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Photography is an exciting and highly rewarding subject to take at this level, whether you intend to study it further or not. We encourage you to be inventive, independent and involved.

For most lessons you will be engaged in practical project work. You will also learn about a wide range of photographic issues through lectures, seminars and independent study, and be encouraged to think critically and conceptually about your own work and the work of artists.

During the first year of the course you will build upon your previous experience and develop your understanding and appreciation of a varied selection of art processes. In the second year you will focus on areas that interest you and build an impressive portfolio of work.

Specific course entry requirements

College entry to include GCSE Art, Graphic Design, Photography or related course minimum grade 4 (please refer to the Entry Requirements section for further details).

Alternatively – submission of a suitable portfolio and successful interview.

Please note, those without an art-based GCSE will be considered with a portfolio of photographic work.

How will I be assessed?

The A level Photography course is 60% coursework and 40% externally set assignment. All work is internally assessed and then externally verified by an exam board moderator.

What will I study?

The course involves practical photographic work covering topics such as portraiture, landscape, still-life, documentary, and experimental imagery. The appreciation and study of the work of artists and photographers is covered throughout the course.

You will learn how to make effective use of a camera according to circumstances and intentions and how to compose and refine photographic images, both using a camera and through sensitive manipulation on the computer and in the darkroom.

You will be expected to possess and use your own digital camera. The ability to undertake photographic assignments regularly out of college during daylight hours (usually at the weekends) is essential as this forms the basis of all assignments.

Where will this course lead me?

Photography is a valid choice in combination with any other A level for nearly all university degree courses. A level Photography is particularly useful if you wish to study photography, film video production, art & design or media at HND/Degree or if you wish to study an Art Foundation course. 

Studying an Art course is an excellent way to develop soft skills such as independence. It will improve time management and problem solving skills whilst developing creative thinking skills and resilience.  

It is possible to go directly into employment following this course as a photography or editorial assistant on a magazine, although the field is very competitive.

Photography and Graphics
Student learning

Nurturing rising talent

Our Elective Programme is designed to help you develop your gifts and interests as part of an enhanced level 3 programme. We will help you realise your potential by nurturing your talent and preparing you for study at the most prestigious universities or for progression to competitive higher-level apprenticeships. Your options range from our Honours Programme, which might include following a fourth A level, to specialist Futures Programmes that will support your career goals.

Level 2 entry requirements

If you’re not quite ready to start on a Level 3 Technical course (T Levels) or a Vocational Level 3 course (BTEC) but want to begin on the path to your chosen career, the Transition Programme could be for you.  

Transition Programmes are tailored to prepare students to move onto Technical or Vocational Level 3 study. They will give you the opportunity to improve your English and Maths, your work readiness skills and introduce you to the technical skills and concepts that you will need for future study and employment. 

As part of the Transition Programme you will study a BTEC Level 2 Award in your chosen subject area as well as the BTEC Level 2 Extended Award in Work Skills. You will also have the opportunity to resit GCSE English and/or Maths if you have not yet achieved a grade 4. 

Entry criteria for Transition Programmes is four grade 3s including grade 3s in English Language and Maths GCSE.

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