Course aims

This broad ranging course can be studied with any subject at A level allowing learners to expand their creativity while taking and editing photographs. This is a skills-based course where learners are encouraged to contextualise their work in preparation for industry and HE progression. Learners will produce a strong portfolio of work through a range of independently driven projects, develop a broad understanding of contextual links within photography and the importance of artistic narratives in their own creative process. Learners will get the opportunity to work in digital and analogue mediums. A level photography combines well with media studies and business for those considering a digital media university or career pathway.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in an art/design based subject or a strong collection of work/images reviewed by a member of the arts team along with an interview.

Course content

Learners are allowed to work in one or more area(s) of photography, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape photography
  • Still life photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Fashion photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Multimedia
  • Photographic installation
  • Moving image (video, film, animation).

Year One

A skill-building year where learners will have the opportunity to explore new materials and process through various short photographic projects. These skills will provide learners with a strong basis to build on in the second year.

In preparation for second year learners will complete a version of the component 2 externally set assignment with a 10-hour summative exam.

Year Two

Component 1 – Personal investigation – 60%

In this component practical work is accompanied with a written element in which candidates develop a personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. Learners pick a theme or idea and produce a range of photography work based on this, showing their critical thinking skills and ability to research in depth. Accompanying text supports the practical work and explains the learners thought process, which must be no less than 1000 words and no more than 3000.

Component 2 – Externally-set assignment – 40%

Learners are provided with eight topics/questions from which they choose one to study. The summative exam is 15 hours long and learners are expected to create a clearly defined section of work that makes up a whole, leading to a finished piece or pieces.

Course assessment

You will be assessed by coursework, practical projects and exams.


You do not need to own a camera we have a bank of Canon DSLRs and Pentax SLR cameras that can be loaned out to complete independent work. All A Level
photography learners will be given Adobe CC accounts for the duration of their course including the full Adobe Suite.


Higher Education, employment, franchise and selfemployment. Previous learners have progressed to various universities studying a range of subjects, including; Photography, Art & Design, Marine & Natural History, Film Making, Fashion Promotion.