Photography SCQF 6 (Fort William and Portree) Higher

What is special about this course?

This exciting part-time course is delivered through:

-    weekly online sessions,
-    self-directed working and 
-    one to one tutorials

Through weekly lessons, experimentation and weekly step-by-step Micro-Assignments, students learn about the technical functions of the camera and equipment; composition and the 7 Visual Elements; and about the genres, themes, subject matter, vocabulary of photography and photographers.

Through students’ own creative work, this knowledge is applied to develop confidence and skills in deciphering the visual language of photographic images as well as in making a coherent folio of creative work, unique to each student.

The SQA Higher Photography is a great course providing a 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 and will be asked to share your images.

Gain insight into the styles, genres, influences, compositions, elements and narratives of important historical and contemporary 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 will 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 through notes, ideas, sketches, plans, test images, technical details, collected historical and contemporary images all of which will build into an inspirational resource.


  • A DSLR camera. Advice and guidance on types and likely costs will be provided at the start of the course. 
  • A plain-paper (not lined) A4 journal/notebook/sketchbook (approx £10.00)
  • A good internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required as will be asked to share your images.
  • Computers and software can also be booked at UHI North, West and Hebrides campuses
  • 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 requiring a minimum of 5 hours per week; many students spend more time practising their learning and developing their creative portfolios.

The hours required increase slightly in the months of March and April when students finalise their portfolios to their full potential – students must be available to undertake this work.

The course is delivered through:

  • weekly online sessions
  • self-directed working and
  • one-to-one tutorials


Each week you must attend in the following ways:

Lessons online - attendance is compulsory:

  • Mondays 5.30-8pm weekly online group sessions learning and engagement through tutor and student interaction
  • Join online from anywhere as these scheduled weekly sessions connect you with your lecturer and fellow students, using the UHI virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • a minimum of 2 hours per week

Tutorials - one-to-one - attendance is compulsory:

  • student and tutor working on an individual student’s work at times agreed between the student and tutor
  • These become more frequent as the course gains momentum
  • Tutorials are scheduled in response to each student’s progress

Workshop days - attendance is optional:

Students are encouraged to attend both organised and informal in-person meet-ups either as student-led skills-sharing and as tutor-organised practical sessions. More information at interview.

Self-directed learning time - attendance is compulsory:

  • Essential to complete Micro-Assignments for weekly progression; students work from their own studio/home/base and on-location.
  • Micro-Assignments must be submitted/uploaded online every week in order to gain new skills for the next Micro-Assignment.
  • Students can decide the weekly allocation of time when they undertake this work around their other employment/study/caring commitments.
  • Weekly Micro-Assignment deadlines of 5pm each Sunday.
  • A minimum of 3 hours per week.


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?

    • Fort William
    • Portree
    • Study from anywhere including your local campus or centre

Start date



SCQF 4 - 6 Scottish Fee 

National 4, 5, Highers and Advanced Highers


A fee waiver could be available to help with the payment of your course fees depending on your personal circumstances, please check our fee waiver guidance to see if you are eligible.  

Fees are payable at the time of enrolment each academic year. Please get in touch with if you have any further questions. 

Additional costs 

Some of your assessments may require you to attend a college centre or other approved centre. This travel will be at your own expense but we will discuss these details with you throughout your application.


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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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

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 (Fort William and 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.