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Pearson BTEC HND in Photography

This two year full-time course gives photographers a unique experience with a strong focus on industry standards.

Course Structure

This exciting and dynamic full-time two year practical course offers students the opportunity to study contemporary photographic practice. Students gain experience and practical knowledge in contemporary industry practice using state of the art equipment whilst applying practical business practice to prepare them for work or further study  in the sector.  

Weekly contact hours are scheduled for a minimum of 16 hours per week per semester. Student workload usually includes 2-3 assignment per Semester. In addition, Higher Level students are expected to undertake between 20 -25 hours of independent study per week.  The course is comprised of 16 modules, 5 mandatory modules and 11 optional modules.  Students will choose specific modules in Year 2 depending on progression aims and personal interests.  These are subject to minimal student number requirements and therefore module availability may vary.

Tuition is delivered by lecturers who are practitioners involved with the photography industry from  Photojournalism and Fine Art photography, business and Graphic Design backgrounds.

Modules may include:

Mandatory Core:

  • Visual Communication
  • Ideas Generation and Development
  • Historical and Contextual Researching
  • Professional Practice
  • Project Design and Implementation  

Specialist Units:

  • Location photography
  • Materials Techniques and Processes
  • Digital Imaging
  • Digital Video Production and editing
  • Advertising Photography
  • Business Studies
  • Specialist Practice
  • Exhibition Planning  


Plus 3 of the following Specialist Units depending on the student’s chosen pathway:

  • Fashion Photography
  • Press and Photo-Journalism
  • Development of a Fine Art Identity
  • Professional Studies
  • Critical Study

You will also work towards a Personal Development qualification and will be involved in a range of activities, designed to improve your employability.

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Available Sessions

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Contact Hours

Preferably applicants will have studied a Photography, Media or Art-related subject at A2 level.

Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • A Minimum of 32 UCAS Points plus GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above.

Although not a prescriptive list, candidates could also possess one of the following academic profiles:

  • Overall Pass Grade in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, National Diploma qualification ideally, but not essentially, in a Photography or Art-related subject

  • A Pass in a Foundation Diploma or Foundation Degree in Art and Design

  • Provide evidence of ability to undertake the course through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).  APEL is a process by which you may be awarded credits for learning that you have gained in the past, and which is relevant to the course to which you have applied.  It may also help you gain entry to a programme if you do not have the required entry qualifications.  This may be certificated or experiential learning.

The interview process will involve an interview, a questionnaire and a summer assignment.  The outcomes of which, along with the required grades, will determine your successful entry to this programme. 

All suitable applicants will be invited to bring a portfolio of recent photographic printed images (20 -25 maximum) to the interview.  In addition, workbooks and photo-books samples may be evidenced. 

Applications are particularly welcome from those who may not fit the academic profile outlined above, for example those who may be employed in the photographic industry, but who have the relevant level of experience.

Please note: At this level of study potential students will need to possess self-motivation, demonstrated through portfolio presentation and their performance at interview.

If the course is oversubscribed additional criteria will be applied.

Entry Requirements

This HND Photography course will enhance your employability and professional skills, in preparation for further study on a Photography Degree course or the workplace.  Past students have progressed to Years 1, 2 and Masters Degrees at the University of Ulster Degree Programmes or gained employment in the Photojournalism and Social Photography sectors.  

How will I be assessed and given feedback?

You will learn transferrable skills such as communication, organisational skills, problem solving, leadership and critical thinking which will help you to apply to relevant jobs within the photographic industry. "Impact Imaging”, the HND Photography Student Company, provides students with industrial experience, working with real clients.  Not only will this work be assessed against the relevant unit criteria but will give you the edge in the market place, providing important breadth and depth to your CV profile.

This course will help you become more attractive to employers in the following ways:

  • Gain experience and skill set required for to work in todays photography sector
  • Experience in working on live projects, dealing with clients & producing professional results.
Progression routes would be to either a Degree Level course (Year 2) or a career in an area of photographic practice, including self-employment.
Where will it take me?

Students are assessed using a range of different methods.  Assessment will occur throughout each year on set, practical assignments which involve, research, written coursework and presentations evidenced in workbook content and printed images.  These will vary according to the skill set being addressed.

You will be guided in the completion of assignments through informal and formal discussions.  Written assignment feedback from your tutors is supplemented by 1:1 and informal group tutorials.

Yearly course moderation visits from the examining body EDEXCEL ensure consistent application of QCF Standards in all terms of the course delivery and assessment.

How will it make me more employable?

Students will be required to purchase the following materials as part of the completion of module assignments: camera film (£4-5 each, darkroom printing paper (£40 per box of 100 sheets) digital printing (£2 A4 in house) , A3 workbook for practical work (£3-5).


Oversees educational trips to exhibitions and galleries form an integral part of the course.  In addition, there are usually mandatory, day trips to Belfast and Dublin for talks and exhibitions.  In the first semester, there may be an opportunity to undertake a 3 day trip to London which costs approximately £200 plus personal expenditure.  This trip, although not mandatory is an excellent opportunity to see new works and gain ideas for your own practice.  Book lists are provided of thematic texts depending on subject, although the college Library has an excellent stock of photographic texts.

Additional Costs

The course is provided and regulated by Pearson.

Terms & Conditions

Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

While we endeavour to run all our courses on the advertised day, SERC reserves the right to change the day of week on which the course runs.

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Higher Education
Higher Education

If you have just completed your A-Levels Higher Education is most likely the option for you. HE usually covers HNC, HND, Foundation Degree level of courses including our Higher Level Apprenticeships.

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While we promote a wide number of courses however not all are guaranteed to run. Page printed on 24/02/2019 03:16:45