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

Applications for 2020 entry are now open.

The UAL Extended Diploma: Art & Design (Photography) + IBCP is a two-year equivalent to A-levels that we’re offering as part of the new International Baccalaureate Career related Programme (IBCP).

This Extended Diploma 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.

From 2019 you’ll have the opportunity to study an Extended Diploma as part of our IBCP, which also incorporates two International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects and core IBCP skills and competencies that align with our existing Character Project to help develop students with the integrity, communication and personal skills necessary for success in a rapidly-changing world.

Students explore specialist underwater equipment in this photography session.

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.

You’ll also benefit from regular visiting speakers on photography, such as Tom Oldham and Nicholas White, while the IBCP will empower you to become a self-confident, skilled, and principled learner, ready to pursue your career on an international stage.

Alongside the Extended Diploma, IBCP students will complete two IB Diploma subjects, choosing from English Literature, Film, History, Business Management, Mathematics, Environmental Systems & Societies, Visual Arts, or Psychology.

All IB Diplomas and the Levels that they are taught are subject to demand - for this reason, applicants must list three IB Diplomas on their application, in order of preference.

All students at our Palace Court campus will learn additional skills through our ‘Character Project’, designed to empower their learning experience and prepare them to develop the resilience and interpersonal skills needed to succeed at work and life beyond education.

IBCP students will hone these abilities further, through the IBCP core skills, designed to create exceptionally well-rounded learners with an international perspective on the world.

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.

As part of the IBCP, you’ll also complete two International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects, choosing from English Literature, Film, History, Business Management, Mathematics, Environmental Systems & Societies, Visual Arts, or Psychology, and core IBCP skills, preparing you to understand other cultures, to understand how people from other cultures might view you, and how to adopt the best working practices to fit in and thrive in any working environment around the world.

The core skills include Language Development, Service Learning, Personal and Professional Skills, and a final Reflective Project. The Language Development element will help you to become an international learner, by exposing you to a language programme that helps you to communicate in more than one language and furthers your understanding of the wider world, which is more important for UK students now than ever before.

And the Personal and Professional Skills module closely aligns with the skills we’ve been teaching our students for years as part of our ‘Character Project’. This is about preparing you for the life ahead of you, developing grit, integrity and resilience, alongside all the interpersonal skills needed to pitch to clients and develop lasting working relationships.

Completion of the IBCP will give you a competitive advantage when entering Higher Education or moving directly into their chosen professional industry.

Recent research has shown that IBCP students “enroll and persist in university at higher rates than the national average” and more than half go on to attend very competitive or better higher education institutions, demonstrating that the IBCP prepares you to attain some of the most selective university places in the world.

Image credit: Josh Rumbold

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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International Baccalaureate World School Status

Plymouth College of Art was awarded International Baccalaureate (IB) World School status in Spring 2019, becoming the first non-private education provider in the South West to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), which will be taught in conjunction with its existing A-Level-equivalent UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas. From September 2019, 16 to 19-year-olds in the region will have access to this world-class framework of education, combining vocational skills with academic excellence. Applications for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) are now open. 

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Photography) + IBCP — 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.

or

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.

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

Tobie Loates

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.

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) + IBCP — Student Work

Jaime-Lee Noble

Giorgia Palmer

Ellie Willis

Lexx Adair

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

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

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

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