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Photography — Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Fashion, Art and Design|Media, Journalism and Production

Course ID: 163233

Course Year: 21/22

Course Details

  • We will introduce you and help you to succeed in higher education, and in employment in the photographic industry.
  • Network during educational visits and with guest lecturers to enhance your employability.
  • Build your own personal portfolio to showcase your achievements.
  • Utilise our outstanding facilities and work to your full potential.
  • Develop self-management, self-promotion and interpersonal skills.
  • Study in our inclusive, friendly and respectful learning environment.
  • Higher National Certificate.

What to expect from the course

The Photography HNC is a challenging and wide-ranging course whose central aim is to introduce you into higher education and employment in the photographic industry. You'll develop practical, academic and research skills alongside your exploration of image taking and image making. The broad variety of assignments will help you to discover which area of photography you are passionate about, and staff will offer the career guidance needed to pursue their passions professionally.

Modules covered:

Semester 1

  • Lighting for Photography
  • Darkroom Techniques
  • Photographic Practices
  • Communication in Art & Design

Semester 2

  • Professional Development
  • Contextual Studies
  • Individual Project
  • Techniques & Processes

A fundamental aspect of your development is educational visits, which enhance the course experience and underpin all assignments. Previous destinations have included Paris (Paris Photo), London and Dublin, giving you the opportunity to not only add to your own portfolio, but also to network with other photographers at an international level. Guest lectures are also incorporated into the curriculum to enhance your understanding of professional practice and previous guest lectures included acclaimed photographers, curators, marketing and PR representatives and specialist practitioners.

Skills and Knowledge Developed: This programme develops your in-depth understanding of photography and the possibilities within the genre. Study is set with a vocational bias and skills and knowledge are developed through practical and theoretical sessions. This includes working in a photographic studio, creative lighting, working with a range of photographic mediums (film and digital), image manipulation and editing and working on location. Alongside the many practical skills gained, you'll develop self-management, self-promotion and interpersonal skills, whilst improving reflective practice and evaluation skills. You'll also gain a number of transferable skills over the course of the qualification in areas such as problem solving, numeracy, IT and communication.

For examples of work by current students, please follow the department's Instagram account: photography_colc

The programme handbook for this course is available to applicants online:

HNC Photography Programme Handbook (21-22)

Please note: this course will only run when it has a sufficient number of applicants.


Higher National Certificate in Art and Design (Photography)

Why study with us?

There will be opportunity for students to attain a level of professional practice. Strong links to the creative industries will facilitate industry-related briefs and real scenarios that provide an opportunity for students to acquire professional work ethics, time planning skills and working within a creative team.

Learning is supported through a series of guest lectures and contextual visits, where students will have the opportunity to visit galleries, museums and exhibitions and have discussions with professional practitioners for advice and guidance.

Educational trips also feature within the course and are an excellent opportunity for students to network with photography professionals and add to their portfolio.

Student Benefits

A baker decorating pastries.
Academy Bakery

The Academy Bakery is located on the Duke Street campus, producing a range of first class baked goods daily. These include artisan breads, patisserie and biscuits, as well as special occasion/novelty cakes by award-winning master-bakers. Students are offered a range of discounts throughout the year.

The Academy Bakery
A woman getting a nail treatment on her hands.
Academy Hair and Beauty Salons

Duke Street is also home to The Academy Hair and Beauty salons. They offer generous student discounts on a wide range of hair and beauty treatments, at a fraction of high-street prices. These include styling, cutting, perming, highlights, facials, manicures, electrolysis and traditional and homeopathic massage.

The Academy Salons
A chef preparing a dish.
Academy Restaurant

Duke Street campus is also home to the College’s Academy Restaurant. Often referred to by it’s customers as Liverpool’s hidden gem, the restaurant serves top class cuisine, at highly competitive prices. Food is expertly prepared by professional chef/tutors and young chefs in training and offers students a range of discounts at different times of the year.

The Academy Restaurant
An illustration of students using Office 365.
Microsoft Office 365 - Free

When you become a student of the College you’ll receive full access to Microsoft Office 365. This allows you to install the software on your own computer and other devices at home, completely free of charge.

A gym, including treadmills and exercise bikes.
Onsite Sports Facilities/Fitness Suite

The college has excellent sports and fitness facilities at its Roscoe Street campus. Students pay a one-off membership fee for all year round usage of weekly supervised gym sessions, as well as access to a number of sporting clubs and events.

Career pathways

This programme produces graduates skilled in a broad range of specialist areas. Progression is through direct entry into the industry or through further study at HND level or degree level.

We're here to help...

Contact us to discuss your application or find out more:

 : 0151 252 3000

Entry Requirements

• Submission of a suitable portfolio of work
• Level 3 Extended Diploma in a relevant subject (MMM minimum) or 3 A-level qualifications in a relevant subject area
• GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above or equivalent
• We also welcome applications from those with relevant experience in lieu of the minimum entry requirements.

All applicants will be given the opportunity to attend one of our Open Event workshops.

Applicants should hold a total UCAS Tariff points score from relevant qualifications of at least 96 points.

If you are unsure of the entry requirements, or if you don't meet the criteria, please contact our Careers Advice and Guidance team who will be happy to help you find the best option for you. Email or call 0151 252 3607.


This course is only available to learners aged 18 and over. Fees are payable by all students unless sponsored by an employer, but you may qualify for a student loan through Student Finance England towards the cost of your course and living costs. Find out more at, or contact our HE team at

Fee for21/22 is 6568.00
In future years we anticipate increasing this fee in line with the annual inflation level (capped at RPI All Items Excluding Mortgage Interest (RPIX)).

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