Specification: AQA

Qualification: A Level

Why study Photography?

This course has been developed to allow students to actively experience a range of photographic processes and contexts. You may be contemplating a career in advertising, media, film and television, publishing, architecture, graphics, museum and exhibition work, theatre design, interior design, art galleries, jewellery, fashion, photography, textiles or teaching Art and Design. This course is a good basis for Further/Higher Education leading to a wide variety of careers in the Art and Design sector, but of course specialising in photography and photographic concepts.

What will I study?

We will present and develop your understanding of a number of areas of photography such as, portraiture, landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment), still life photography (working from objects or from the natural world), documentary photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, experimental imagery, multimedia, photographic installation moving image (video, film, animation).

As the course progresses we will develop your ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of Photography. As well as your awareness of intended audience or purpose for your chosen area(s) at hter same time learning to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea, or work to a brief or answer a need.

We will examine elements such as 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), understanding of techniques related to the production of photographic images and, where appropriate, presentation and layout.

Assessment Method

There is synoptic assessment in both components of the A-level that provide stretch and challenge opportunities for you as follows:

In Component 1, you will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work.

In Component 2, you will respond to an exam question, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of your ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Component 1: Portfolio (60% of A level)

Component 2: Externally set assignment (40% of A level)

All units are internally assessed by your teachers and moderated by the exam board.

Future Opportunities & Careers

Photography can be a launchpad into many career areas such as but not limited to:

Graphic designer, Magazine features editor, Medical illustrator, Photographer, Press photographer, Television camera operator, Advertising art director, Digital marketer, Film director, Film/video editor, Media planner, Multimedia specialist, Visual merchandiser, Web content manager, Web designer etc.

Entry Requirements

Grade 4 or better in Art GCSE.

Course expenses

Total cost for the first year of the course is £31, which purchases two A3 spiral bound sketchbooks, together with £25 laser print credits. It is expected that all Photography students will purchase their own 4GB SD card (minimum recommended size), which will be brought to all Ppotography lessons.


Head of Department: Mr Nigel White



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