Why study A level Photography?

The A Level Photography course offers students the opportunity to explore and develop technical, practical and creative responses photographically. Sessions are delivered in a ‘workshop’ style environment and previous experience of using the camera is not essential. The initial diagnostic phase will provide the novice student with the knowledge and instruction required to work more autonomously later in the course.

The Photography specification directly supports progression to further and higher education in Photography and related subjects, as well as providing all students with a platform to inspire a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of, Art and Design. The Photography endorsement also offers logical progression from GCSE as the assessment objectives, structure and titles are very similar to those specified in the AQA GCSE Photography specification.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

Whether you love photography, illustration, graphic design or any other art-related endorsement, career options are limited only by your imagination. Art education propels people towards creative and unexpected destinations. The Creative Industries is one of the fastest growing in the UK and therefore offers Art and Design students a wide range of opportunities to select a creative pathway. Art and Design is under-pinned by the capacity to innovate, to develop lateral thinking skills, to problem-solve through creative investigation, to communicate and collaborate. So whether you are interested in becoming a web designer, architectural illustrator, art director, advertising photographer, film editor or even a app designer….the creative skills and visual language you will acquire on the photography course will prepare you appropriately.

Key Information Summary:

Course TitlePhotography
Examination BoardAQA
Linear Qualification?Yes
Entry RequirementsGrade 5 in GCSE Art or Grade 5 in a technology subject
Contact TeachersMrs N Firth (Curriculum Team Leader)

Course Details:

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. Students will explore both traditional dark room techniques alongside digital and other new technologies. Critical and contextual study is an intrinsic element of the course, researching relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of photographers, art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making processes. Students’ responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. Students will present work in sketchbooks/workbooks/journals or digitally to underpin their work where appropriate. They may wish to develop their drawing skills in order to produce storyboards, thumbnail sketches and/or diagrams, where appropriate.


Subject Content:

Students will work in one or more area(s) of Photography such as still life, documentary, landscape, experimental imagery and the photographic process. The following are some of the techniques and processes explored over the course: use of camera equipment and lenses; lighting and exposure techniques; moving image and animation; alternative art-based printing such as emulsion, transfers and screen printing.


Assessment details:

A Level – 2 Year Course

Component 1: Personal Investigation

·         No time limit

·         96 marks

·         60% of A level

Students are required to conduct a practical investigation, into 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 a series of related finished outcomes.

Component 2: Externally Set Task

·         Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time

·         96 marks

·         40% of A Level

Question papers (8 starting points) set by AQA and released to students on or after 1st February



*Non-exam assessment (NEA) set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA during a visit to the centre in June of the examination year.