Art and Design: Photography (A Level)


What Will I Study?

How Will I be Assessed?

What Next?

Why Study Art and Design: Photography (A Level)?

Suggested Reading

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A Level

Examination Board



What Do I Need To Study This Course?

Grade 6 or above in GCSE Art or GCSE Photography is required.

You will need to be committed to developing your practical photography skills as well as ambitious in developing your own ideas creatively – it’s really important that you enjoy the subject as you will need to devote a lot of your time to it. Your teachers will give you lots of guidance and support but you also do need to be quite independent and highly motivated.

What Will I Study?

In year 12 you will be introduced to a range of techniques and processes with photographic media, developing confidence with the camera and with both digital and physical manipulation of images. Just like for GCSE, we also study the work of other photographers, artists and art movements, both contemporary and historical, to give you the inspiration from which to develop your own ideas and to start to express yourself as individuals. The Personal Investigation requires you to develop a project of your own choice in greater depth. Part of this project is the Personal Study which is a written component of 1000 – 3000 words.

How Will I Be Assessed?

Students receive ongoing assessment throughout the course with the opportunity to further develop and refine work based on both self-reflection and teacher feedback.

At the end of the course, all work submitted for assessment will be marked by the centre based on the 4 assessment objectives set out in the AQA assessment criteria. Projects are moderated by AQA by visit to the centre and visits will normally take place in June.

Component 1: Personal Investigation, 96 Marks, 60% of A Level
Component 2: Externally Set Assignment, 96 Marks, 40% of A Level

For the Externally Set Assignment unit students select one question from a range of starting points set by AQA. Students have a preparatory period from 1st February to plan and prepare their response. Assessment of 15 hours usually takes place over 3 days in early May. All work produced during both the preparatory period and the controlled assessment time is submitted.

What Next?

Further study in Art and Design related field. Many of our students have gone on to study a Foundation Course, for example at Leeds Arts University as a pathway to degree level courses such as Photography, Graphic Design and 3D Design. Students have also gone on to study university courses in Architecture and in Fashion Design.

Suggested Reading List

Photography Beyond Auto, Chris Gatcum.

Read This if You Want to Take Good Photographs, Henry Carroll.

The Photo Book, Phaidon. (Small version recommended as it can be carried easily).

Why Study Art and Design: Photography (A Level)?