Students must normally be a minimum of 18 years of age, and hold a BTEC National Diploma or Certificate, an Advanced GNVQ, an A-level, or an equivalent qualification.
The Higher National courses in photography equip students with a high level of knowledge and photographic skills, and offer opportunities to explore numerous aspects of photographic practice including:
- photographic techniques;
- digital imaging;
- studio practice and lighting;
- black-and-white and colour darkroom practice; and
- location work.
Students work with silver-based techniques and digital imaging on both real and simulated assignments and commissions. They study photography to its full creative potential, and develop a confident and professional style in handling a variety of camera formats and related equipment. Numerous projects briefs and assignments are designed to reflect the deadlines and standards set by industry, and lectures by external speakers and visits to industry are organized. Students design and create portfolios containing individual work in their preferred areas, and develop a mixture of creative, professional and business skills. They are encouraged to enter national photographic competitions, and progress towards a final show of their work. This sound photographic education ultimately allows them to undertake technical, creative and management roles in the photographic industry.
Assessment of work is typically continuous throughout the two years of a course, and includes group criticism, peer assessment, verbal and written feedback. Progression to the second year of an HND course may be dependent upon successful completion of all first year assignments.
Such courses offer an excellent springboard for those wishing gain entry to a third year of related degree studies.