Photography, Graphics & Illustration

Qualification: Extended Diploma
Level 3

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About the course

This photography, graphics and illustration course has been created alongside photographers and graphic design companies to prepare you with the skills and technical ability required for employment in the sector. It is equivalent to three A-Levels and is also a recognised route to degree level study.

It is highly practical and studio based but does also include theory classes, visits to galleries, exhibitions and museums and written work in the form of sketchbooks and essays. You will get to showcase your work to the public, local employers and higher education institutions at our end of year art exhibition.

Full-time students aged 16-18 will follow a study programme at City College which includes:

  • The main subject qualification
  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade A*-C/9-4 in these subjects by age 16
  • Additional activities, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals

These four elements should combine to provide stretch and challenge to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Earn up to 168 UCAS points#



#168 UCAS points based on Distinction grades

What you will learn

Year 1

  • Visual language
  • Research skills
  • Critical and contextual awareness
  • Materials, processes and technical skills
  • Range of practical photography skills
  • Developing a photography project
  • Opportunities for progression in photography

Year 2

  • Characteristics and contexts
  • Preparation for progression
  • Engaging with an audience
  • Project proposal and realisation

If you successfully complete the first year of study you will gain a level 3 Diploma qualification. In order to progress to the second year you will need to pass the first year of study.

  • Well equipped art studios
  • Large and fully equipped photography studio
  • Photography dark room
  • Suite of Apple Macs
  • Gallery exhibition space

100% coursework/practical

Entry requirements
  • 5 GCSEs grades A*-C/9-4 (including English), OR
  • Level 2 in Art and Design (merit or distinction grade) including GCSE English grade A*-C/9-4
  • Portfolio of artwork (minimum of 10 A3 pieces including drawing and painting)

You will be required to attend an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto this course.

Dates, times & fees
Start Date Course Times Duration Campus Fees
03/09/18 2 years Main
What next?
  • Photography or Graphic Design Degree at university
  • Work as a freelance photographer, photographic assistant, picture editor, trainee photo journalist, image curator
Additional information

It would useful to have your own D-SLR. However, it is not essential as we offer a range of Canon and Nikon D-SLRs and Film cameras that can be loaned out. Preferably you would have your own drawing set, including a range of pencils, charcoal, colour marker pens in a range of sized nibs, a sketchbook, watercolour paints, and a range of paint brushes.

While we do have some available at college to use, they are in high demand, so for convenience, a graphics tablet that is compatible with Macs and a camera is recommended.

If you will be 19 before the start of the second year of this course, you will be liable to pay a fee for that year. Please contact us for more information.

Trips, visits & activities

  • Visiting artists
  • Gallery trips
  • Work experience
  • End of year art exhibition