Photography SCQF 6 (Portree) Higher

What is special about this course?

This exciting part-time course is delivered through weekly online sessions and self-directed working. Students learn to decipher the visual language of photographic images whilst gaining practical knowledge of photography and building confidence as creative photographers.

Step-by-step photographic micro-assignments build a broad and comprehensive range of creative and technical photographic skills.

The knowledge gained from micro-assignments enables students to build unique portfolios of work; students are encouraged to be experimental, develop knowledge of photographic theory and learn industry-standard software for image manipulation, becoming competent photographers equipped with the technical skills to create imaginative work.

The SQA Higher Photography is a great course providing a really solid foundation to Photography; after completion, students are ready to continue into options including Higher Education, artistic practice and freelance commercial work.

See student work at our Creative Student Showcase 2022

Entry requirements

You should be able to show evidence of having a keen interest in photography.

During the course you will learn about the creative, technical and critical skills and aspects which make up great photography:

Gain insight into the styles, genres, compositions, elements and narratives of important historical photographers and start to identify these in your own work.

Build a step-by-step knowledge of every aspect of the camera, how it operates and how you can operate it to manipulate light to produce well-exposed, focused and composed images.

Your knowledge gained in the technical and creative micro-assignments enable you to ‘read’ images and identify influences and themes which your images are part of as well as start to critique the work of other photographers.

You will develop a method of recording your observations and you will maintain a sketchbook/journal throughout the course of notes, ideas, sketches, plans, test images, technical details, collected historical and contemporary images all of which will build into an inspirational resource.


You will need a DSLR camera. Advice and guidance on types and likely costs will be provided at the start of the course. 

You will need an A4 journal (approx £10.00) and an A3 journal for the final project, (approx £15-20).

Computers and software can also be booked at UHI Portree.

Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

This is a part time course. It is advised to allocate a minimum of 5-6 hours per week for this course; many students spend more time practising their learning and developing their creative folios.


Each week you must attend in the following ways:

Connected learning time

Tuesdays 6-9pm. Online from anywhere. Scheduled weekly sessions with your lecturer and fellow students, in the UHI virtual learning environment (VLE). Learning and engagement in student interaction.

Every 5 weeks, 3 hour, face-to-face taught session.

Attendance is compulsory.

Self-led learning time

Making your micro-assignments from your own studio or on-location. Work to be submitted online every week. Students arrange this around work, caring and personal commitments. This is compulsory.


Your chance to meet informally, online in the UHI virtual learning environment (VLE) at a time that you arrange in order to exchange ideas and give group support: a convenient time is arranged by students after the course begins. This is optional.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks








Where can I study my course?

    • Portree

Start date



Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Successful completion of the SQA Higher could lead to progression to the HNC Photography. Higher Photography is underpinned with the development of creative learning, critical thinking and proficient use of digital media.  These skills can be applied to a range of industries for a variety of careers. The Higher can be used to support a progression into Higher Education in a discipline of your choice, artistic practice and freelance commercial work. 

Is there more information available online?

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I've always been interested in photography, and I know it's the career path I want to pursue. 

I really enjoy the Higher Photography course; it explores photographic techniques and all the aspects involved in the making of photographic images.  

The preparation of the portfolio offers the possibility of broadening one's creative horizons and was one of the best things we did - my folio explored overlooked spaces in the communities where I live. 

I am planning to develop my skill by continuing my studies and working with the same tutors in the  HNC Photography course.

Sara M Trenchard

Apply for Photography SCQF 6 (Portree) Higher

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides. UHI North, West and Hebrides 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.