Level 3 accredited Diploma in Photography

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925
Name
Andy
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#1
Hi Folks,

as a keen photographer and the owner of a training provider I've looked for sometime at being able to offer a bonafide qualification in photography that carries the necessary gravitas in the sector and be able to offer funding to do it...

Finally, such a qualification exists and is available to access through 19+ learner loans which in short means; if you're 19+ and UK resident you'd be eligible to apply for the program. The 19 plus loan is through student finance England and is the same as a university loan, meaning you pay nothing back until you earn over £25k and at that point you'd be paying circa £7 a month.. Drop below the threshold and the payments stop.. You get the idea..

The course is nationally recognised and covers:

  • Use camera techniques to creatively control visual outcomes
  • Print and present a portfolio of photographs
  • Plan and complete a photographic project
  • Safety in the workplace for photography
  • Awareness of employment in the Creative Media sector
  • Image processing, manipulation and storage
  • The history of photography

  • And two units from the list below.. yet to be decided but feedback is welcomed
  • Studio photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Location photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Experimental photographic imaging
You will develop a range of practical skills with regard to identifying key features and functionality of the camera, appropriate accessories for a particular genre of photographic application, working to a project brief and professional presentation of your portfolio.
Your personal tutor will also help you identify progression opportunities as they will get to know you and your work very well.

There is significant set up cost to make this happen so before I proceed, I wanted to gauge if there would be an appetite from fellow photographers to do the course?
If it goes ahead it will likely run in Staffordshire and be a few days a week over 12-15 weeks.

I'd really appreciate some feedback and thoughts on this as to whether you'd do the course or any other feedback you may have.
Thanks in advance
Andy
 
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271
Name
Lindsay
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#2
Personally, I'd have the following queries/reservations:
1. What is the actual cost? (I appreciate you might not know at this stage)
2. I believe if you are over 60 or something thereabouts you cannot get this student loan
3. "a few days a week" is a bit vague - I'd consider structuring it more as 2/week over slightly longer, or a series of monthly 3- or 4-day weekends? (I did a counseling degree using the latter model)

Just my personal thoughts from the perspective of a 62-year old who in reality probably wouldn't go for it anyway in this format but maybe as distance learning?
 
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oskanoears
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925
Name
Andy
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#3
Personally, I'd have the following queries/reservations:
1. What is the actual cost? (I appreciate you might not know at this stage)
2. I believe if you are over 60 or something thereabouts you cannot get this student loan
3. "a few days a week" is a bit vague - I'd consider structuring it more as 2/week over slightly longer, or a series of monthly 3- or 4-day weekends? (I did a counseling degree using the latter model)

Just my personal thoughts from the perspective of a 62-year old who in reality probably wouldn't go for it anyway in this format but maybe as distance learning?
Thank you very much for the feedback Lindsay. It is currently vague until such time as its deemed as a worth while project to run.
FYI there is no cut off on age.
I'd not want to run this distance learning as it really is something thats needs to be hands on.
Thanks again
 
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3,339
Name
Maria
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#4
I did a 3 year course at our local college.... and rather disappointingly found out the paper it was written on was more valuable :confused:

So I've gone down the accreditation route with RPS, PAGB & FIAP which I personally think has a bit more relevance to my style of photography.

Friends are also members of 'the guild of photographers' which, as far as I can see, offer not much more (in terms of qualifications) than being a member.
There is also SWPP, BIPP, and I'm sure many others...

Realistically speaking, either an 'A' level or degree (or whatever comes between the two) might be of interest, depending on the level of work. The OU also run a course (or did) but this didn't offer a qualification at the end, as it was only 10 weeks.
 
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473
Name
Darren
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#6
I completed the NCFE Level 3 course last year, the course content it nearly word for word the same course..see the link

https://qips.ucas.com/qip/ncfe-level-3-certificate-photography
NCFE Level 3 course content..

