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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Photography

Course Duration

2 years; full-time

Our stimulating pre-degree programme is delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in teaching. You’ll learn in a dedicated pre-degree campus, surrounded by creative inspiration and likeminded young people, all of whom are preparing for success in higher education and industry.

Tobie Loates
Course Leader

Tobie is the subject leader for the Extended Diploma in Photography at Plymouth College of Art. His photographic journey began in the mid-1990s shooting black and white film on a 35mm camera, before becoming fascinated with darkroom processing. After earning a BA (Hons) degree in Photomedia and Design Communication, Tobie established himself as an independent photographer, specialising in the use of classic kit, including the iconic Hasselblad film camera.

Following a year teaching English in Taiwan, Tobie gained vital experience working in-house for marketing departments and assisting commercial photographers in London. With the digital revolution on the horizon, Tobie decided to turn his attention back to teaching, enrolling on a post-16 teacher training course at the University of Plymouth in 2003. Alongside developing his digital technology skills, Tobie successfully completed his PGCE placement at Plymouth College of Art - where he continues to share his passion for photography with students to this day.

As subject leader, Tobie’s primary objective 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. Year-on-year most learners achieve above the national average in their final grades, with the majority progressing onto their first choice in higher education.

His considerable teaching experience has now seen him working in secondary, TEFL and both further and higher education. In 2009 he was part of a small team that wrote and validated a BA (Hons) degree in water-based image-making. This led onto many years of teaching water-based photography, where he was able to incorporate his love of the ocean and watersports into the classroom.

He has personally trained and mentored many trainee lecturers over the past 10 years and since 2016 has been an external moderator for the University of the Arts London. With the introduction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme at Plymouth College of Art in 2019, as well as the photography subject leader he is also the current personal and professional skills leader as part of the IB core programme.

Tobie continues to practice as a commercial freelance photographer and regularly pursues his passion for landscape photography, where he can often be seen wandering the Devon and Cornwall coastlines in search of great images.

See Tobie's online portfolio on his website.

Steve Bancroft
Steve Bancroft

Steve is a part-time lecturer on our UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) at Plymouth College of Art’s pre-degree campus.

Prior to teaching – after finishing up a Photomedia degree in 2002 – Steve landed a job at a publishing house who were creating market leading extreme sports magazines. He cut his teeth in the advertising department designing copy for clients before nudging his way onto the editorial team as a staff photographer on the internationally best selling Ride BMX Magazine. He spent a good few years in that role shooting and writing over 1000 pages of bicycle related content from across the world.

A stint as assistant editor gleaned Steve valuable experience in photo editing and commissioning content from creatives, and it wasn’t long before he was elevated to the editor’s chair. He spent the next 4 years leading an international team of contributors in conveying his vision of BMX culture to the magazine’s 40,000 strong monthly readership.

In 2010 Steve and three colleagues took the ultimate leap in publishing and started their own independent magazine: The Albion. The project ran for 18 coveted issues before being mothballed early in 2014. Having enjoyed the challenge of nurturing upcoming photographic talent while working in industry he made the logical move into teaching.

Steve teaches for three days a week on UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) and spends the rest of his time studying on the Masters course in-house at Plymouth College of Art. His MA studies are focused on exploring the ancient art of tintype photography and investigating the virtues of craftsmanship.