Photography SCQF Level 5

Explore your creativity and build on your practical photography skills.


Why take this course?

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Photography is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding in practical photography, and is aimed at those who may want to explore their interest in the subject and perhaps progress to more advanced studies at a later stage.

The content of the course will promote your confidence in everyday photography skills, in particular focusing on gathering and selecting images, identifying key components, labelling and storing digital files and mounting and presenting final images. You will use simple automatic camera functions to capture high quality images, and work with peers to evaluate your work.

What you will experience

The content of the course will allow you to develop a range of transferrable skills in digital literacy, communication, organisation and planning. You will work towards the following units:

  • Understanding Photography
  • Photographing People
  • Photographing Places
  • Working with Photographs

Throughout this course you will learn to understand artistic concepts including colour and mood, style and posing, technical approaches and lighting, as well as skills relating to management, editing, storage and the filing of digital data.

Teaching will take the form of lecturer-led discussions and presentations, and you will have access to appropriate software and hardware in the College’s computer studios. The course is very practical so you will have space and time to develop your skills in a hands-on setting.

You will be provided with feedback on your images via unit assessments. Evidence to support assessment will be gathered throughout the course, on a continuous basis.

female drawing in creative environment

Key facts

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.  It is suited to pupils wishing to expand their portfolio or learn essential skills in visual communication.

What you will need

You will be required to have:

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

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be expected to:

  • Always be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and self-study;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Please note that eating and drinking are not permitted in workshops and classrooms. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

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

Successful completion of this course can help to support portfolio development for those who aspire to complete further creative studies at degree level.


You may find a variety of entry-level job opportunities available in the wide-ranging creative industries upon successful completion of this course.

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.

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.