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Digital Photography at QLS Level 3

Digital Photography at QLS Level 3
  • photography


This course is available in Paper format and Online.


This distance learning Photography course has been written to provide you the student with a sound understanding of Digital Photography. This course is for people who love to take pictures and want to gain an understanding of the mechanics of photography.


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Digital Photography at QLS Level 3

Course code: ADC02

Delivery method: Paper Based or Online

Course duration: 12 Months

Entry requirements: No prior qualification needed

Award achieved: ABC Awards and Certa Award Certificate of achievement at QLS Level 3

Do you want to work for your self? Pick and choose your own hours? Attend many celebrity events, weddings, parties, travel abroad doing photo shoots?

If this sounds like the ideal job for you, then you might want to consider a career in photography. This exciting course will teach you everything you need to know to start up in the business of photography.

Many of our students are new to the subject or just have some basic knowledge in photography.

There are many different events where photographers are needed:

  • Celebrity events
  • Parties
  • School portraits
  • Weddings
  • News photography
  • Magazines
  • Television
  • Advertising agencies
  • Lifestyle portraiture
  • Relaxed, home-based daylight portraiture


Unit 1- Key topics

  • History of Photography
  • Equipment and accessories
  • Light
  • Exposure
  • The Photographic process

Unit 2- Extending Skills and Knowledge

  • Composition, viewpoint and framing
  • Digital cameras
  • Data storage and transfer
  • Printing
  • Scanning
  • Digital image editing and Photoshop

Unit 3- Photography in practice

  • Specialist area – Portraiture
  • Specialist area – Landscape
  • Other specialist areas
  • Extending the single image
  • Section summary

Unit 4- Advanced techniques

  • Further Photoshop
  • Digital Restoration
  • Careers and opportunities
  • Final Project Submission assignment


The ideal camera for this course is a Digital SLR camera or DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex). But don’t let this put you off if you don’t yet currently own one – you can also use a digital compact camera provided it is not fully automatic. So a smaller mid-upper range compact camera should contain a range of shooting modes that give you some manual control over the exposure. Forget mobile phones and iPads – as good as some of these are for simple images, their limited functionality and lack of user control make these too limited for anyone serious about their photography, and their limitations will come to the fore under challenging lighting situations or when you need to take control of exposure or depth of field.

A DSLR or what they call a “Pro-sumer” or “budget” DSLR will allow you to use the full range of functions and exposure techniques that will make your photography come alive and you should check reviews and blogs online before buying. You don’t have to buy new of course, there are many 2nd-user models and pre-owned cameras out there that you can find on your local Gumtree or other similar sites. Neither does it have to be bang-up-to-date. There are a huge number of DSLR cameras that are only a few years old and have been superseded by more recent models. But DSLR cameras of a few years old can be perfectly good cameras to use at very good prices, and you should handle these cameras and try them out before you commit to buying one.

A number of the major manufacturers like Nikon or Canon supply very good lenses with very good prosumer DSLR’s and your photography will improve substantially as you become more familiar with its advantages over other types of camera. Looking for a good Nikon or Canon DSLR would be a good start, Sony and Fuji are another good brand if you’re looking for a good compact camera  – you will get more for your money the more you can put in your budget – you deserve it – after all, you’re making a huge personal investment in your photography. But any camera you use for this course should have a range of shooting modes, and some element of Manual control over exposure. Find a camera that has an Exposure Compensation function and you’re onto a winner. This function allows the user to manually adjust the brightness or darkness of an image and is usually represented by a scale in the viewfinder which looks something like <  +2….+1….0….-1….-2  >

The really important bit is to try it out for yourself – you have to handle it, hold it, road test it – so no buying off distant sellers here unless it’s a model you’ve already tried out. Spend some time reading its manual so you can become familiar with its functions  – don’t worry if you don’t understand everything it offers, sometimes it’s only when you learn about specific photography techniques in the course that these functions make sense. Video tutorials are a great way of getting to know your new camera, and these can be found on the manufacturer’s websites and on YouTube, depending on make and model.

Image Editing Software

It’s important that the image editing software you use for this course should allow you to work with Selections and Layers. You don’t have to have Adobe Photoshop, but I’d strongly recommend it. You certainly don’t have to “rent” the most recent and most expensive version, as is currently the case. Older versions are widely available with their licenses and serial numbers so make sure you find a legal (not pirated) version that your pc or mac can handle. Image editing can take a lot of processing power so if your desktop pc or mac is a few years old make sure it has the memory and processing power required to run it smoothly. Earlier versions of Photoshop will be a fraction of the price for the most up-to-date version.

Adobe make 2 well-known digital image editing programs. The biggest and best (& industry standard) as mentioned above is Adobe Photoshop. The other is called Adobe Elements, and Elements is a smaller, very consumer-friendly version of the full-blown Photoshop but at a fraction of the price – currently around £65. It’s very, very good indeed and has virtually everything Photoshop has, but does away with much of the unnecessary and more advanced print preparation-type functionality that those who work in publishing need but most consumer-users don’t need. It’s a powerful and very friendly piece of software and would be ideal for this course. Some of the menu instructions in the coursework relate to Photoshop, rather than Elements, where the same functionality exists, but in slightly different places – not immediately obvious, but perfectly easy to find once you start to learn your way around. Again, be sure to check that the version of Elements you opt for is compatible with your operating system, graphics card, memory etc for your pc or mac.

So those are the the 2 options I’d recommend from Adobe – Photoshop or Elements.

Gimp or Gimpshop is another option that has many happy users, and is freely available (& legal) on the internet – a quick google will bring this up but make sure you download this from the developers site and that it’s compatible with your setup. It really is incredibly similar to the real Photoshop and based around the same interface, many users say it can do anything Photoshop can do – and as a free image editor it can’t be beaten.

There’s also a new kid on the block, in the shape of Affinity Photo, which has some terrific reviews and looks like a really good image editor, but this is only for Mac users. 

Other options worth considering are Photoline, and PhotoDirector5

Course Endorsement

At the end of this course successful learners will be given the option to receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme.  This means that Kendal Publishing Ltd has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Kendal Publishing Ltd to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications.   The Quality Licence Scheme endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met.  A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through our awarding organisations we have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. We are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment, and skills for life.

Our knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables us to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

Method of Study

Paper Based Version

The course comes to you as a paper-based pack delivered by courier.

You will be given guidance through the Study Guide on the nuts and bolts of studying and submitting assignments.

Postal assignments cannot be accepted without prior permission from the tutor.


Online Version

Our online courses are fully digitised versions of the paper-courses, so you can study on any PC or smart device when connected to the internet.

As with the paper course, your online learning programme is completely flexible, so you can study at a pace that suits you.

All of our online course content is broken down into bite size chunks to make your learning more manageable and effective.

Method of Assessment

The course contains a number of assignments which your tutor will mark and give you valuable feedback on. We call these Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs). You need only send the TMAs to your tutor for comment, not the self-assessment exercises which are also part of the course to help you gauge your progress.

Course Length Information

This course can be taken over a 12 month period but you can complete it as fast or as slowly as you wish.

Tutor Support

You will have access to a tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course and will assist you with any problems you may have. In addition you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process.