Photography opens a world of opportunities for you in terms of creativity, education and careers.  As an art form it is extremely creative, technical and interesting.  Photography has gripped humanity ever since its invention over three centuries ago.  It is constantly evolving and responsible for many of the modern world’s most iconic images.  Students who undertake this course will be able to investigate this process of photographic evolution leading them to accessing, harnessing and analysing this exciting and dynamic subject.  Students will develop their ability to  appreciate the visual world, becoming visually literate and creative, whilst also acquiring highly developed technical and ICT skills.

The Department
The Photography department is well resourced and offers a wide range of photographic equipment from digital SLRs to analogue cameras.  We have Adobe Creative Cloud on our Apple Macs in the studio. These facilities will ensure students have access to up-to-date industry standard resources at all times.  We offer you an advanced and comprehensive learning experience focused on and around the medium of photography, delivered by professional teachers within their subject specialism.  Students will be actively engaged in developing skills in a variety of processes, such as critical analysis, digital imagery, image manipulation, darkroom practices and exhibiting.

The Course
The main aim of the photography course in Art and Design is to develop your ability to appreciate the visual world, enhance your personal creativity, utilise technical and ICT based skills. Students will study:

  • Digital Photography
  • Darkroom Practice
  • Image Manipulation and Graphic Design
  • Critical Analysis Skills
  • Exhibition and Portfolio Building Skills

Students will gain a working knowledge of materials, practices and technology within the discipline, allowing them to develop their skills related to interpreting, recording, and conveying ideas effectively.

A-level Structure (Exam Board – Eduqas)
Students will initially follow a structured foundation course to learn necessary practical, technical and theoretical skills.  They will be introduced to the key concepts in photography and explore the work of a diverse range of influential photographers.  They will learn how to research and analyse their own work and the work of others from a contemporary, historical and cultural context.

Component 1: Coursework/Personal Investigation (60% of qualification/120 marks)
This unit of coursework is intended to develop a student’s knowledge, skills base and understanding of visual language and pushes creativity.  Students are encouraged to formulate their own ideas and explore themes and subject matter that are personally significant.  Students will be required to research, analyse, enquire and experiment with a wide range of photographic techniques. There is a written element in component 1 consisting of a critical analysis essay of 1000 words minimum, and consistent and thorough annotations in their journals.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of qualification/80 marks)
The externally set assignment includes a 15-hour practical exam over 3 days.  This will enable students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding gained from their experiences in component 1 and develop an individualistic response to competent 2 externally set theme/title.  Students will be given guidance and instruction on how to explore the externally set assignments ‘theme’.

What qualifications will I need to take this course?
Ideally the best foundation for success in A-level Photography is a good grade at GCSE Art, Design, Media, ICT, English or Photography.   However, it is not necessary and many students who have had no experience with the ‘Arts or Media’ have flourished on this course, but a minimum of 7 GCSEs at Grade 4 and above are required, one of which must be English.

Who should take this course?
We want students who are keen to learn and have a strong work ethic. They should have a lively creative approach to their work and display the desire to work independently with support and guidance from their teachers.  Importantly, students should be able to listen to, and act on, advice to reach their full potential.

What post A-level opportunities does this course offer?

  • Further study and higher education in photography, art, craft, graphics and design.
  • Related study in fields such as media, film, journalism, ICT or television.
  • Career opportunities in commercial and product design industry.
  • Valuable asset to engineering, architecture, forensics, environmental studies, radiology and laboratory research.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed formatively throughout the academic year and given a summative grade at the end of each project.  You will create an exhibition at the end of your studies of all your work and examination pieces for external moderation and to celebrate your work.

Entry Requirements:
7 Higher Grades

  • Grade 4 (or above) for English and Maths
  • Grade 4 (or above) for other GCSE subjects
  • 1 BTEC (or equivalent) at Merit (or above) may be included within the 7 grades

Further Information

Alan Courcha
Subject Lead for Photography
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