L3 Level 3
Full Time
2 September 2024 — 20 June 2025
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

Explore and develop your creative skills and knowledge by studying the BTEC Extended Diploma in Photography. You will gain practical and theoretical knowledge from experienced lecturers and by using our photographic facilities. There is a focus on creative thinking, skills and ideas development, and preparing learners for progression into higher education or employment (within the creative industries).
In the first year of the course you will gain your BTEC 540 diploma, then in the second year you complete the extended diploma.

What you will study

Students will study:

  • Informing ideas, problem solving, technical skills, professional practice, and communication are fundamental to learning on this course.
  • There are course field trips (national and international) and regular exhibition visits.
  • There is a programme of guest speakers that will include practising photographers, visiting lecturers, and creative industry experts.
  • All members of the photography teaching team are experienced in working within the photographic industry and the wider creative industries.
  • On successful completion of year 1 students will progress to year 2.

Year 1:

Learners will study one unit,1.Exploring and Developing Art and Design Skills (Photography). Learning is centered on skills, knowledge and creative development; exposure, camera craft, digital image capture, post image production, studio and location lighting, and experimental imagery.

Year 2:

Learners will study two units,1.Exploring and Developing Art (Photography), 2. Design Skills Advancing Creative Practice (Photography).Advanced learning will be assessed through project folio work such as fashion photography, photo art, and publishing.

This course provides learners with the opportunity to develop their technical and creative skills through a process of critical evaluation, practice and reflection. These are all key skills for progression to higher education and employment.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs A* - C including English Language or Maths or a Level 2 Diploma in this discipline at Pass grade or higher. You must provide a portfolio of work during your interview.

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18.
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice.
  • Course fees are subject to change. Your fee will be confirmed prior to enrolment.
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print.
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers.
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

2 September 2024

End date

20 June 2025

Time of day

Day Time

Full Time

18 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions

Course code



Pearson BTEC Level 3 National 540 Diploma in Art and Design Practice


What our students say

The teaching was amazing I just felt very supported. There was always that 1:1 tutoring that I really needed when I didn’t have much confidence. The facilities of the College were excellent, every year we had new technology and equipment we could explore, I felt my skills were really developing from that.

Aaron Leslie
Foundation Degree Product Design Graduate

Career prospects & further study


Within the Creative industries, there are nearly 3,000 job openings predicted from now until 2024 and a 16.0% growth in Cardiff Capital Region (EMSI, 2018).

CAVC offer a progression route to higher education through studying the Foundation Degree in Photography (based at the Arts Academy). Students who achieve the Foundation Degree can further progress to study a full BA Hons in Photography at USW.

The BTEC Extended Diploma in Photography provides students with the broad set of skills required for employment. Students will be suitably qualified and possess the skills to work within the creative industries.

Need to know



We're one of the largest colleges in the country with more than 30,000 people learning with us each year.

Learning Support

Our dedicated support teams offer support with additional learning needs, wellbeing and more.
Performing Arts


CAVC offers lots of opportunities beyond your studies including a great enrichment programme and sporting opportunities.

Next steps

Find out more

Download a course guide for your area of interest.

Open Evenings

Visit us at one of ours sites, chat to tutors about your course of interest and see our great facilities for yourself.

Apply online

Applying to CAVC is easy and all online.


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE