Photography Course - Higher National Certificate (Home Study)
Home Study

Home Studycourse

Start Date:  Can be started at any time
Price:  £ 1,050 (easy-pay plan available)
Duration:  Approximately 9 months
Assessment:  15 practical assignments
Course Type:  Home Study
Level:  Level 4 on the RQF
Accreditation:  BTEC
Entry Requirements:  Must be 18 years of age or older.

If English is not your first language, you must have at least level 5.5 IELTS or equivalent. Or, have completed your last two years of schooling through English.
Work Placements:  Graduates of this course are eligible for a one month work placement at a photography company. All placements are in the greater London and Manchester areas.

Higher National Certificate course


Learn the practical skills to launch an exciting new career or gain advanced entry to a degree with a fully-accredited Higher National Certificate.

Throughout the course you will complete fifteen practical assignments designed to give you the experience to confidently enter the professional world of photography. Assignments can be completed at any time within a maximum time frame of three years. Most students complete the course in approximately 9 months.

Can be studied as a stand-alone course.

See below for a full list of topics covered »

Higher National Certificate Course Study Contents:

  • Welcome Letter - from the course director
  • Recommended Materials & Supplementary Reading List
  • Initial Assignments and Submission Requirements
  • All Course Content & Instructional Videos

The British Academy of Photography has teamed up with global educational experts Pearson Education to offer BTEC accredited courses to our photography students.

These courses are a recognised route to university, leading to the final year of a degree course or progression on to other professional qualifications.

The Fundamentals of Photography

Unit One

In this introductory unit you will start to develop the skills that enable you to use your camera to capture the perfect moment. You will learn the following skills and techniques:

  • Understand how to use your digital camera
  • How to shoot in manual mode
  • What is exposure and why is it important?
  • Photography composition and techniques
  • Practical photography assignments leading to a detailed portfolio
  • Personal development through continued constructive feedback from your personal tutor

Photographic Techniques

Unit Two

In this unit you will further develop and enhance your practical skills using photographic equipment and techniques. You will explore different techniques and approaches including:

  • Portrait photography
  • Event photography
  • Landscape photography
  • Macro photography
  • Black & White photography
  • Flash Photography
  • Studio lighting photography
  • Long exposure photography

Digital Post Production Techniques

Unit Three

In this unit we deal with post processing and the elements that are involved once a photograph has actually been taken. You will learn how to:

  • Critique your photos and choose which to use
  • Process and develop RAW files
  • Use image editing software
  • Create panoramic and HDR photographs
  • Prepare your photographs for printing or digital export

Ideas Generation

Unit Four

The ability to generate an idea and to think creatively is at the core of any creative project, so in this unit we focus on getting those creative juices flowing. The tasks in this unit should be fun and inspiring while challenging you to think outside their comfort zone, and will lead to portfolio images that you will be proud of. We will cover elements such as:

  • Various idea generating techniques
  • Sketching
  • Brainstorming
  • Mind mapping
  • Experimenting with different camera settings

Contextual & Cultural Referencing

Unit Five

This unit looks at the History of Photography. It examines how we have come to be where we are from a Photographic perspective, in order to give you a complete and well-rounded education on the subject. We will research pioneering photographers and investigate how they have influenced current practice.

  • Early Photography
  • The Rise of Film & SLR Cameras
  • The Rise of Digital Photography

Location Photography

Unit Six

Photography on location is possibly one of the most widely used areas within the industry. Areas such as weddings, commercial, portrait, fashion, video stills, tourism, architecture, brochures catalogues and most advertising are just a few examples of where the photographer is required to be on location. In this unit we will consider:

  • Researching appropriate locations for shoots
  • Understand and assess lighting requirements for a location shoot
  • Use photographic equipment and resources on a location shoot
  • Evaluate the location post shoot

Visual Language in Photography

Unit Seven

In this unit we explore creative experimentation within the field of photography as well as researching visual imagery. You will develop an understanding of the visual context and what implicit or explicit messages are being conveyed within your own and other's work. By the end of this unit you will be able to:

  • Understand the role of photography as a medium for visual communication
  • Investigate ideas, processes and constraints within the industry
  • Explore visual imagery within the visual media industry
  • Produce work demonstrating an understanding of image and text

Professional Practice

Unit Eight

This unit covers the aspects necessary for an aspiring Photographer to set up their own business or work within an established practise. It encourages you to analyse the strengths and weaknesses within your own work and to develop a career plan with the help of your tutors. You will be aware of what is required in the industry from a personal and professional presentation point of view. In this unit we will cover the following:

  • How to take advantage of social media
  • Personal website & blog development
  • Portfolio presentation
  • Business promotional material
  • Career Paths and revenue streams
  • Interview techniques
  • Legal Awareness