A Level

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 5 in another creative GCSE

Why study this course?

Photography enables you to refine and select appropriate techniques for enhancing and manipulating photographs based on a variety of design briefs and contexts. Photography can lead to a wide range of career opportunities in the creative industries. Photography is important because all sectors of the job market require creative thinkers who can innovate, see and make connections, solve problems and make informed decisions and judgments. This course will give you many transferable skills you can use in the future.

What will I study?

Year 1

The assessment for A Level Art & Design: Photography is split into A/S which has two modules of study: The portfolio worth 60%, and the externally set assignment, worth 40%.The portfolio is based on skills exercises and a long study of choice usually based on a trip e.g. London.The externally set assignment is given out on February 1st and eight weeks of preparation on a question of choice leads to a 10 hour exam.

Year 2

A Level has a personal investigation unit with a 3,000 word essay leading into practical work. This is 40%. The externally set assignment is given out in February with eight weeks of preparation leading to a 15 hour exam. All work is marked internally and moderated by AQA exam board. Success in this subject is measured by the students’ response to and evidence of AQA’s four assessment objectives for Art & Design.

How will I be assessed?

Photography is assessed by providing evidence for AQA’s four art and design assessment objectives. Students will be awarded a mark out of 96; 24 marks are available for each assessment objective. Both coursework and exam are marked against these specification/assessment criteria.

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.

Where can it lead?

Studying photography enhances your creative, social and cultural understanding as well as developing your specialist technical knowledge.

Photography is a full A level course which can lead in to a number of further and higher education Art and Design Courses and careers such as:

Creative Photographer
Medical Photographer
Product Photographer
Graphic Designer
Magazine Features Editor
Medical Illustrator
Press Photographer
Television Camera Operator
Advertising Art Director
Digital Marketer
Film Director
Film/Video Editor
Media Planner
Multimedia Specialist
VFX Artist
Visual Merchandiser
Web Content Manager
Web Designer


Miss D Skinner

Course Leader

Mr R Bullock – Faculty Leader

Mrs K Mitchell

Mrs R Griffiths

Course Materials

  • Photoshop Tutorials