Higher National Certificate in Photography


Program Description


We have a range of Photography courses in London at all levels.

There are full time, part time and evening programmes leading to a qualification, as well as photography workshops and specialist short courses in digital photography, studio lighting, darkroom and alternative processes. Short digital and darkroom classes are suitable for beginners, but there are advanced and master class photography workshops as well.

Our tutors are highly experienced photography practitioners offering a unique insight into the photographic medium.

We are well resourced both in digital and analogue (traditional film) photography. Our studio has Elinchrom studio flash, Hi-Glide lighting support, radio triggers and meters.

The photography digital suite has Apple Mac computers (running Photoshop), Eizo colour managed monitors and film scanners.

The photography darkroom has enlargers for 35mm and medium format film and printing on resin coated as well as fibre papers, film processing and film scanners all in the same facility.

Students from our courses regularly go on to higher education or become working freelance photographers, an achievement indeed in a very competitive environment. If you are interested in anything photographic, we may have the course for you.

Course Overview

Sometimes seen as an alternative to going straight to higher education, the HNC in Photography takes you into professional practice, fine art photography or as a stepping stone to place you in a very competitive position when applying for a degree or even a masters course later on. The course is intensive and project based with options to cover both analogue and digital photography as well as using time based media techniques to enhance your portfolio in an increasingly competitive field. You will be working in the studio and on location and the course includes a trip to Paris Photo in November. There are also a number of core units which look at contextualising photographic practice against a background of both commercial, documentary and fine art practices. To do this course, you need to have completed, or have knowledge equivalent to, our level 3 National Diploma in Photography. The course requires a lot of self motivation as you will need the determination to succeed in preparing a strong portfolio during the course to make you into a successful photographer. Taught by a strong team of working freelance photographers, the course is supported by a well equipped studio, black and white darkroom and digital facilities.

This year we are introducing a brand new HNC course in Photography. Often seen as an alternative to a route through to a BA, an HNC can fully equip you so you are ready to begin your career. Alternatively, you may have already taken the plunge and want this course to consolidate your practice and bring you up to speed or you may wish to develop a strong portfolio for entry to higher education at BA or MA level.

Whatever you need, we can help. The course runs over just 2 days per week although there are activities available for you to join on other days including a programme of photography related movies and a trip (in November) to Paris Photo.

The course consists of eight units designed to help you in this competitive field.

What are the units?

The course consists of four mandatory units which all Art and Design courses at this level have, and four specialist units we have selected to enhance your career chances. The order of the units shown here is not the order they will run in as some will need to be run concurrently as they inform each other.

The units consist of:

  • Visual Communication in Art and Design â This unit aims to develop the necessary skills for photographers to communicate ideas across specialist applications, be that traditional, digital or alternative. The idea is to give you a strong and authoritative visual language to deliver strong visual projects.
  • Ideas generation and development in Art and Design â The need to be able to generate strong ideas is essential in photography, but the ability to realise those ideas into a strong and original project is the next step. This unit takes you through ways to achieve this.
  • Contextual and cultural referencing in Art and Design â The aim of this unit is to encourage an understanding of the social, psychological, cultural, historical and commercial factors which underpin all visual arts theory and practice across the spectrum of subject specialisms.
  • Professional practice in Art and Design â Exactly what it says, how to make your work professional, how to deal with clients, tax, Health and Safety, copyright, contracts in fact everything you need to function as a freelance.
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation â Producing an extended piece of work right from concept through to realisation is covered here. This can be generated using whatever genre you want to use.
  • Darkroom Practice in Photography â This unit will run in association with others to allow you to learn analogue based processing and printing. If you are a digital only shooter, getting your images run out to film for use in a darkroom is not a problem (you will be shown where this can be done). The unit has a high practical element in the black and white darkroom but the use of colour materials, post production, framing and presentation is also covered.
  • Press Photography and Photo Journalism â This unit enables you to achieve an understanding of the processes and techniques associated with press photography, in its widest form. The unit explores the characteristics of press photography, covering themes and applications such as social documentary and reportage. You will look at the contextual and cultural issues relating to the different strands of editorial photography. Issues of legislation, privacy and constraints and ethics will be discussed.
  • Photographic Materials, Techniques and Technology â You will be able to extend your knowledge of photographic materials, techniques and technologies through considering the respective characteristics and applications of different types of media. Knowledge gained will be applied to the selection and use of photographic media to a set brief and its effectiveness in allowing you to meet the brief and fulfil your creative intention.

What does the course lead to?

This is a professional level course which could lead to freelance work in photography or a place in higher education.

Where will I study?

The course is based at our Chelsea Centre however, there are location trips and gallery visits.

What are the facilities and equipment like?

Studio: Flash equipped studio with Elinchrom system, Hi-Glide support, radio triggers and meters. Medium format cameras are available for studio use.

Digital Suite: Mac equipment using Photoshop CS6 (with ACR), film and flatbed scanners (all sizes up to 10 x 8).

Wet Darkroom: A wet darkroom with 35mm to medium format enlargers, film processing up to 5â³ x 4â³ and film scanners. Resin and Fibre based processing and drying systems and support for alternative processes, filtered water and hospital grade air cleaning facilities.

Who are the tutor team

Our key tutors are working freelance professionals and have many years of freelance and teaching experience behind them.

Bruce Tanner â web www.brucetanner.com, blog www.brucetanner.org

Niki Sianni â web www.nikisianni.com

There will be additional tutors delivering specialist subjects within the course.

How much will I need to study outside class?

This is a part time course, however you will have to allocate some of your own time to accomplish the course work. You will be regularly set projects and research tasks that you will need to complete independently. This course is suitable for those ready to make that commitment.

How is the course assessed?

Each unit is assessed once it has been submitted, you can only pass the course if you have passed every unit. Assessment and feedback is delivered within 4 weeks of submission (unless submission is late).

Are any of the course materials on line?

All course materials are on-line and accessible via our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). This allows you to access projects, background notes, links to galleries etc. 24 hours a day. During the first session of the course, you will be shown how to access the system and ways in which to make it useful to you.

What books and equipment do I need?

You need to have your own an SLR and/or DSLR camera. A medium format camera, flash and a range of lens for any of your cameras is useful, but not essential. You should have your own computer and you must have an email address. If you do not have a computer, there are many in our learning centre that you can use. A reading list of books and movies will be given to you.

What else do I need to buy/ What extra costs are there?

There is an additional studio fee of £50 towards central materials, which needs to be paid as the course starts (it rises to £100 if it is not paid during the first week). At the end of each unit you will have to submit a workbook with a good number of printouts and some photographic prints. This can be very expensive to produce so you should allow for these costs. When visiting exhibitions you might occasionally have to purchase a ticket.

What do I need to bring to the interview?

You will need to bring a small portfolio of your own photographic work. You will be given a short notice to shoot a quick project that you will also need to bring to the interview, as we want to see how you operate under pressure!

  • Campus: Chelsea Centre
  • Times: Mon,Thu Various
Last updated February 2018

About the School

Welcome to Kensington and Chelsea College. Ensuring that you are on the right course is important to us which is why we have a team of dedicated, qualified advisors ready to help and support you in ma ... Read More

Welcome to Kensington and Chelsea College. Ensuring that you are on the right course is important to us which is why we have a team of dedicated, qualified advisors ready to help and support you in making this decision to study with us. Our friendly, supportive staff are on hand to make sure you have a brilliant experience from the word go. This includes our highly qualified teaching and lecturing staff who are among the best industry connected and award winning tutors you could wish for. Read less