Photography SCQF Level 6

Build on your understanding and practical skills relating to photography, media, camera techniques and creativity.


Why take this course?

Higher Photography is a course that is practical and experiential, with an integrated approach to learning. You will develop hands-on skills in photography, drawing on your knowledge and understanding of photographic media, camera techniques and processes whilst developing your creative practice. The course is also a great opportunity to acquire and further develop the attributes and capabilities of the four Curriculum for Excellence capacities, and will allow pupils to consolidate and extend the creative skills developed courses such as National 5 Art and Design.

You will get the chance to demonstrate technical photography skills, and showcase your imaginative and personal creative responses when photographing a variety of subjects. You will also evaluate your photographic work and practice. The course content encourages all students to be creative, reflective practitioners who are critically self-aware and can express themselves in visually imaginative ways through their photography.

What you will experience

Generally, lessons will include lecturer led discussion and presentations of good practice in photography, and pupils will have individual access to the appropriate software and hardware throughout the course, which includes two main units, and one individual project:

Image Making Unit:

The general aim of this unit is to develop pupils’ ability to use a range of camera techniques and photographic processes to produce technically proficient and imaginative photographic images. In this Unit, pupils will also develop analytical skills and a critical understanding of the historical, scientific, social and cultural factors influencing photographers and their work. Those who complete this unit will be able to:

  1. Analyse factors that influence photographers and their work;
  2. Produce photographic images using a range of camera techniques and photographic processes.
Contextual Imagery Unit:

The general aim of this unit is to develop pupils’ ability to apply a range of photographic processes and techniques in a range of contexts - pupils will develop personal and creative approaches to photography. On completion of the unit, pupils will be able to produce personal and creative photographic imagery, analyse their use of imaging techniques and evaluate their work.

Higher Photography Project:

The photography project allows pupils to demonstrate their creativity applied photography skills in a new and challenging context. When compiling the project for assessment, pupils will be drawing on, extending their practical skills and applying their understanding of photographic practice. The project will provide evidence of each pupils ability to plan a negotiated photography project and use their research and investigation into other photographers work as a basis for developing their ideas. Pupils will produce a series of photographs demonstrating technical and creative skills before evaluating their own work and practice.

Learning will include active involvement in creative tasks and activities, and understanding how contemporary culture and social factors influence photographers and their work. The course will allow pupils to develop personal autonomy and critical thinking skills when negotiating the context and the content of their photography.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course and includes the project. There is no external exam, as the project will provide the basis for grading.

female drawing in creative environment

Key facts

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course. It is suitable for those with a general interest in photography, and those who wish to progress towards further study.

What you will need

You will be required to have:

  • A3 layout or sketchpad;
  • Coloured pens and pencils;
  • A3 portfolio with sleeves;
  • 4GB memory stick.

What you need to know

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Those who wish to progress directly to university level study may pursue degree courses in design communication, visual communication or computer arts.


If you would like to progress directly to employment, a range of entry-level opportunities will be available within the creative industries and photography sector.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

For more information about job opportunities, salaries and employment rates in this industry, visit the Career Coach website.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.