I think I paid £250 course fee and approx £80 for exam enrollment.
I had already completed both City & Guilds level 1 & 2 in photography then the college in my area moved over to the NCFE courses.
I had been away from education for over 30 years so I did it to see if I was fit as I left school without any qualifications at 15 yrs old.
The course was good enough but i'm not sure if it would open any doors into employment for somebody without any experience..

What are you looking to achieve by doing your course..
 
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oskanoears
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925
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Andy
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#7
I completed the NCFE Level 3 course last year, the course content it nearly word for word the same course..see the link

https://qips.ucas.com/qip/ncfe-level-3-certificate-photography
NCFE Level 3 course content..

I think I paid £250 course fee and approx £80 for exam enrollment.
I had already completed both City & Guilds level 1 & 2 in photography then the college in my area moved over to the NCFE courses.
I had been away from education for over 30 years so I did it to see if I was fit as I left school without any qualifications at 15 yrs old.
The course was good enough but i'm not sure if it would open any doors into employment for somebody without any experience..

What are you looking to achieve by doing your course..
That's the certificate rather than the diploma but same awarding organisation. In terms of what I’d like to achieve is.. I often see people looking for accredited courses that carry some weight that would help either secure employment, further education ie a degree or give the skill set required to become a very competent photographer and become self employed
who's the awarding body for the "Accredited" element of the qualification?

Simon
NCFE Simon
 
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oskanoears
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925
Name
Andy
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#8
I did a 3 year course at our local college.... and rather disappointingly found out the paper it was written on was more valuable :confused:

So I've gone down the accreditation route with RPS, PAGB & FIAP which I personally think has a bit more relevance to my style of photography.

Friends are also members of 'the guild of photographers' which, as far as I can see, offer not much more (in terms of qualifications) than being a member.
There is also SWPP, BIPP, and I'm sure many others...

Realistically speaking, either an 'A' level or degree (or whatever comes between the two) might be of interest, depending on the level of work. The OU also run a course (or did) but this didn't offer a qualification at the end, as it was only 10 weeks.
The course is a level 3 diploma so would be equiv to An A level
 
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4,493
Name
Dave
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#9
Hi Andy

I'm a little uncertain here as if its the same level as an A-level, then why wouldn't someone just do an A-level? From a potential employer perspective that's easier to understand than a Level 3 Diploma, which means nothing to me until you add on 'equiv to an A-level'

The course content doesn't have much at all that is steering someone to be useful to an employer, so I can't see it being attractive to an employer to know you've qualified

There's nothing wrong I can see with your course for an interested party as a photographer, but I can't imagine it carrying any of the weight you're hoping for for job prospects. There is of course no reason to not study someting for fun or interest, but I've never seen an photography course that's truly work related

There again, maybe that's just me being jaded by having around a dozen degree students asking me for a job over the years and who have all been poor photographers! Sure they can babble on about the arty side or the history, but that's no use if you can't take a sellable photo

Dave
 
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oskanoears
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925
Name
Andy
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#10
Hi Andy

I'm a little uncertain here as if its the same level as an A-level, then why wouldn't someone just do an A-level? From a potential employer perspective that's easier to understand than a Level 3 Diploma, which means nothing to me until you add on 'equiv to an A-level'

The course content doesn't have much at all that is steering someone to be useful to an employer, so I can't see it being attractive to an employer to know you've qualified

There's nothing wrong I can see with your course for an interested party as a photographer, but I can't imagine it carrying any of the weight you're hoping for for job prospects. There is of course no reason to not study someting for fun or interest, but I've never seen an photography course that's truly work related

There again, maybe that's just me being jaded by having around a dozen degree students asking me for a job over the years and who have all been poor photographers! Sure they can babble on about the arty side or the history, but that's no use if you can't take a sellable photo

Dave
The A level
Would be 2 years Dave, this would be done in 12-16 weeks very hands on and isn’t reliant on term times or 2 hour lessons with nothing around it.
Of course it doesn’t guarantee to make you a brilliant photographer but it gives you the tools in bag for want of a better phrase and gives you a portfolio to give to prospective employers be that as a second shooter for weddings as a start or at a studio based set up like Eileen mason. I’ll caveat all of this by saying I’m not trying to be salesman of the year on this at this juncture, I’m just trying to get a feel for if this is something people want. Lots of people pay through the nose for workshops that are a day or few days long but get no accreditation from it, if the offer is there to achieve it is there a place for it?
 
