Photography National Extended Diploma Level 3

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    Full Time

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    Two Years

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    September 2023


The Level 3 Photography National Extended Diploma will encourage you to develop your practical skills from a variety of photographic areas including studio work, landscape photography, portraiture, Photoshop techniques, image manipulation, videography and presentation. You will be assessed by completing practical photography assignments.

The Level 3 Photography National Extended Diploma will be studied over two years. During your first year you will enrol on and study the Level 3 Photography National Diploma. This is a standalone one-year qualification. Upon successful completion of the first year, you can then progress and enrol to study the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Photography, which is equivalent to three A levels.

Your lecturers all have a working knowledge of the photography industry and are still actively involved in the business outside of the College, resulting in accurate, up-to-date knowledge being shared in lectures.

What will I do?

During the Level 3 National Foundation Diploma, you will study six units, these consist of up to four mandatory units, two of which are externally assessed and one of which is synoptically assessed. The focus of the units will be different art practices such as, studio work, landscape photography, portraiture, Photoshop techniques, image manipulation, videography and presentation.

During the second year, National Extended Diploma, you will study a further seven units, three of these are mandatory units and are externally assessed. The second year units will develop on your knowledge gained from the Diploma, building towards individual specialisms dependent on tour interest/pathway. This course will culminate with a final major project and exhibition. You will also look at core art and design issues relating to ideas and concepts, communication, contextual studies and materials, techniques and processes.

You will learn about how other photographers produce their work, how to research in order to generate ideas and how to analyse photographic work. You will develop your visual awareness and ability.

As a photography student you will have access to all of our art, design and media facilities, which include a photography studio and darkroom, two iMac Editing Suites, two art studios, ceramics and pottery studio (including kiln), and a television studio. You will also be using industry standard software.

Trips are arranged regularly to museums and galleries, to tie in with the current study programme. You will also be able to meet a numerous of guest speakers including local artists, businesses and creative practitioners.

In addition to your course, you may also study either Functional Skills or GCSE English and Maths, dependent on your current GCSE grade.

The entry qualifications for the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Photography are five GCSEs at grades 4 or above (Old GCSE grade C or above), or equivalent (i.e. Level 2 Diploma to a Merit standard) and a portfolio of photography work).

The Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Photography will take you two years to complete. You will attend College for three-four days a week, 9:00am-4:30pm, plus eight-ten hours of independent study.

The Level 3 Photography National Extended Diploma is free for those who are under 19 on 31 August of the year they start their course.

For those aged 19+, the course fees will be: £8583
National Diploma, Year 1 - £2882
National Extended Diploma, Year 2 - £5701

If you are aged 19-23, fee remission may apply depending on personal circumstances, please enquire with the Registry Department for further information on 01205 365701.

Aged 19+?
If you are aged 19 years or over on the 1st day of your course, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with your College fees. If you progress to employment you won't have to pay anything back until you’re earning £27,295 per year. Your household income isn't taken into account and there's no credit check. Your eligibility depends on your course, nationality, and age. To find out more contact the College Information Line on 01205 313218.

Please note, to provide you with the most flexibility your studies will consist of two separate years, each enrolled onto separately. Therefore, if you are aged 19+ before starting either year of the full qualification you will be required to pay course fees.

International and EU Students, please contact the International Office on +44 (0)1205 313212 or for details on fees.

Fees may vary depending on personal circumstances, please enquire for further information.

Please note that all fees are subject to change.

You will be assessed through practical tasks (70%) such as group work, work based evidence, course work and presentations, which will be underpinned with theory (30%) to give you a broad grounding in photography practices.

Successful completion of the Level 3 Photography Extended Diploma would allow you to progress on to Higher Education to study any aspect of art and design at university.

Should you decide to enter the world of employment the Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A levels.

Additional costs include some contribution towards educational visits and/or workshops approx. £30 per year. You will also be expected to provide your own Photography materials e.g. films, photographic paper, sketchbooks, etc. approx. £150 per year.

There may be an opportunity to complete an Industry Placement alongside your main Level 3 course.

Industry placements give you the chance to put into practice what you have learned and you will have the opportunity to spend an average of 50 days working for an employer, in a role directly relevant to your course.

With an Industry Placement you will gain technical skills, be prepared for the world of work, and gain connections in order to secure a job after your course.

What will I gain?

  • Build your confidence, self-reliance and independence in the workplace.
  • Enhance the learning from your college course.
  • Develop your experience and expand your CV.
  • Give yourself a head start in knowing what type of job you may want to go into after finishing your course.
  • May lead to further opportunities such as paid employment or an apprenticeship on completion of your course.
  • Take a step forward professionally, knowing the behaviours expected in the workplace.

What will I do?

  • You will take part in an average of 50 days placement in a role that is directly relevant to your course, in an external organisation.
  • You will develop the practical and technical skills required for your profession/trade.
  • You will develop employability skills such as communication, teamwork and time management.

An existing part time job may qualify as an Industry Placement if it meets the criteria set by the College.

For more information regarding Industry Placements please contact the Enterprise Zone: or call 01205 365701 ext: 3226/3227

How to Apply.

To apply for a course, you will need to have an account with us!

Creating an account is easy, just click ‘Apply for this course’ below.

If you live outside of the UK and would like to apply for this course, please complete the International Enquiry Form.

You can download our course guide