Art and Design (Photography) HNC

Art and Design (Photography) HNC


Awarded by Pearson

Who is this course for?

The HNC in Photography is aimed at learners who want to develop the skills and knowledge for a career in professional photography. It is ideal for:

  • Entrants progressing from A Levels or suitable BTEC Level 3 qualifications
  • Entrants who want a vocational preparation for Degree level studies
  • Mature entrants looking for skills development or new career opportunities

Students will be expected to have: A portfolio of creative work (photography or other art and design work) and either:

  • 2 or more A Levels or equivalent; or
  • A BTEC Level 3 qualification in a related subject

For mature students without previous formal qualifications, entry is available by showing a working knowledge of photographic practice plus a portfolio of existing work.

All entrants need to show enthusiasm and commitment to two years of intensive study, and the self-reliance to achieve a high-level qualification.


You will have opportunities to explore a range of photographic themes, such as fashion, advertising, documentary, studio, location, fine art, media, and others. You will study a mix of theory and technical skills and learn vocational skills by hands-on practical experience. You will be encouraged to develop a personal style with an emphasis on creative solutions to practical problem solving.

  • Gain experience of live assignments with external clients that reflect real-world practice
  • Preparation and guidance toward career opportunities or higher level studies

You will take 14 units of study that help you to develop a personal style of image making, aimed at preparing for your chosen career path. You will learn:

  • Specialist techniques and processes
  • Lighting for photography
  • Advanced production skills
  • Location and studio practice
  • Digital and analogue processing skills
  • Individual project development
  • Still and moving image creation
  • Current professional practices
  • and much more…

You will benefit from opportunities to work on live projects in collaboration with external clients. You will benefit from the contribution of visiting speakers from industry, plus a range of professional workshops and location activities. You will also be encouraged to develop your ideas independently, and to enter your work in local and national competitions. Students can also take part in a range of field trips and visits to exhibitions.

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 direct in classes and through a regular tutorial schedule.

Progression options include:

  • University level studies with entry from year 2 of a degree (subject to conditions)
  • Employment opportunities in the industry (such as assistants or junior photographers)
  • Self-employment, freelancing, voluntary or collaborative business ventures

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