach and critical analysis of the photographic image, would encourage their creative thinking and would give them the necessary knowledge of technical skills in the main areas of photography. The program also included general education courses such as Psychology, Art History, Sociology, Physics, Chemistry, etc.
The syllabus also comprised of general education courses such as Psychology, Art History, Sociology, Physics, Chemistry, etc. The Department was soon equipped with the necessary laboratory equipment providing sixteen laboratory practice positions in black and white photography, eight in color photography and three positions in the advertising photography studio.
The evolution of digital technology and the significant changes that were already apparent from the beginning of 1990, led to the first reform of the curriculum of the Department of Photography with major changes the introduction of digital image processing. Technological developments justified the decision of the Department, as in the next decade digital photographic technology replaced the traditional – analog technology in almost all areas of application of the photographic image. The radically renewed program of the Department of Photography, which started in 2001, offers students new perspectives on multimedia and video education.
in the study program it was decided to rename the Department to the Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts (Government Gazette 142 / 23.6.2005) looking forward to a further development of the Department in the Sector of Audiovisual Arts. As of 2018, the Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts is part of the School of Applied Arts and Culture of the University of West Attica and is the only Department in higher education that provides a complete curriculum in Photography and Video.
Its program is developed in eight semesters of study including the optional internship. Since 2015, the Department organizes an autonomous postgraduate program aiming at providing specialized knowledge in the field of image and the development of critical thinking and communication, while from 2019 it undertakes the supervision of doctoral dissertations.