Photography | UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design | Level 3

  • Apply

Course Code: FE0094-1C Course Type: 16+ college (full-time), Adult qualifications and professional, Open to international students Campus: Central Brighton Campus Entry requirements: This level is for students who have already achieved at least one A-Level at grade C in a related creative subject. See the entry requirements tab for other requirements. Qualification: UAL Diploma in Art and Design Level 3 / UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design Level 3 Awarding Body: UAL UCAS Tariff: Pass: 80, Merit: 96, Distinction: 112

Why this course?

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 photographer seeking 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 develop the 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

Start dates

September 2023 Apply
  • Slider 1
  • Slider 2
  • Slider 3
  • Slider 4
  • Slider 5


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


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 


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.


  • Based within the exciting and vibrant Brighton MET visual arts department, we have an extensive and well-equipped range of practical working environments and art studios
  • A range of medium format 35mm SLR cameras, film cameras, large format cameras and a range of lenses and filters
  • Mac suites with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop with two Nikon high resolution negative scanners and digital printers
  • Four photographic studios equipped with tungsten and studio flash lighting kits
  • Two darkrooms with 18 enlargers and 4 printing developing sections to enlarge prints and an industry standard hot press

Why the MET?

Our experienced teaching staff are passionate about their areas of expertise and are committed to helping you to attain your learning goals and meet your personal aims. This course has an outstanding history of progression to universities and employment.

You will have access to extensive photographic facilities, the opportunity to work on external client commissions and there will be visits from industry professionals.

Students are regularly nominated for the prestigious national UAL exhibition.

Relevant local and overseas trips are planned throughout the year and the course ends with a spectacular end-of-year arts show.

Without a doubt, one of the reasons we know you will love studying at Brighton MET is the location of our central campus.

Right in the heart of Brighton’s world-famous North Laine, the College is within walking distance of all the city’s main amenities – the award-winning city library, the independent shops and eateries and the beach.

Work experience

The completion of work experience can take a variety of forms with an external company or live projects, such as commissioned work from an internal or external client. Previously our students have worked with local photography studios and undertaken photographic assignments for local newspapers.

Work experience enables you to develop links with employers, and put all of your skills, knowledge and experience into practice. It provides excellent portfolio content where you can demonstrate how you have taken your learning and applied it in a real setting. This will ensure you have a professional portfolio and provides the extra engagement employers and universities want to see.

Other ways we connect you with the sector thinking is through entry to external and internal competitions to sharpen your understanding of how to present your work for different settings.

We encourage all of our students to take part in volunteering – this is great for your CV and demonstrates your willingness to give back something to your community.

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 College FdA/BA in Photography.

Future careers:

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

Course fees and finance

This course is free (you do not have to pay fees) if:

  • You are a UK citizen, hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify you for home status.
  • AND you are under 19 on 31 August in the year you are studying. 

More information about fees for college courses and financial support for 16-19 year olds can be found here. Please speak to our Admissions team if you have any further queries: | 01273 667704

Advanced Learner Loan

You may be eligible to apply for a loan to meet the course costs of your qualification fees. This is paid directly to the College on your behalf. For more information about Advanced Learner Loans, please click here.


Additional costs

You must own either a digital and/or film 35mm camera. You will need to purchase a photography pack from the college containing essential photographic materials.

Printing credit will be required and there will be ongoing material costs throughout the year to replenish the photography pack.

There may be some trips planned in the year which may incur incidental costs.

Camera lens

Open events

Register your interest for our next open events taking place in 2023. It's an opportunity to explore our amazing facilities and hear from our expert teaching staff.


Book now

Course costs

All 16+ (full-time) courses are free to UK citizens, those who hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify them for home status, AND are under 19 years old on the 31 August of the year of entry. If you are 19+ and interested in studying this course, you can find out more about costs and financial support in the link below.

19+ fees

How to apply

We accept applications throughout the year, allowing you to apply up until the course starts.

You can also apply for as many colleges and courses as you wish - so keep your options open!

Find out more
Share with a friend Looking good? Start your application Apply Back to results