Photography Higher National Diploma

- Edexcel

Level 5

Who is this course for?

The Higher National Diploma (HND) is a full-time BTEC Level 5 course over two-years. It is aimed at people who want to pursue a career in professional photography including the specialised areas of fashion, advertising, documentary, fine art photography, and others. This course is ideal for students who want an intensive course of study.

Formal Entry Requirements

You need to meet one or more of the following entry requirements: two or more A-levels; a Level 2 or 3 pass in a related subject; a portfolio of creative work (photography or other art and design work). You will also need to show the enthusiasm to achieve a high-level qualification and your commitment to two years of intensive study and self development. For mature students without previous formal qualifications, entry is available by demonstrating a working knowledge of photographic practice and a portfolio of existing work.

What does the course involve?

This course comprises sixteen units of study to develop a personal style of image making that suits your chosen career path. You will study both the theory and aesthetics of image making, in combination with design and technique. The first year is about building and experiencing a range of fundamental skills, with the second year providing an opportunity to develop a unique portfolio of intelligent images, based around more specialised projects. Units include:

  • Visual Communication
  • Ideas Generation
  • Digital Media
  • Contextual and Cultural Referencing
  • Professional Practice
  • Project Design
  • Implementation and Evaluation
  • Digital Media
  • Lens-Based Recording Techniques
  • Studio Practice
  • Advertising Photography
  • Photographic Techniques
  • Digital Image Creation and Development
  • Location Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Press Photography and Photo-Journalism
  • Photographic Materials
  • Techniques and Technology
  • Specialist Practice in Photography

Enrichment activities

Examples of students’ work are displayed in college and sometimes at external venues such as the Custard Factory in Birmingham and the New Art Gallery in Walsall. Our students have also had the chance to work with visiting international photographers and have contributed to live projects, some of which are produced in collaboration with our partners such as Sandwell Council and others. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of trips and visits which take place each term to develop better understanding of their subject.

How will I be assessed?

Your work is continually assessed through regular submission of practical and supporting work, including course work and personal work. There are no formal examinations. Feedback and guidance are provided through a tutorial schedule.

Where can I go next?

Successful HND graduates can progress to university degree programmes, where entry at year 2 may be possible (subject to grades). Alternatively, many HND graduates move directly to working in the industry. Your tutors can advise you of potential options.