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Digital Photography BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 at New College Nottingham

Course description

This photography course will teach you everything you need to know to become a professional photographer, including how to set up your own business as a freelancer. 

We have the highest success rate for this level of course in Nottingham, with all our students who apply to university being offered places, including several who have attended Falmouth University, widely regarded as one of the leading institutions for photography in the country.

We encourage creativity, experimentation and breaking the rules (of photography!), while becoming technically proficient in the use of a camera and studio equipment. Many of our tutors are practising professional photographers themselves, with years of experience in the field, so you’ll be in excellent hands.

You will have access to our professional studios, Nikon and Pentax DSLR cameras and Adobe Photoshop. In fact we have many professional DSLR cameras and equipment you can use, as well as two studios which you can book and use. 

And if that’s not enough to convince you; you might be interested to know that our students take part in field trips during their studies - this year we’re off to Paris and the Peak District.

Apply now to get an early interview and book your place on this popular and innovative course!

Course content

This is a fantastically varied course which will enhance your existing skills while opening you up to new techniques and experiences.

Whilst using the best photography equipment around you'll learn about a range of photographic practices and creative video, using both traditional and digital forms. 

You'll cover areas such as digital image processing, digital manipulation, graphics, printing, photo-blogging, darkroom techniques, stop-motion animation, lighting techniques, nature photography, studio work, portraits and experimental photography.

Your studies will include:

• Studio photography: fashion, product photography, still life, advertising
• Location photography: wildlife, landscape, fashion, architecture, fashion
• Industry level photo-editing and image manipulation techniques: dedicated Photoshop sessions with certified Adobe Photoshop tutors.
• Documentary photography and photo-journalism
• Photoblog
• Tradition darkroom photography: pinhole camera, film SLR, Black and white developing and editing in the darkroom.
• Moving image: professional filming and editing with Adobe Premiere.

Year 1: 90 credit diploma (equivalent to 1.5 A Levels)
Year 2: Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A Levels)

Entry requirements

You must have ONE of the following:

  • 4 GCSEs at Grade A*-C including English and Maths
  • Level 2 BTEC Diploma in Media at merit, plus GCSE English or Maths at grade A*-C
  • Equivalent qualifications - Functional Skills may be accepted in place of GCSE Maths and/or English

Adults 19+ who have industry experience BUT do not have the necessary qualifications can be invited in for interview.  


Assessment is continuous and will consist of a portfolio of reports, presentations and creative projects plus a final major project at the end of the year.

Future opportunities

Many of our students apply for various photography degrees at highly regarded higher education institutions and last year every student who applied to university was accepted, including several who progressed to courses at Falmouth University and Nottingham Trent University. 

We also now run a Foundation Degree in Photography, which is an increasingly popular option for student who wish to stay in familiar surroundings.

If you would like to find out more about how this could unfold for you, our advisors are on hand to help – just click the Contact an Advisor option to the right.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact New College Nottingham directly.

Last updated date: 25 April 2016

Key information


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    • This former lace mill from the 1800s was once the centrepoint of the UK's world renowned lace manufacturing industry but now it's home to more than 50 of ncn's courses, including TV, Film and Digital Industries, Fashion, Multimedia, Games Development, Business and Administration, Aviation, Travel and Tourism, our HE Centre, ICT and many more.

      The building itself is some seven floors and in our fashion and textiles rooms right at the top of the building, you can enjoy some amazing views of the city.
      Across the road we have our Visual Arts Academy housed within another impressive building located at 25 Stoney Street. Here we have vast rooms and studios with amazing light so that all our art, design and photography students can do their thing.
      It's no coincidence that ncn's Visual Arts and Fashion and Media and Digital Academies are in the heart of the Lace Market. The area has been named Nottingham's Creative Quarter where hundreds of small creative businesses operate from. This connnectivity and vibrant environment gives our creative students a head start!