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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Photography

Discover the fundamentals of photographic image-making and gain access to industry standard equipment and specialist studios. with expert mentorship from real-world professionals.

The full title of this award qualification is UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication. University of the Arts London (UAL) Awarding Body supports innovative approaches to programme design and specialist delivery models within broader contexts. Therefore Pre-Degree students at Arts University Plymouth are offered the opportunity to pick from five creative pathways including; Art & Design, Fashion & Textiles, Film, Animation & Media Production, Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts, and Photography.

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The UAL Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication provides students with a high degree of professional flexibility that can be mapped across various progression routes including freelance careers, creative and industrial employment, business development opportunities, university and higher-level apprenticeships.

No matter whether you are a filmmaker, photographer, designer, illustrator, artist, or something else entirely, this qualification provides an in-depth introduction to the creative industries, along with a broad foundation of related knowledge, skills and attributes that are part of the creative process. This provides you with an opportunity to develop your creative practice in a professional and agile manner, and work across different subject areas. It allows opportunities to collaborate, understand the wider aspects of exploration and experimentation and gives you the opportunity to explore, test and experiment in your chosen specialism, as you start to develop the employable and industry skills that will help you build a career.

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The Level 3 Photography course is a two-year equivalent to A-levels, this Extended Diploma route provides a dynamic environment for aspiring photographers to develop technical and creative skills, supported by a team of experienced teaching professionals, who are currently or have previously worked in the photographic industry.

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

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I must thank you and your team for your unwavering belief in and patience with Grace. Despite a challenging first year marked by social anxiety, health issues, and family grief, your encouragement, particularly the acknowledgment of her exceptional work, transformed her outlook. From 'I can't do it' to 'I will do it,' and now 'I'm really happy with my work,' Grace has experienced tremendous personal growth. Your positive feedback has made a significant impact, and witnessing her transformation from initial reluctance to a relaxed, smiling artist is truly heartening. Thank you for going above and beyond, making a difference in Grace's life, and instilling in her the belief she needed to succeed. I'm incredibly proud of her, and your support has played a crucial role in her journey. Thank you all!
Theresa, parent of first year student

The course offers a good balance between the technical and theoretical, as well as the commercial and fine-art sides of the photographic industry and higher education progression options.

In year 1 there will be an emphasis on learning new skills, experimenting and discovering your style. Assignments briefs will cover a range of topics such as documentary photography, magazine and editorial production, fashion and identity and environmental issues. Year 2 will have more of an emphasis on professional practice, portfolio development and preparation for employment and university. There will also be an opportunity to take part in a short film module taught by the Filmmaking and media production team.

At the end of the second year all students undertake a final major self initiated project. This is up to the student decide o their own topic/theme and will decide the final grade for the whole two year programme. This is 100% course work assessed with no exams.

You will study the fundamentals of digital camera controls and techniques, alongside Adobe Photoshop and other specialist software. You will gain core skills in the use of professional lighting and studio-based equipment, whilst developing knowledge of portrait, fashion and still life/product photography. There will be regular trips and opportunities to develop location techniques and practical workshops using traditional film and analogue-based equipment, darkroom practice and mixed media.

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You will benefit from real world live client briefs and external projects. These have previously included working with the likes of the National Marine Aquarium and the Devon Wildlife Trust.

There will also be visiting artists and lecturers, who are currently working within the industry, as well as regular talks from ex-students and AUP graduates.

We normally offer places to students who have at least four GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and preferably with one in a creative subject (or 9-4 in the new grading scheme), and who show commitment and enthusiasm for art and design through examples of creative work.

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

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