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These results are a suggestion of courses you may want to explore but are by no means a definitive list and individual entry requirements do apply.

Photography (Extended) Diploma Level 3

Practical Vs Theory


Course overview

Develop the necessary skills to kick-start your career in the creative industries with this attractive alternative to A Levels. You will deepen your knowledge of photography and visual communication through experimenting with camera controls, 35mm and medium format, digital, darkroom, studio lighting and composition. You will work on a range of real life projects and produce a focused portfolio of work ready for univeristy or employment.


What Does The Programme Include

Throughout this course you will develop and apply a broad range of transferable skills. You will be able to demonstrate:

  • Initiative
  • ndependent inquiry
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective learning
  • Team working
  • Self-management
  • Effective participation
  • Problem solving
  • Communication

You will have the opportunity to take part in weekly life drawing classes to develop your observational, figurative and mixed media skills. Every computer throughout the college has the latest Adobe Creative Suite software, allowing students to develop technical skills on industry standard technology as well as access to a range of traditional media including the Creative Arts department print room. Specialist lecturers on the Level 3 Creative Arts Diplomas offer regular workshops to widen your skills which in turn can be applied to your project work.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grades 4/​C or above including English and preferably maths, and an arts-based subject at grade 6/​B or above. 

Alternatively a Merit in a relevant Level 2 Diploma, and a GCSE grade 4/​C or a pass for functional skills Level 2 English.

A Merit in your first year is required to enter the second year Extended Diploma.

Need to re-sit? No problem. If you don’t achieve a Grade 4/​C in GCSE maths or English, you’ll resit the exams with us and we’ll help you prepare.

Worried about your grades?

Whatever your results, we want to assure you that extenuating circumstances will be considered should you not have the grades indicated above. 

We will review each application on a case-by-case basis to ensure you get a place on the course most suitable for you.

One of the ways we do this is through a very effective 6 weeks to success programme’ that operates from the first day you start your course. This includes support such as (but not limited to):

  • Allowing you to change courses if you change your mind in the first 6 weeks
  • Moving you between course levels if you are finding your current level too easy /​too hard
  • Incorporating English and maths GCSE resits in to your timetable if you don’t meet the grades you need
  • One-to-one reviews with your academic tutor to ensure you are progressing and achieving well

Our course enquiries and admissions team are available remotely throughout this unprecedented period. They can be contacted at enquiries@​stamford.​ac.​uk should you have any further questions.

How The Course Will Be Assessed

Assessment is completed through a portfolio of evidence which will be internally assessed. You can utilise your portfolio to take to University or job interviews to showcase your abilities.

Additional Information

You will need to purchase an equipment pack at the start of the year costing £60.

Potential Future Career

Former students have progressed to top universities such as Falmouth or London College of Communication. After this course you could progress to study a BA Hons Degree in Art, Design, Fashion or Photography, as well as other creative courses at this level. Alternatively, you may wish to study Graphic Design or Creative and Editorial Photography at the University Centre Peterborough, or the Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Stamford.

Course Content

The UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication, are qualifications for post-16 students looking to pursue a specialist career in the creative industries. The qualifications provide students with the necessary industry relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to access appropriate entry level roles, training programmes or apprenticeships in the creative sector, or apply for progression to related higher education courses. This qualification provides an opportunity for those students who have ambitions and aspirations of a career in the visual arts to explore, develop and test their creativity within a qualification structure that is stimulating and demanding. The objectives of this qualification are to enable students to: 1 Develop the knowledge, skills and attributes associated with the creative process and creative practice 2 Gain confidence, knowledge and understanding of 2D, 3D and 4D materials, methods, techniques and processes 3 Generate ideas, solve problems and produce creative outcomes that explore and communicate clear and individualised intentions and purpose 4 Effectively use a reflective practice to take responsibility for their own learning, development, decision making and progression 5 Take responsibility for the research, planning, time and actions required to access vocational and educational progression opportunities 6 Professionally present themselves and their work Year 1 Unit 01: The Creative Process This unit requires students to explore and interrogate the creative process fully through its various stages. Students will explore, apply and assess the different stages of the creative process in order to develop an understanding of the separate activities within each stage, and how these activities inform one another holistically. Students will investigate and develop these skills through introductory projects and workshops that require them to engage with and show an increasing ability to identify and apply creative process skills. Activities in this unit will be underpinned by an introduction to the creative industries, where students will develop a contextual understanding of the role the creative process plays in the development of creative arts outcomes and products across a broad spectrum of specialist practices and vocational roles.

Unit 02: Developing Creative Practice This unit requires students to learn about what a creative practice is along with gathering knowledge of various materials, techniques and processes used across 2‑dimensional, 3‑dimensional and 4‑dimensional creative practices. Students will also explore, experiment and refine their use of 2‑dimensional, 3‑dimensional and 4‑dimensional practical skills associated with a creative practice, as well as developing an understanding of how to safely use creative practice skills to solve problems, develop outcomes and present work appropriate to the creative practice. Unit 03: Responding to a set Brief In this unit, students will be synoptically assessed on the all the learning they have developed throughout the qualification, by responding to a set vocational brief. They will demonstrate their ability to develop a project proposal, generate ideas and produce and present outcomes that respond to a set brief. They will also be expected to demonstrate practical skills to realise creative outcomes, reflect on the creative process, and use reflective practice to inform and direct the choices they make and how successful they have been in meeting the brief. Year 2 units include: Unit 04: Researching a Specialist Industry Practice This unit requires students to explore all aspects of a chosen specialist industry practice within the creative industry, to inform their development as a creative practitioner and influence their future career progression. They will also be required to develop an understanding of the context of their chosen role within the wider environment and apply reflective practice to influence their choices and decisions. Students will apply their knowledge of their specialist industry practice to a self-initiated creative investigation, drawing on the works of existing practitioners and their own research to influence and inform ideas and refine their own creative intentions and purpose. The work they produce will evidence the development and refinement of their specialist visual language skills in order to effectively communicate ideas and concepts.

Unit 05: Specialist Technical skills Development This unit requires students to explore in-depth the skills and creative processes associated with a chosen specialist industry practice. Students will be required to refine their understanding of their chosen specialist industry practice through focused material and process led exploration and experimentation. Students will develop an understanding of the specific materials and technical skills used within their specialist industry practice to solve problems and develop outcomes relevant to their specialist industry practice. Students must apply safe working practices, as they develop and refine their technical skills, and ensure that they use appropriate specialist presentation techniques to demonstrate their technical skills. Throughout this unit students will be expected to reflect on and evaluate their performance to inform personal development within the context of their chosen specialism. Unit 06: Specialist Creative Outcome In this unit, students will be synoptically assessed on all learning they have developed throughout the qualification, by realising and presenting a self-initiated project. Students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a specialist industry practice to set the intent and purpose of their individual creative investigation and apply their knowledge and understanding of the creative process to develop, realise and present solutions to their proposed investigation. Students must use all aspects of the creative process harmoniously within their practice to develop an appropriate and vocationally relevant outcome that meets the needs of a selected audience/​consumer.




Within four months of graduating from my course I was offered Junior Photographer at one of the biggest Photographer companies — Kurt Geiger!

Lyddie Pinfold



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