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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Overview

This route provides a dynamic environment for aspiring photographers to develop technical and creative skills, supported by a team of professional photographers with nearly 50 years teaching experience between them.

You’ll have access to some of the best photographic resources in the region, including industry standard digital and lighting equipment, professional studios and darkrooms, and will even have the opportunity to try underwater photography.

Students explore specialist underwater equipment in this photography session.

You’ll also benefit from regular visiting speakers, such as Tom Oldham and Nicholas White. 

With a balance of theory and practical work, this course is a collaborative platform for you to explore a range of topics and themes – and you will be encouraged to bring your outside interests into your photographic projects and assignments. 

You will study traditional film and darkroom techniques alongside Adobe Photoshop and other software, gaining core and specialist skills in studio lighting for portraiture, fashion, still life and product photography.

You will also benefit from practical workshops in studio and location photography, experimental techniques and digital media.

Students exhibiting their work at our annual Design to Sell event.

We guarantee our Extended Diploma students a place on one of our BA (Hons) programmes if they achieve a Merit or higher in their final assessment and meet any additional entry criteria.

Many of our students choose to continue their studies with us on degree programmes across art, design and media.

Future careers could include: photographer, art director, picture editor, photojournalist, or digital retoucher.

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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Modules

Unit 1: Introduction to visual language - This unit will develop your knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for the confident application of visual language in a range of art and design activities.

Unit 2: Introduction to research skills - This unit will provide you with an introduction to a range of research activities and related skills appropriate to the support of art and design. The unit will also develop an understanding of the vital role that research plays in informing and developing ideas.

Unit 3: Introduction to critical and contextual awareness - This unit will provide you with an awareness of the critical perspectives and contextual frameworks that support practical activity in art and design.

Unit 4: Introduction to materials, processes and technical skills - This unit will provide you with an introduction to a range of materials and processes used in art and design, their particular characteristics, and the related technical skills necessary to record experiences and articulate ideas.

Unit 5: An integrated approach to 2D problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve 2 dimensional problems in art and design.

Unit 6: An integrated approach to 3D problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve 3 dimensional problems in art and design.

Unit 7: An integrated approach to time based problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve time-based problems in art and design.

Unit 8: Developing an art & design project - This unit will require you to make use of the skills, knowledge and understanding developed in previous units to complete an art and design project. This unit will also provide an opportunity for you to explore in greater depth an art and design activity of your choice.

Unit 9: Opportunities for progression - To introduce you to the range of progression opportunities within art and design education and the related employment market. To support informed application to art and design education or art and design related employment.

Unit 10: Characteristics and contexts - To develop a greater self-awareness and understanding of your creative abilities through an exploration of the characteristics and context of an art and design activity.

Unit 11: Preparation for progression - To develop your knowledge and understanding of progression routes and related application processes within art and design. To prepare you for entry and application to higher education or employment within art and design.

Unit 12: Engaging with an audience - To develop your knowledge of, and responsiveness to, the distinctive and individual audiences for specific art and design activities. To use this knowledge and understanding to develop more focused and enhanced creative solutions to art and design problems.

Unit 13: Project proposal and realisation (Level 3) - To enable you to take responsibility for your own learning by demonstrating your achievement in proposing and realising a project which integrates contextual perspective, research, problem solving, planning and organization, evaluation and reflection, and practical, technical and presentational skills.

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Unit 14: Project proposal and realisation (Level 4) - To enable you to take responsibility for your own learning by demonstrating your achievement in proposing and realising a project which integrates contextual perspective, research, problem solving, planning and organisation, evaluation and reflection, and practical, technical and presentational skills.

To find out more about studying on our Extended Diplomas, view our presentation put together by Curriculum Manager Tim Dickinson here.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Staff

Tobie Loates

Tobie Loates
Joint Course Leader

Tobie is the joint course leader for the Extended Diploma in Photography and an experienced commercial photographer, specialising in weddings and portraiture. Along side this he pursues his interest in landscape photography, regularly photographing the Devon and Cornish coastline. A recent body of work titled ‘Watervisions’ - exploring dispersed energy and the interaction of water and land - has exhibited in several major exhibitions and featured in local press such as Devon Art magazine.

