Higher National Diploma in Photography (HND)

    Full time
    2 Years
    University of Kent
This well-established, successful programme extends the interaction of the theoretical, technical and creative aspects of photography, preparing students for further study or employment within all aspects of the field. Designed for those who want to involve themselves in the subject and play their part in contemporary visual culture, a variety of historical approaches to photography are studied, with particular emphasis on the analysis of the contemporary period. You will be taught analogue and digital techniques from staff with a wealth of experience in the sector, producing outstanding and creative solutions to a range of industry-focused practical projects in our well-equipped studios.

There is a strong emphasis on professional development throughout the two years and, as part of the programme, you will be encouraged to produce work for exhibition, which is finished to a professional standard, and displayed locally.

The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, discussions, group work/exhibition planning, tutorials and workshops. Assignments are scheduled over six-week periods, sometimes two or more at the same time. Assessment of these assignments will take place at group critique when you will have the opportunity to present your work and ideas development to the group and the tutor concerned. A Powerpoint presentation is normally required. Assessment marks are internally verified by another tutor and are externally moderated. You will be provided with an assessment schedule at the beginning of the year.

The programme typically involves an average of 12 timetabled hours over two to three days per week during term time. This is a full-time programme and you will be expected to dedicate approximately 24 hours per week to self-directed study to carry out research and assignment work outside of timetabled classes. You will be encouraged to work in the College outside of timetabled classes, when there will be support available from photographic technicians and Learning Resource Centre staff.

A range of transferable skills are embedded in the programme such as time management and meeting of deadlines, liaising with and instructing professional laboratories, academic writing, referencing and debate, spoken presentation skills, curation and organisation of exhibitions, raising sponsorship, serving on a committee, group work and student representative activities.

You will be equipped with a solid foundation of the skills and understanding required for employment in the photographic industries. Students who achieve an overall Merit or Distinction classification will also be eligible for progression to the Colleges one-year BA (Hons) Top-Up Degree in Photography.

A reading list will be available before the start of the programme. You will be provided with a year planner detailing assignments, deadlines and other events at the beginning of each year. Photographic equipment is available to borrow from the College. You will not be expected to purchase your own equipment but if you wish to do so we recommend that you wait until after the start of the programme, when your requirements are likely to be more defined.

A materials fee is payable for each year of the programme to cover the cost of equipment maintenance and the supply of basic materials, including film stock, chemicals and printer ink. This fee is currently set at £65 per year. You will need to budget for the cost of photographic materials, presentation and framing. The scale of this cost will depend greatly on the nature of your work and how it is presented, since some production and mounting methods incur a greater cost than others. As a guide, the College estimates an average cost of £500 per year, although some students will spend more than this whilst others will spend substantially less. Trips to London galleries and events are an integral part of the programme and the College will organise one trip in each year of the programme. We advise you to budget approximately £50 for each of these trips to cover travel and admission costs.

Following receipt of your application, you will be invited to an interview and asked to bring a portfolio of your work, including some examples of written work. The interview and your portfolio will help us to assess your suitability for the programme. We will also consider your application form, including your personal statement and reference, and the entry requirements when making a decision. Your portfolio should contain approximately 8-10 pieces of work which you feel best demonstrate your skills and interests in photography or art. You should also bring a workbook that shows your research and ideas development. Applications should be made through UCAS.

The programme has been designed, updated and delivered by practising photographers, academics and artists, and thus will give you a rich and diverse experience to draw upon. A range of transferable skills are embedded within the programme and there is a strong emphasis on professional development to equip you for employment. In the first year, a wide range of ideas, concepts and techniques are introduced to enable you to develop an individual relationship with the medium. You will also have the opportunity to gain a high level of proficiency in all areas of photographic practice and communication so that you can be adaptable in the workplace. In the second year, you will carry out a self-directed and extended project over a period of 20 weeks. The final work for this project will be exhibited locally. The programme will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills in the following areas: • A wide range of traditional processes and techniques along with medium and large format photography • Use of specialist software widely used in the industry, such as Photoshop and In Design • Digital colour management as used in a professional context and various post-production techniques • Studio and location photography using electronic flash • Video – Premier Pro and moving image capture • Design – you will be asked to produce books, page layouts and other promotional material Group sizes are normally between 15 and 20 and you will be offered strong tutorial support and access to staff for individual development. Technicians will also be available to support your practical work. Trips to London galleries and events will be an integral part of the programme.

The programme is suitable for students who wish to make an in-depth study of the medium of photography and related subjects and techniques. A diverse range of students are welcomed; students from differing age groups, life experience and educational backgrounds can share knowledge and experience within the tutorial system and during group activities. The programme allows for study to be organised around part-time employment, day release from work or personal responsibilities.

Year 1

• Concepts in Photography (30 credits)
• Visual Design (30 credits)
• Digital Imaging (20 credits)
• Photographic Techniques and Materials (25 credits)
• Professional Practice 1 (15 credits)

Year 2

• Professional Practice 2 (30 credits)
• Critical Studies (30 credits)
• Digital Media (30 credits) (study of video)
• Specialist Project (30 credits)

Media and Photography Events

Photography Facilities


Applicants should hold a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from one of the following qualifications:

• A BTEC or UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in a Visual Arts subject which equates to a minimum of 64 UCAS points.
• Two A-Levels at Grades CC or above, including a relevant subject
• A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Level 3 from BTEC or UAL.
• An equivalent qualification in a relevant subject

Although not a mandatory requirement for entry to the programme, students’ aptitude for study at this level and their future employment prospects will benefit from holding GCSEs in English and maths at Grade C/4 or above (or an equivalent Level 2 qualification).

Mature applicants (those aged 21 years or over at the start of the course) who do not hold one of these qualifications but who possess relevant experience or skills, and who can present a portfolio of work which demonstrates their creative potential, are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis.

Institution Code: K24
Course Code: 046W
Campus Code: W

Stella Trench

To be able to talk through work and ideas helps to focus and ... Stella Trench, HND Photography
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