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3,297
Name
Ian
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#11
I run courses at our local college (8 weeks, 2hrs/week x 3 courses) which are un-accredited and basically "hobbyist" courses. They always fill - every term. But that's £72 for 16 hours which very much sets the expectation of all my students. They know they're not going to be experts after 1 (or even 3!) courses. Reading your blurb, I get the feeling that you're aiming this at people wanting to make a career from photography. You're asking them to take time off from work (or be unemployed and have time during the day?) and presumably pay a "significant" amount of money ("a few days a week over 12-15 weeks" sounds like into the £'000s)

If it was me, and I was paying more than a few hundred (My night school A level was less than a thousand with all the lessons included) I would want to know what (as has been said above) differentiated it from an A level. Is it 1 on 1 or in a group? How big is the group?

It seems to me that your customer is basically someone unemployed looking to get into photography as a career and to take advantage of the loan benefits. In short - it'll probably sell like hot cakes. Unless the loan doesn't pay out if the student doesn't qualify or drops out. In which case I doubt it'll sell at all. The employed hobbyist won't take advantage of it because a)they're likely to be over 25k in earnings, b)they work full time and can't take the day off and c)if they're a hobbyist, they already know the basics.

If I were an amateur hobbyist looking to turn pro, I'd be wanting a course about how to make a business out of photography, not how to do photography. Thus I wouldn't do your course. If I knew nothing about photography and wanted to make a career out of it, I'd be very reluctant to risk a large debt on it and would probably do what so many on here do, which is buy a DSLR, shoot some friends' weddings for free, or set up a website to sell my landscape prints and see how it went. Or start a YouTube channel :). Or join a forum and head to the Business section and make some trouble.

Lots of people pay through the nose for workshops that are a day or few days long but get no accreditation from it
They do. But it's likely the most they'd pay is far less than the cost of the course you're proposing. And most* are probably the employed hobbyist which isn't your demographic.

*wild generalisation I know...
 
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3,339
Name
Maria
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#12
I run courses at our local college (8 weeks, 2hrs/week x 3 courses) which are un-accredited and basically "hobbyist" courses. They always fill - every term. But that's £72 for 16 hours which very much sets the expectation of all my students. They know they're not going to be experts after 1 (or even 3!) courses. Reading your blurb, I get the feeling that you're aiming this at people wanting to make a career from photography. You're asking them to take time off from work (or be unemployed and have time during the day?) and presumably pay a "significant" amount of money ("a few days a week over 12-15 weeks" sounds like into the £'000s)

If it was me, and I was paying more than a few hundred (My night school A level was less than a thousand with all the lessons included) I would want to know what (as has been said above) differentiated it from an A level. Is it 1 on 1 or in a group? How big is the group?

It seems to me that your customer is basically someone unemployed looking to get into photography as a career and to take advantage of the loan benefits. In short - it'll probably sell like hot cakes. Unless the loan doesn't pay out if the student doesn't qualify or drops out. In which case I doubt it'll sell at all. The employed hobbyist won't take advantage of it because a)they're likely to be over 25k in earnings, b)they work full time and can't take the day off and c)if they're a hobbyist, they already know the basics.

If I were an amateur hobbyist looking to turn pro, I'd be wanting a course about how to make a business out of photography, not how to do photography. Thus I wouldn't do your course. If I knew nothing about photography and wanted to make a career out of it, I'd be very reluctant to risk a large debt on it and would probably do what so many on here do, which is buy a DSLR, shoot some friends' weddings for free, or set up a website to sell my landscape prints and see how it went. Or start a YouTube channel :). Or join a forum and head to the Business section and make some trouble.


