The City of Liverpool CollegePhotography — Higher National Certificate (HNC) - The City of Liverpool College
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Photography — Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Fashion, Art and Design|Media, Journalism and Production

Course ID: 173093

Course Year: 24/25

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 Higher National Certificate in Art and Design (Photography) is a wide-ranging one-year course that aims to introduce students to higher education and employment in the photographic industry. Students develop practical, academic and research skills alongside exploration of photography techniques and practices which are relevant to progression onto the HND Level 5 Higher National Diploma Top-up or for a variety of creative career pathways in industry.

The broad variety of assignments helps students to discover which area of photography they are passionate about and staff offer the career guidance needed to pursue these passions professionally. 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, students develop self-management, self-promotion, and interpersonal skills, whilst improving reflective practice and evaluation. Students also gain transferable skills in areas such as problem solving, numeracy, IT and communication. You will also participate in exhibitions to showcase your photographic practice.

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

HNC Photography Programme Handbook (2023-24)

This programme is delivered through in-person teaching. Should government guidance or public heath advice change in-year, students will be able to continue their studies with a blend of in-person and remote learning, supported by additional safety measures on campus.

Modules studied:

  • Concept & Development
  • Creative Project

How will I be assessed?

Students have multiple opportunities to receive formative feedback throughout their course and they each have a mid-point review per module. This supports students in remaining on track with assignments and strengthens their professional relationship with staff. Summative feedback is also provided post submission.

Students are assessed through portfolio work, theoretical responses, self-reflective evaluations.

Who is the course intended for?

The HNC is the gateway to our HND Photography programme and students join us through a variety of routes. The course is suitable for those progressing directly from college, returning to education after a break, or mature students looking to retrain and develop new skills. It is also suitable for those looking to augment their existing practical photography experience with an academic qualification.

Additional Costs

Students may be required to purchase their own materials for any specialist projects they undertake as part of the course.

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

Students who successfully complete this qualification may continue their studies at The City of Liverpool College University Centre and achieve a full degree qualification by progressing to our HND Photography and BA (Top-up) programmes.

Alternatively, graduates may wish to progress directly into employment in their chosen career.

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 for24/25 is 6700.00
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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