Course Title:  Photography

Exam Board and Specification No.  AQA

A Level AQA Art And Design:  Photography

Why is this subject important, valuable and engaging?

A key issue in the recruitment of good graduates today is in employing people who don’t just have academic ability, but are able to use their knowledge by being independent creative -thinkers.  Photography is not just about taking Photographs; it is about developing confidence in researching, experimenting, reflecting and responding; all of the core skills required to be an independent creative.

Students will get the opportunity to specialise in their chosen skills and themes, which will help students enjoy and engage more with their work.


What do I need to have studied, or have knowledge of, before I begin this course?

There are specific requirements for this course.  However, a GCSE in a creative subject would be beneficial. 


What will I learn on this course?

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


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 


photographic installation 

moving image (video, film, animation). 


What key skills will I develop?

Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following: 

The ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of photography 

Have an awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of photography 

Develop the ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea, or work to a brief or answer a need in photography 

Show an appreciation of viewpoint, composition, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed and movement 

Demonstrate appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting for work in their chosen area(s) of photography 

understanding of techniques related to the production of photographic images and, where appropriate, presentation and layout. 


How will I be assessed? (details of examinations/coursework)

There are two main projects that will be assessed, which happens in the second year. Component 1 is an independent study, which is made up of practical work, alongside a written essay of 1000-3000 words on any theme that interests the student.  This is 60% of the overall grade. Component 2 is an externally set assignment, which comprises of around 7 themes and students have to make a personal and informed response based on one of these themes. .  This is worth 40% of the overall A level grade. 

Students are marked in the following four assessment objectives: 

 AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. 

 AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops. 

 AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. 

 AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.


What could this course lead to?

The Photography course  could lead to academic or vocational degrees relating to creative careers such as; Advertising, Commercial work, Editorial, Fashion, Film, Food, Forensic, Industrial, Architectural, Ariel, Portraiture and Wedding photography, Sports and Travel, Press photography, Photojournalism, Fine Art, Editing, Fashion photography or Styling, the Film industry, Forensic science, Curating, Image Library, etc.


What additional events, trips or enrichment activities does this course include?


Trips include visits to Bristol, Bath, Laycock, London and France.

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?