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Photography Level 3 at Sheffield College

Course description

Is this course for me?

An ideal student for this course is someone who is creative, motivated, has a desire to learn and wants to express their ideas visually. Photography can be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding subject but expect to work hard if you intend to succeed.

What will I learn?

This practical and cutting edge course looks to the future of the creative industries and enables you to build not only your creative skills but also helps you to understand how to sell and promote both your creative work and yourself. This course offers an exciting blend of photography, design and interactive technology. You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to shoot professional standard photography for a variety of uses and learn to plan and produce short films. You will learn how to start a creative business, use social media to promote your business and create expertly designed websites.

Throughout the course you will build and create an online portfolio of work and will be advised about choosing the right university course for you. Opportunities exist within the programme for earning money with many of our students working on commissions and live projects during the study programme.

During the second year you will work with increasing independence as you prepare for higher education, the world of work or self -employment. You will finish your qualification with a final major project and a real exhibition of work at a Sheffield venue, which for many of our previous students has been the gateway to direct employment.

Approximately 30% of the course is theory and contextual work and 70% practical. You will be expected to work independently on project work away from the college. Students will encounter image making projects based on the following themes: advertising, editorial, creative still life and product, studio lighting and DSLR video work.

What else will I gain?

The programme will include gallery and museum visits, shows and college cultural trips relevant to your course, these include visits to London, Paris and Amsterdam. Many of our students also engage with work experience placements whilst on the programme. You will work towards a portfolio and a final major project and a real exhibition of work at a Sheffield venue. Some students work towards industry based projects and competitions.

Why study this course at The Sheffield College?  

The photography team are highly skilled specialists who work in the industry and have strong connections to the creative industry. The college has industrial standard facilities throughout the department with specialist studios, spacious Mac suites, customized print shops and digital and traditional darkrooms. Student have access to a range of professional equipment which is available to hire from our dedicated photo store.


Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language.

A creative subject at GCSE would be preferable but is not essential.


All assessment is completed through submission of coursework, students are challenged by creative briefs which require the learner to be imaginative in order to develop ideas. The projects require commitment and effective time management skills to meet regular deadlines. 

Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where will it lead?

The next step could be to our own Foundation Degree in Photography or other Higher Education courses in this field. Our two year Foundation Degree qualification now links to our newly formed level 6 ‘top up’ course, so students who study with us can obtain a full degree. All of our creative courses encourage progression into a broad range of career pathways. Our students have progressed into photography careers ranging from studio assistants, fashion and theatre photographers, to photojournalists and freelance practitioners. 


Further information

Any other Information
You will be required to pay for some specialist equipment and printing which could be up to £300 p.a. Support with these costs may be available from the college Learner Support Fund for those in financial hardship. A studio fee of £35 is payable at enrolment to allow you access to equipment, studios and facilities. Please note that you are not required to own your own camera, however, this can be a major advantage as our own equipment is in high demand.

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

Thursday 25th October 2018 4pm -7pm

Wednesday 21st November 2018 4pm-7pm

Tuesday 29th January 2019 4pm-7pm

Monday 4th March 2019 4pm-7pm


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 15 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: HFNPG1