Photography A-level


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 on the research and study of historical and contemporary photographers. We are one of the few institutions that still provides specialist dark room facilities as well as digital.

What will I study in Photography A-level?

Students will learn a broad range of both digital and analogue techniques. The first project 'Portrait' dissects what makes a good portrait and discusses all the necessary creative elements that students will need in order to produce exceptional images. Being an excellent director, stylist and composer as well as knowing how to light are just some of the variables that are discussed and applied to their images. Students will learn how to shoot with 35mm SLR cameras and go on to develop their own film and learn how to print in a darkroom. Learning how to scan and print will also be vital elements to further student creativity.

The second project 'Distortion' gets students to creatively think about surreal and alternative ways in which to approach photography and students undertake vast amounts of Photoshop and darkroom manipulation exercises.

Towards the second year, projects become more independent and student directed and the 'Personal Investigation' project gets students to pick a genre they are very passionate about (such as still life, landscape, fashion etc) and students finalise their projects to produce a book or magazine using Adobe Indesign.

Finally, students undertake an exam project based around a stimulus that sees them finalising their outcomes in a 15 hour exam.

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 and above from the basket subjects. An interest in photography would be essential

How will I learn?

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?

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.

Any trips?

We run both local and national Photography trips; shooting in varying locations, using specialist kits and exploring genres. Visits to galleries and relevant exhibitions are also an integral part of the study programme.

Are there any costs involved?

You will be required to purchase both darkroom and digital Inkjet 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.

  • You should expect some small costs for course booklets and stationery
  • There are costs attached to this course depending on the project you are working on
  • There will be costs for specific equipment or clothing.
  • Buying guides are issued so students have ample time to purchase relevant materials/equipment.


What career opportunities are there?

Here are some examples of various job opportunities that A-Level Photography can lead you to

  • Advertising Art Director
  • Press Photographer
  • Magazine Features Editor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Stylist
  • Fashion Photography
  • Marketing/Commercial Photographer
  • Retoucher
  • Photojournalist
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Documentary Photography
  • Filmmaker
  • Advertising Photographer
  • Marine/Ecological Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Fine Art Photographer
  • Food Photographer
  • Picture Editor
  • Brand/Style/Content Photographer
  • Wildlife/Animal/Bird Photographer

Do we get help with portfolios and university applications?

Yes, both lecturers of Photography A-Level have industry experience and will advise students on selecting the best work for their portfolios.

The course has links with many top photography universities, which is able to support the completion of application forms.

Is there any work experience?

Students are encouraged to promote their work on social media channels and can tap into local and national opportunities for work experience.

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

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What can I do after I have taken this course?

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

Add to Application

Social Media

Recently Visited Courses

All Courses


See examples of creativeness from Photography A-level students

View the Online Gallery

What the students say

Cirencester College is really good at offering help when you need it, from lecturers, tutors and other staff. The lecturers are really skilled in their area and can help you massively develop existing skills – and teach new ones. I love Photography, the A-level group are full of energy and ideas and the lecturer really helps us to reach our potential.

Jackson Moran