Learning a few basic rules relating to composition is basic to all visual art courses. The same rules apply to different art disciplines, eg. painting, photography, set design, graphic design. When you know the rules you have a foundation for building a layout that ‘works’ and has impact, regardless of your personal style or subject matter.
Once you know the rules you can then break them, but you do so in a conscious and informative way.
I came across this beautiful video showing 9 compositional tips by award winning photographer Steve McCurry. Even if you are an old hand and know the rules, this is such an impressive way to see them demonstrated.