i'll just add another of my 2 cents worth. I studied the city and guilds level 2 photography for almost a year. I found that a lot of the theory I already knew (although not all, and I did learn something) from just reading books and websites. The darkroom stuff didn't interest me at all, so I did the minimum I needed to... but there was a lot of darkroom stuff... so I got a bit put off by that. The other thing that put me off was that the module titles and the work involved wasn't particularly inspiring. I wanted to learn photography, not write essays on early photographers, again that didn't interest me at all.
The course was also very badly organised, both from the education centre and city and guilds themselves. I'm not saying all courses are like this, but this particular one was.
I ended up giving up the course and going out to take the pictures I wanted to to take instead.
I don't know whether the amateur photographer course is similar, but I've learnt just as much just by taking lots of pictures and learning from my mistakes. Now I'm digital, my mistakes aren't costing me anything apart from missed opportunities to get a good image.
Courses aren't for me. I like to try things, that I want to try, see what works and hopefully remember it. All that is free, and I don't have to meet silly deadlines and write essays either!!!
Just my point of view.
disclaimer: other courses may be much better than the one I took part in so my views do not cover all photography courses...