Have you ever wondered why so many creative people are successful in many different walks of life? Creativity isn’t only about pursuing artistic interests, it can also open the door to exciting career opportunities.

What’s it about?

Why study Photography?

Entry requirements

What you learn

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Our Art and Design courses are flexible and stimulate creativity, offering a high degree of choice and a range of different media, processes and techniques. All our courses give students the opportunity to produce a portfolio of work that they can show to prospective employers or use to help secure a place in higher education.

Photography enables you to be creative and to develop your own original ways of working. Exploring the potential of materials through experimentation and refining ideas by looking at the work of other artists and photographers, allows you to develop as an artist. An understanding of art and photography will enrich your appreciation of the world around you.

The course provides opportunities to explore digital photography and digital image manipulation software as well learning about and using traditional film media and techniques. Whilst the development of technical skills is important, this ‘Art and Design’ based course encourages a creative and artistic approach to image-making and presentation.

The Course Structure

The AQA specification covers:

This is a 2 year A Level course where students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of and gain experience of using both traditional and new technologies.

Throughout the course, students will be required to demonstrate skills in the following:

  • the ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of Photography an awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of Photography
  • the ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea, or work to a brief or answer a need in Photography
  • an appreciation of viewpoint, composition, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed and movement
  • appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting for work in their chosen area(s) of Photography
  • an understanding of techniques related to the production of photographic images and, where appropriate, presentation and layout
  • the use of vocabulary and specialist terminology that is relevant to their chosen area(s) of Photography

Year 12

Component 1 Introductory Project / Portfolio
Candidates produce a portfolio of work based upon a theme set by the department. They will expand their knowledge of both traditional film and darkroom development as well as digital imaging, acquiring a technical and creative understanding. Work should also include evidence of their ability to research and develop ideas and link their work in a meaningful way to relevant critical / contextual materials.

Method of Assessment
Set and marked by the centre. This first unit forms an introduction to the A Level course where students develop their skills, experiment with processes and develop ideas.

Year 13

Component 1 Personal Investigation

Candidates are required to conduct a practical investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or series of outcomes. It will be supported by written material documenting the student’s research into their chosen theme and to relevant contextual sources such as the work of other artists (1000 – 3000 words).

 Method of Assessment

All the work produced for this unit will be marked as a whole in line with AQA assessment criteria. Set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA by visit to the centre.

 Coursework: 96 marks; Weighting 60% of total A Level marks.

Component 2 Externally Set Assignment

For this unit students select one question from a range of starting points set by AQA. They have a preparatory period to plan and prepare their response. Preparatory period from 1st February.

 Supervised time – 15 hours

In the 15 hours students must produce a finished outcome or outcomes informed by the preparatory work. All work must be submitted at the end of the controlled assessment time.

 Method of Assessment

All the work for this unit will be marked as a whole in line with AQA assessment criteria.
Set by AQA, marked by the centre and moderated by AQA by a visit to the centre.

Externally Set Assignment: 96 marks; Weighting 40% of total A Level marks.

Potential Careers

  • Advertising
  • Animator
  • Architect
  • Art therapist
  • Concept artist
  • Education/teacher
  • Fashion and media journalism
  • Fashion designer
  • Fine artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Interior designer
  • Photographer

 Why Study Photography?

 Entry Requirements

Subject Qualification (Level 3) Required GCSE Grades
(in addition to Sixth Form entry requirements)
Additional Information
Art & Design: Photography A Level 6+ Art or photography  

What You Learn

Our Learning Journeys have been created to give you a flavour for the types of topics students study in each year at our school. They show what will be covered throughout the year and during each half-term, but please note there is some flexibility to what is taught when. We hope you find them helpful.