They do. But it's likely the most they'd pay is far less than the cost of the course you're proposing. And most* are probably the employed hobbyist which isn't your demographic.

*wild generalisation I know...
Ian, I think you've hit the nail on the head!
 
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oskanoears
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925
Name
Andy
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#13
I run courses at our local college (8 weeks, 2hrs/week x 3 courses) which are un-accredited and basically "hobbyist" courses. They always fill - every term. But that's £72 for 16 hours which very much sets the expectation of all my students. They know they're not going to be experts after 1 (or even 3!) courses. Reading your blurb, I get the feeling that you're aiming this at people wanting to make a career from photography. You're asking them to take time off from work (or be unemployed and have time during the day?) and presumably pay a "significant" amount of money ("a few days a week over 12-15 weeks" sounds like into the £'000s)

If it was me, and I was paying more than a few hundred (My night school A level was less than a thousand with all the lessons included) I would want to know what (as has been said above) differentiated it from an A level. Is it 1 on 1 or in a group? How big is the group?

It seems to me that your customer is basically someone unemployed looking to get into photography as a career and to take advantage of the loan benefits. In short - it'll probably sell like hot cakes. Unless the loan doesn't pay out if the student doesn't qualify or drops out. In which case I doubt it'll sell at all. The employed hobbyist won't take advantage of it because a)they're likely to be over 25k in earnings, b)they work full time and can't take the day off and c)if they're a hobbyist, they already know the basics.

If I were an amateur hobbyist looking to turn pro, I'd be wanting a course about how to make a business out of photography, not how to do photography. Thus I wouldn't do your course. If I knew nothing about photography and wanted to make a career out of it, I'd be very reluctant to risk a large debt on it and would probably do what so many on here do, which is buy a DSLR, shoot some friends' weddings for free, or set up a website to sell my landscape prints and see how it went. Or start a YouTube channel :). Or join a forum and head to the Business section and make some trouble.


They do. But it's likely the most they'd pay is far less than the cost of the course you're proposing. And most* are probably the employed hobbyist which isn't your demographic.

*wild generalisation I know...
Thanks Ian, that’s really helpful advice. I’d love to build the perfect course that had the business side built in, but as you’re probably aware if you work in the education sector, the qualifications are written as a national set of standards and then what you can pick is limited to the units on offer. Equally the course price is set by the government and has a value as you correctly assume of around 4K; I know that price may astonish many but I don’t set it. I deliver beauty courses amongst others currently under the same Qcf set up, however those qualifications are the ones required to work in that sector, with photography there is no standard as such apart from a degree which to be fair will serve you well in the nhs as a medical photographer i.e “it’s a pre requisite”, a solid portfolio may well trump that if you were to work in a standard studio set up. As an industry it’s not something you have great choices where employment opportunities are concerned, so self employment is often the chosen root and then how much you earn from
That can vary wildly from person to person with some clearing 70k a year and others barely making minimum wage, sadly in many ways not helped by a “you want how much to shoot my wedding?” “My cousins boyfriend has an SLR I’m sure he can shoot it for £300 quid.” Anyway I digress somewhat, really appreciate the feedback.
Cheers Andy.
 
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3,297
Name
Ian
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#14
with photography there is no standard as such
This. As you state, the only time a qualification means something is if you're aiming for police/forensic/other professional work - which typically will require a degree as a minimum (and there's tons of those about!) All the one man bands out there rely entirely on marketing and quality of images* (not necessarily the latter!)

Doing a photoshoot in Wales? - you're "Internationally recognised". Won a prize in your village show? - you're "Award Winning" Bought a qualification online? - you're "certified by WiPWaP".

*another sweeping generalisation but you get he idea...
 
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