His teaching experience is vast and includes secondary, TEFL and further/higher education and he has worked and taught in London, Taiwan and Plymouth. His primary objective on the Extended Diploma is to support the needs of his learners through a dynamic course that encourages creativity and professionalism, at the same time as taking students on a journey that is both fun and self-fulfilling. He has been lecturing at Plymouth College of Art since 2004.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith
Joint Course Leader

Chris is the Extended Diploma Photography Joint Subject Leader and a practising artist and freelance photographer. As an artist, his work is mostly concerned with landscapes and environmental issues.

As an educator, Chris has spent many years finding innovative ways to enhance curricula by embedding sustainability and environmental awareness. As a result of this the Extended Diploma in Photography at Plymouth College of Art has featured an assignment on environmental issues for a number of years, which has been run in collaboration with various external organisations, such as Devon Wildlife Trust, The National Marine Aquarium, Regen South West and The National Trust.

During the past two years Chris has devised and overseen a project that brings together sustainability and employability for all the Extended Diploma courses, called ‘The Future’. This project combined a creative assignment with live client project briefs from a range of local businesses and community groups involved with sustainability through the college’s collaboration with Regen South West and the Devon Wildlife Trust.

Chris is also an active campaigner for sustainability in education and has delivered papers at numerous conferences on the subject.

Chris is passionate about his teaching work and particularly enjoys teaching the diverse range of skills and subject matter that the Extended Diploma Photography course covers. Course leadership is enabling him to craft a course that is exciting, dynamic and dedicated to helping our student’s skills blossom. He has taught at Plymouth College of Art since 2004 and has been a course leader for 13 years.

In addition to his teaching role at Plymouth College of Art, Chris is also a fully qualified and practicing counsellor and a tutor at Heartwood, a counselling and psychotherapy training organisation based at Dartington Hall. Chris teaches at Plymouth College of Art three days a week, and teaches counselling for Heartwood for two days a week. Chris is a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists).

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Student Work

10 Drowning Street by Amber Metcalfe, featured in The Guardian

Josh Rumbold

Jaime-Lee Noble

Holly Archard

Giorgia Palmer

Ellie Willis

John Davies

Ashleigh Hillman

Abbie Chapman

Lexx Adair

Sam Hortopp

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Students Say

"The mutual respect from teachers and students is so much better than I ever got in school. You get treated like an adult and it just makes for a better environment. I wouldn't change anything." — Extended Diploma Photography student 2014/15 (Induction/Exit Survey)

"Moving from A-level to college was the best decision I could have made, I have learnt so much more and enjoyed college far more than I did in sixth form. I have made a lot of good friends and gained many skills by taking part in this course." — Extended Diploma Photography student 2014/15 (Induction/Exit Survey)

"Staff running the course are great and are excited about the topic so that makes us excited about the course." — Extended Diploma Photography student 2014/15 (Induction/Exit Survey)

"The range of equipment is outstanding and the support from the tutors is excellent." — Extended Diploma Photography student 2014/15 (Induction/Exit Survey)

“I feel that the college atmosphere is very mature and relaxed but well organised. The range of equipment is outstanding and the support time from tutors is excellent.” — Student Survey

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Careers & Alumni

When you successfully complete this two-year course, you’ll gain a Level 3 Extended Diploma – equivalent to three full A-levels, or a maximum of 168 UCAS points. 

Many of our students go on to a variety of degree-level programmes here at Plymouth College of Art, including BA (Hons) PhotographyBA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Practice, and BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing.

Students have progressed on to a diverse range of Higher Education study, from advertising to psychology.

Alternatively, you might take the transferable skills that this course gives you and look for employment.

As well as the ongoing advice, guidance and support you’ll receive from your course team, the college has a specialist careers service that will help you make the right decisions for your future.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Entry Requirements

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Resources

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) — Interview

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