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 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 program 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.
The course is assessed through coursework (the portfolio) and examination (the controlled assignment).
After A Level Photography you will have a substantial portfolio of work to take to interviews for an Art Foundation course, a Photography based degree course or employment. Other options include a National diploma, HND, Foundation and Degree courses. Vocationally you could embark on careers in Photography, Publishing, Art Direction, Advertising, Graphic Design, Web Design and Image Retouching.
Yes. We visit galleries and exhibitions. Previously students have visted Berlin and Amsterdam. This year students are going to Milan, both as a field exercise but also to view galleries.
No need to have studied Photography before but a passion for the medium is essential!
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 foundational skills later on whilst studying for a degree or utilising them in a vocation.
However students wishing to build a portfolio up, generate a style of their own and perhaps go and work in the ARTS/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 program 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Progression and Career Opportunities
Over 2.8 million people are employed in the creative industries – and this number has grown by nearly 14% since 2011. A photographer can earn on average between £14,000 to £50,000.
- Advertising Art Director
- Press Photographer
- Magazine Features Editor
- Graphic Designer