Where will this course lead?

On successful completion of the course you will be qualified to enter Higher Education to pursue a Higher National Diploma or Degree course. We offer Art and Design Level 4 and HND Photography alongside Solihull College & University Centre. You will also develop the necessary skills to enter the workplace or an apprenticeship should you choose to do so. You could even become a freelance designer or animator.

What will I study?

The Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography provides you with the skill, knowledge and visual understanding to succeed in this exciting and challenging industry. Our course gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of technical skills on basic and advanced camera skills and full use of manual mode, skills in Adobe Photoshop, film-based photography, documentary, portraiture, studio, still life, darkroom, location lighting and fashion photography and more. We also help you develop visual awareness and attributes essential for employment in the industry or progression to Higher Education. Visits to local and national galleries form an important part of the course, and you are encouraged to take part in competitions, live briefs and exhibitions.

How will this course be delivered?

The course is classroom-based with individual, small team and wider group workshops, exploring and developing ideas, cameras skills, digital skills, Darkroom skills, and the use of theoretical principles in Photography. There will be a number of assignments each year which will allow students to work on their own choice of outcomes. Some of these assignments will be 'live', and working with real people in industry situations and well renowned competitions. There will also be the opportunity to work with professionals during enrichment and work experience activities. 

Sketchbooks are used to document the development of your ideas throughout each assignment either written or digital sketchbooks. The sketchbooks contain your initial research, visual studies, planning, development through contact sheets and experimentation, along with your final outcomes and evaluation. It is expected that you annotate your ideas and reflect on your development as the assignment progresses, alongside peer feedback through critiques.  

What qualifications will I get?

The course leads to a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography (equivalent to three A-Levels). It is a two-year, full-time programme at Level 3.

How will I be assessed?

Assignments form the basis for coursework. The lecturing staff will introduce each new assignment as the course progresses. You will be assessed all the time you are working, but your main assessment is through assignment work, where you will be graded for each assignment and then given an overall grade for the final assignment of each year. 

How do I get a place on the course?

You should apply through the College application process, via the website, telephone, or open events.

What are the entry requirements?

You need to have 4 GCSEs at grade C / grade 4 or above, one of which should be Maths or English, and also a creative subject such as Art, Photography or Graphic Design.

What else do I need to know?

As part of the programme you will undertake 'live' projects and competitions, which will give you an insight into the way in which professionals work. As a department we have strong industry links with local employers and organise regular visits from professionals who work commercially and are regularly published within their field. They offer invaluable industry knowledge and skill.

In the second year of the course you will receive advice on university courses and apprenticeships, along with methods of application. Guidance regarding the job market and employment opportunities will also be available. Portfolio building will form an important part of the second year as you prepare for interviews.

What can I do after this course?

You can progress onto university, an apprenticeship, freelance work, or employment. Skills learnt on the course are also transferrable into such subjects as Photojournalism, Fashion, Fashion Marketing, Documentary Photography, Graphic Design and Fine Art.


Stratford-upon-Avon College

Start Date






Course Fee

N/A For 16 to 18 Year Olds

Course Code


Study Mode

Full Time