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BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography

  • Fee
    16-18 Free  /  19+ £3,345 per year*
  • Duration of course 72 Weeks (Over 2 years)
  • Course type Full-time; Full-time (16-18s); Part-time (Adults)
  • This course is suitable for 16-18; Adults

Will the course give me what I want?

Course content

Year 1

Five core units will underpin the learning that will take place in year one. These units are designed to develop your visual communication skills, your application of practical techniques and processes, as well as your understanding of historical and contextual art practices.

Along side this you will complete assignments based around photography briefs allowing you to experience this field of work. There will be written assignments as well as creative practical assignments. You will learn the basics of black and white darkroom process, studio flash lighting, film, working on location, digital manipulation programmes and professional DSLR and film cameras. You will be given projects that reflect industry and sometimes you will be working towards ‘live’ briefs inside and outside the college.

You will go on trips to galleries and museums to support your projects, you will evidence this research in a sketchbook that documents your process through each project.

Year 2

You will draw on the experience and knowledge gained in year one and focus your studies within more directed photography briefs, building strong projects to include in your individual portfolios. You will work further with studio lighting, flash on location, medium format cameras, professional DSLR kit, print in a colour darkroom and work using digital manipulation programmes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Capture One. You will understand the process of output from computer to professional print.

You will be given ownership of your last project, which is the Final Major Project. This is your opportunity to write your own brief around the specific area you want to specialise in within the industry or program of study at University. This project along with your final portfolio is then exhibited in a celebratory final show.

You will be supported in your progression to University, employment or apprenticeships. This will be done through writing a CV, applications and building a portfolio. You will be supported in creating your portfolio, which will start at the beginning of the second year and will continue throughout the year.

Please Note

Extended Diplomas are delivered as two one year programmes:

Year 1 - Subsidiary Diploma

Year 2 - Diploma/Extended Diploma

Students are expected to satisfactorily complete the Subsidiary programme prior to being considered appropriate for a year 2 qualification.

What have students who have taken this course in the past progressed to?

Students have gone on to study photography and other visual art and media specialisms within London Universities such as LCC and University of Westminster and beyond to universities such as Brighton University, Farnham (UCA) and Glasgow School of Art. Some students have entered the workplace in industries like digital retouching, freelance photography assistants, studio assistants and work in the wider design industry.

How will I learn?

Practical and theory classes will take place.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed continually through practical project work, coursework, written assignments and through giving presentations.

How much time should I be expected to spend on assignments, projects, field trips etc

You will need to work independently outside of college on assignments and projects will roughly run about six weeks.

In addition to your coursework there will be regular opportunities for you to visit galleries & museums, participate in additional workshops and attend talks from visiting artists.

Which awarding body is the course validation by?


What qualifications or skills do I need to show I have before I can enrol?

Applicants should possess relevant level 2 qualifications:

  • 4 GCSEs at grade C including English and Art or another visually creative subject


  • an equivalent vocational qualification with a merit grade or relevant previous experience.

Entry onto the course is by interview commencing in February. Applicants will need to bring a recent photography project and/or artwork that they have produced and would like to talk about in the interview (sketchbooks would be also be good). At the interview you will need to demonstrate potential to benefit from this course.

If you don't think that you have the right qualification, but think this is the right course for you then apply or come along to the college to see how we can support you.

Expected prior knowledge

You will have some experience of photography, whether through school or college.

English level

GCSE Grade C or above.

Mathematics level

Level 2 Maths is desirable, but not essential.

Equipment and other costs

It will essential to have the following equipment such as pencils, pens, scissors, USBs etc. It would be desirable to equip yourself with a SLR camera.

For further information please call 020 7258 2721, email or come to one of our Open Days.


* Fee information

Fees shown are set against the current year (August 2017 to July 2018) and are subject to change when Government funding changes are announced.

All our full time further education courses (Entry to Level 3) are free if you are 16-18 years old and meet UK residency requirements. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be eligible for financial support to help with other costs associated with your course such as free school meals and travel.

If you are  enrolling onto a Level 3 or 4 course and aged 19 or over, you may be required to pay fees depending on your residency status, educational background and personal circumstances.