Photography | UAL Diploma in Art & Design Foundation Studies | Level 3/4

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Code FE0094-1C
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


An exciting year of photographic study that encourages inventiveness and exploration, enabling you to produce a sophisticated portfolio to progress to university or employment. Based in the vibrant creative industries department, the emphasis is on becoming a confident, professional photographerseeking creative solutions. The course includes lectures, historical and contextual study and developing critical thinking, as well as practical workshops and independent work. Industry based projects and work experience are a key feature of the photography course, enabling you to developthe vocational skills and confidence to successfully progress within the creative industries.

  • Extensive photographic facilities
  • Commissions from external clients
  • Visits from industry professionals
  • Outstanding progression to universities and employment
  • Live briefs and commissions


Course content

Topics include:

  • Research methods
  • Ideas and development
  • Materials and methods
  • Evaluation and reflection
  • Development and progression of a style

You will then follow one specialist pathway:

  • Commercial Photography
  • Documentary Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Fine Art Photography

The course culminates in a Final Major Project (FMP) which is stage 3: Proposal and realisation

  • Project proposal and realisation in art and design
  • Exhibition 

How will it be delivered?

Assessment in photography is ongoing and takes a variety of forms, both formative and summative:

  • Day-to-Day informal assessment through one-to-one and group seminars with tutors in the form of critiques and reviews of your work. These are held during a project and/or at the end of project assignments.
  • Formal assessment: These take place at the end of each phase of the course i.e. at the end of the Exploratory stage 1, Pathway stage 2 and Confirmatory stage 3.

At each assessment stage staff will help you to identify the strengths and areas of development in your portfolio.

Entry requirements


You can join this course if you have at least one A-Level at grade C in a related subject and a portfolio of your creative work.

You will be asked to attend an application review where you will be expected to present a portfolio of current or recent photography work demonstrating your interest, enthusiasm, and commitment to undertaking photography at this level.

This course is open to school leavers and learners 19+.

Applicants should have ideally studied photography before to A-level standard or equivalent. Learners who do not have A-levels may be suited to the two-year Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Photography instead.

We are looking for:

  • Evidence of good photographic skills and a sound understanding of the formal elements - line, tone, colour, texture, pattern composition
  • Inventiveness and experimentation
  • Ability to generate ideas and develop ideas from concept through to realisation
  • Evidence of work that has involved decision making through design and problem-solving
  • Sketchbooks and notebooks demonstrating your ability to research, experiment and explore ideas through both visual and written approaches
  • An interest in historical and contemporary aspects of photographic and general cultural issues
  • Energy, self-motivation, commitment and a genuine enthusiasm for the subject

Course preparation:

You will be expected to complete a summer project that will be submitted on the first day of term. In addition, students should familiarise themselves with the following texts which should be available in your local library.

You are not expected to have read them all, but these are a useful starting point:

Ways of Seeing, John Berger

On Photography, Susan Sontag

The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Charlotte Cotton

Bending the Frame, Fred Ritchin

Your next steps...

What's next?

The foundation course is an established progression route to higher education photography specialised study. This course has an excellent track record of placing students at prestigious universities and art colleges throughout the UK.

The majority of students use this course as a stepping stone into higher education. Employment in the art and design industry normally requires applicants to have studied at FdA or degree level.

University level courses at the MET include the Northbrook MET FdA/BA in Photography.

Future careers:

  • Freelance photographer in fashion, editorial, documentary
  • Web designer
  • Educator
  • Stylist
  • Studio assistant
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator