Art & Design (Photography) - Higher National Certificate

So you love taking photographs and want to develop your technical skills and creativity. You also think that you might like to pursue a career in that field. You might also have a good idea of the kind of photography you want to specialise in – portraits, fashion, music, documentary, landscape or event photography – whatever your area of interest, this is the course for you.

On the HNC you will be taught a range of foundational photographic skills and advanced techniques. You will discover how to make the most out of your camera and how to use studio lighting and darkroom processes to achieve outstanding results. You will experiment with analogue and digital professional-standard editing processes and you will learn about photography’s commercial and creative contexts and exhibit your work in public galleries.

We will visit galleries here in the UK and abroad, and support you to develop a distinctive creative photographic practice of your own so you can work as a self-employed photographer or with a variety of employers, including creative businesses, publishers, galleries, photographic agencies, or in the education and public sectors.

The dynamic and friendly feel of the HNC course will provide you with the opportunity to progress onto an HND to further develop the level of knowledge, professionalism and employability.

Aims of programme

• to enable students to develop a range of skills, knowledge and understanding appropriate for effective professional photography.
• to provide opportunities for creative development through a range of assignments and other work.
• to provide students with work-based or ‘live’ learning experiences at an appropriate level that contributes to their creative and professional development.
• to provide students with opportunities for research and experimentation as they explore the potential of photography.
• to develop critical thinking skills in students to enable them to reflect on their own and others photographic practice.
• to enable students to produce a portfolio of work illustrating a balanced and diverse range of skills for progression to employment or further study.
• to develop transferable skills essential for the successful performance in professional practice.
• in liaison with photographic practitioners, to review and incorporate new content through the development of the programme

Awarding body


Entry requirements

Under 21:
48 UCAS points.

We also accept equivalent qualifications, including:

. BTEC/National Diploma
. International Baccalaureate
. Advanced & Progression Diplomas
. Access courses

Plus: GCSE English language & Maths with a minimum of grade C/4 or recognised equivalent are required

Over 21:
Mature students (21 or over) can apply with a portfoilio and/or industry experience.

Progression / Careers

Freelance Photographer

Studio Assistant



Modes of assessment

Practical workshops
Written assignments
Oral presentations
Self directed study

Additional information


This information may be subject to change without prior notice.

Timetables are normally available one week before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.