This exciting hands-on course offers you the knowledge and skills to become highly inventive in the creation of eye catching, thought provoking imagery. The course follows both traditional and digital techniques with emphasis upon the research and study of historical and contemporary photographers.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

The course covers semi professional camera operation techniques. You will be using 35mm Film SLR cameras, DSLR cameras, darkroom, black and white processing, printing and editing images with Adobe Photoshop. All produced work is based upon written research and the study of both historical and contemporary photographers. Areas that students may wish to approach are portraiture, landscape, abstract, still life, social documentary, fashion and narrative photography. All work must demonstrate progressive development, building and reflecting upon previous work to produce a high quality portfolio of work.

There are three units of study in the A-level 2 year program that are assessed as 100% coursework

  • A Personal Creative Enquiry Unit - consisting of three projects that give students the essential 35mm SLR and darkroom foundational skills
  • A Personal Investigation Unit - that builds upon these skills utilising any of the studied fields, through a bespoke project.
  • An Externally Set Assignment - that will focus all the students’ skills and knowledge around a chosen stimuli; to produce their best set of images from the two years of study.

Throughout the A-level Photography programme students will continue to develop darkroom practice, studio photography, digital imaging, image interpretation and contextual study to either prepare them for university application or a suitable vocation.


How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed through coursework (the portfolio) and examination (the controlled assignment).

Are there any trips on this course?

Yes. We visit galleries and exhibitions. Previously students have visted Berlin and Amsterdam. 

Are there any specific entry requirements?

No need to have studied Photography before but a passion for the medium is essential!

Careers Information


Should I do the AS or the A Level Photography course?

For those students who would like to immerse themselves in the field of photography, the AS program will sufficiently offer them the techniques and processes required to solidly apply the foundation skills later on whilst studying for a degree or utilising them in a vocation.

However, for students wishing to build a portfolio up, generate a style of their own and perhaps go and work in the arts or media industry, then the full 2 year A-level program would give them the breadth and depth of technical and creative understanding that would be needed.

If students would like to experience other subjects within their two years of study it may be better to embark on the one year AS Photography programme and then choose a completely different AS for the second year. Please note that doing two AS programs over 2 years would only be worth 80% of doing a full 2 year A-level.

Is photography an expensive course?

You be required to purchase paper and film throughout your two years of study. Also you will need money to travel (if you are doing location assignments) and/or money for props for photo shoots. A 35mm SLR camera is required for the 1st term of Yr 1 and a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) will be needed for the 2nd term of Yr 1.

Will I need all these materials at the start of the course?

No, during the introduction to the course you will be provided with some of the materials so it is best not to buy until the course is underway.

Is there any written work?

Yes. You will need to write about what you learn and explain techniques that you have applied to your own images. You will also be required to annotate research imagery of other photographers.

Are there restrictions to the topic for my second year project?

There is a much greater flexibility of choice with your projects at this level, but you will negotiate with the lecturers and be given advice with your choice of topics.