Art, Design & Photography
  • Location
    Northampton - Booth Lane
    11 September 2017 to 22 June 2018
    UCAS Code

Awarding organisation

HND Commercial and Creative Photography

Summary of course

The HND Commercial and Creative Photography programme offers opportunities to study photography within a broad range of vocational and academic contexts, and on completion of study students may progress to the third year of the BA (Hons) Photographic Practice course within the School of The Arts, at the University of Northampton. Practical learning is underpinned by contextual and historical study. Students will also acquire a range of technical and practical photography skills, as well as knowledge in relation to reading images and idea development.

The HND Commercial and Creative Photography course is a vocationally focused course that encourages students to explore and refine their practical skills within a professional and supportive environment. Unlike a degree course it follows a structured format of assignment, practical/vocational application and assessment throughout the two stages.

The HND course differs in structure from a degree course in its make up and delivery. It will be centred on a structured series of assignments, which will form the basis of the student's studies. In completing these assignments, students are introduced to practical and vocational scenarios which require them to research and put into practice workshop based guidance and instruction from the assignment tutors, together with their own research. The course is practically based, strongly underpinned with academic research and reading, as students learn, research, develop and apply skills and techniques appropriate to contemporary practical scenarios.

Stage 1: The first stage of study is broadly exploratory in nature, offering students guidance and instruction in a wide range of practical situations from studio and location lighting, darkroom techniques in colour and monochrome to digital imaging and design. This learning is underpinned throughout by contextual and historical study that ultimately places the student's own work within contemporary and historical practice.

Stage 2: The second stage offers students further opportunity to produce work that reflects the individual student's interests and specialist areas. The aim of this stage is that in completing the assignments, the student graduates with a portfolio of work and a range of knowledge that will take them forward, academically and/or professionally, along their chosen career path.

Special course features:

  • Supportive staff and learning environment
  • Vocational ‘real-world' assignments
  • Opportunity for individual specialism within the course
  • Cross discipline experience and collaboration

Typical modules:

  • Advertising photography
  • Colour darkroom practice
  • Curating and participating in exhibitions
  • Digital media
  • Fashion photography
  • Location photography
  • Location techniques
  • Monochrome darkroom practice
  • Press and photojournalism
  • Studio techniques

Specialist expertise and support is on hand at all times from members of staff who are actively engaged in creative research and practice, many of whom have exhibited their work in regional, national and international photographic arenas in the past.

Career opportunities:

Destinations may include seeking commercial commissions as a photographer in editorial, press, advertising or fashion related fields. Other options include working as a photographic assistant, professional involvement in digital or virtual visual or photographic environments, picture and design agencies or photo libraries. Students may continue in Higher Education, ‘topping up' their HND to an honours degree through a further period of study on a BA (Hons) degree course.

View the detailed Programme Specification.

How is the course assessed?

The course is modular and assessed through practical and written assignments.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you want to continue to a third year of study at the University of Northampton to ‘top-up' your qualification to a degree or enter related employment.

Progression and Career Opportunities

The course will prepare the student to enter a broad range of photo-related fields from professional practice through to internet and virtual design. This should enable students to progress their career in a direction of their own choosing.

Find about more career opportunities and expected starting salaries by clicking on the 'What Can I Earn?' section of our website.

Entry Requirements for new students

All applications are handled by the University of Northampton through the UCAS system. To be accepted on a programme, you will need 48 UCAS points equivalent to 2 A Levels at Grade D or above. In addition applicants are expected to have studied an art, design or photography related subject in an A Level, or BTEC Level 3 Diploma or equivalent qualification, or a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio.

You will need 48 UCAS points equivalent to 2 A levels at Grade D or above or a pass at BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or equivalent. You will also need a GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English.

Those who do not have English as their first language will need to provide NARIC confirmed equivalent of 48 UCAS points and will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component(or equivalent).

Applicants should be 18 or above.

We may also admit students on the strength of other qualifications or experience.

Course fee information

The course fee is £7,700 per annum which can be paid through a Student Loan.


student success

Melissa Mehrtens

Melissa Mehrtens

Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.The...

We are planning to offer this programme from September 2016. The full details, including the fees for the 16/17 academic year will be available on the College website from the beginning of July 2016. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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