Art, Design & Photography

Awarding organisation

Awarding Body: BTEC

Qualifications on offer:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design (Photography)
  • English and maths at an appropriate level

Summary of course

The Level 2 in art and design photography course is a general art and design program aimed at young people who have a specific interest in developing photography skills. The core units in this course are general art and design focused, so all studetns will be expected to develop their drawing skills, research artists and designers work and develop a portfolio of work and sketchbooks. As the course developes studetns will then develop more specialist skills as an introduction to photography. This will include dark room skills, digital photography and photographic manipulation using a reange of creative techniques.

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units:

  • Observational drawing skills
  • General Art and Design skills using a wide range of different media and materials
  • Dark room techniques
  • Digital photography
  • Photographic techniques
  • The work of professional photographers
  • Careers in photography and employability skills
  • Portfolio building and sketchbook development

Specialist Units:

  • Visual art briefs
  • Creative projects in art and design

All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

For further information about the course and the units you will study, please read the awarding body specification by clicking on the link below:

Awarding Body specification.

How is the course assessed?

The BTEC Level 2 First Diploma in Art and Design includes two externally assessed units. This will assist students as they progress either into higher levels of vocational learning or to related academic qualifications, by providing independent assessment evidence of learning alongside the portfolio-based assessment. This approach will also assist students with developing a range of transferable skills, and in applying their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts. The remaining units are internally assessed. Internal assessment allows students to develop a wider range of skills and provide evidence towards meeting the unit assessment criteria. Evidence for internal assessment can be generated through a range of activities, including practical art and design activities, workshops, generation of final art and design outcomes, and verbal presentations when reviewing or discussing outcomes.

Your Study Programme

If you are aged 16-18, you will join a Study Programme. We will make sure you are working at the right level on your core qualification and are challenged to achieve the highest level of qualification you can. All students will continue to improve their maths and English and if you don't have a grade 4 (C) at GCSE, we will work with you towards achieving that goal (subject to specific entry requirements for particular courses). Work experience will be part of your study programme and complement your college study and prepare you for employment. You will also get involved in activities to help you develop life skills and to build your confidence so you can make progress in your career. Weekly timetables will include tutorial support which may comprise of full group activities or one to one sessions to discuss individual progress or support needs.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal if you have an interest in focussing your learning and career development in Photography and wish to gain a Level 1/2 qualification in Photography.

Progression and Career Opportunities

Students are able to progress onto level 3 Photography and then onto a degree in photography.

Entry Requirements for new students

Level Entry Requirements
Entry and Foundation: GCSEs, mainly 2-1 (F/G) grades. Satisfactory school reference*
Level 1: Four GCSEs at grade 2 (E) or above
Level 2: Four GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above
Level 3 BTEC Courses or equivalent: Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C)
Level 3 A Levels: Five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and maths
Level 4/5: A Level 3 qualification such as: A Levels, BTEC Level 3, Access to HE, Advanced Apprenticeship; equivalent of 48 UCAS points
Specific Course Requirements: Standard Level 2 entry requirements including GCSE English and you will also need a portfolio of artwork demonstrating your ability in Art and Design. We recommend your portfolio includes a sketchbook and three A1 presentation sheets showing selected works.

*All applicants will be invited in for interview.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered except where English has been studied as a second language and is required at GCSE grade 3 (D).

In exceptional circumstances, applications which do not meet the formal entry criteria may be considered on an individual basis.

Interview Requirements

You must bring your interview letter to your appointment and arrive 15 minutes before your interview is due to take place.

A portfolio review will be held as part of your interview. If you are coming for an interview for any of the courses in Art, Design, Photography and Fashion, you will need to bring with you a portfolio of work that demonstrates your creativity, enthusiasm and shows the skills you have already developed. Your portfolio could include GCSE coursework from art and design subjects and work you do in your own time.

General Info (materials required for the course)

At the start of the course students are charged for the materials they use during the course and for the visits we undertake during the course, details of these fees will be given to you at your interview. At Level 2 we do not expect students to provide their own cameras or buy their own kit, but going forward this investment is necessary for Level 3 students.

Course fee information

All Students will need to enter or register for their course qualification either by examination entry or Board Registration. The course tutor will advise you how to enter or register for your qualification and of the College deadline. All late entries are subject to a late entry fee.

The following fees will be payable in full:

16-18 year olds

  • All re-sits except first re-sit of GCSE Mathematics and English
  • Unauthorised absences from any examination entered
  • Any examination/registration unsupported by your subject tutor
  • Late examination/registration entries
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

19 years or over

  • Level 1 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Level 2 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Second Full Level 3 course: You may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay for the course fees^2
  • Level 4 course: Loans may be available^2
  • All Levels: Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

Overseas Students

  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 1 of a 2-year course
  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 2 of a 2-year course
  • £350 non-refundable Examination/registration fee in Year 1
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

^1 Fee remission may be available if you are in receipt of a state benefit. ^2 Contact the Enrolment Centre for more information on 0300 123 2344.


student success

Melissa Mehrtens

Melissa Mehrtens

Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.The...

Sorry, you’ve missed the start date for this course but we are planning to offer it again in 2019. If you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us on 0300 123 2344 or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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