Photography Higher

What is special about this course?

This is an exciting part-time course providing you with opportunities to develop a broad range of theoretical, practical and technical skills in photography. You will also learn about the history and art of photography and apply knowledge gained in the creation of your own photographs on a range of themes. 

Entry requirements

You will own or have access to a DSLR camera and be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of controlling the camera and its functions to produce well-exposed, focused and composed images. You will also be computer-literate and have access to a computer, ideally installed with Adobe Photoshop Elements or equivalent.

During the course you will learn about the history and art of photography as well as gaining technical and creative skills in order to produce photographs to a given theme and in different styles and genres.

You will maintain a journal throughout the course which will be used for recording notes, ideas, sketches, plans, test photos, technical details, postcards, magazine/newspaper cuttings and inspirational images from the photographic media – both historical and contemporary.


You will need a DSLR camera and advice and guidance on types and likely costs will be provided at the start of the course. You will also need to buy an A4 journal (approx £10.00) and an A3 journal for the final project. (approx £15-20)

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening

This is a part-time course with one three-hour session per week. You will also be expected to undertake three hours of self-directed study per week.

The course is offered on a Monday evening in Portree and Fort William College Centres and on a Tuesday evening at Broadford College Centre.

How will I be assessed?

    There are two assessed elements to the course:

    The Photography Project (77%) is where you will devise and plan your own theme, in liaison with the course tutor, and produce a body of photographs alongside detailed research on related photographers as well as including all your planning and supporting documentation.

    The one-hour Question Paper (23%) will comprise multiple choice questions  and two extended response questions.

How long will my course last?

The course is available in three of our college centres and lasts for one academic year from September to May. 

Portree and Fort William on Monday evenings and

Broadford on Tuesday evenings

all sessions from 18.00 - 21.00

Where can I study my course?

    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Portree

Start date

September - Portree & Broadford

October - Fort William



You will need a DSLR camera and advice and guidance on types and likely costs will be provided at the start of the course. You will also need to buy an A4 journal (approx £10) and an A3 journal for the final project. (approx £15-20)


A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Successful completion of the SQA Higher could lead to progression to the HNC Photography.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I have always enjoyed taking photos and after buying a DSLR camera last year, I wanted to increase my knowledge and skills. This course was the perfect opportunity.

I have loved the course. I have really enjoyed learning more about photography and improving my photographs. Simon has been an excellent teacher, very supportive and I feel that I have learned a lot. The Higher is made up of three main projects and I have enjoyed getting stuck into them and being challenged. The people in my class have made it special too, the classes have had a lovely atmosphere. I have been accepted to do the HNC in photography next year.

Louise Wakeford

Apply for Photography Higher

I want to start in 2020/21

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.