Exam Board AQA
Qualification A Level




Grade 5 in Art (or in exceptional circumstances, evidence of a portfolio could be considered)



(Outline of


This is an intensive course which involves practical photography work including experimental work, as well as theory and technical camera work. There is a modular structure with two units to be completed over the two years. Students are required to investigate external artistic sources within both of their modules and can choose any photographers or artists who they feel will help develop their own work. All projects include many photoshoots from the classroom and out on location. Photographs are developed further with work on Photoshop and darkroom experimental work. Lessons are broadly skills based and feature teaching in the use of the camera, experimental photography, dark room processes, photo installations and planning and editing photographs. Students are expected to work in the studio during their study time researching and learning for themselves the possibilities of the media, scale, composition etc. Their outcomes are expected to be high quality, creative and an individual response and exploration of their chosen themes and ideas. Students will be encouraged to visit a range of art galleries and respond to learning about art from contrasting times and cultures. The photography course relies heavily on students taking weekly photoshoots out on location as part of their homework tasks.


Assessment Component 1 – Course Work and a Personal Study, an essay of at least 1,000 words that is based on an element of the theme chosen as the focus for the whole unit (60% of the final mark and is based on a project with a theme or focus chosen by the student at the end of Year 12)

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment (40% of the final grade and is based on a project which stems from a response to a title set by the examination board, 15-hour exam).

Units are teacher-assessed throughout the course via a series of one-to-one tutorials and student critiques. At the end of the course all students are expected to exhibit both of their units in a final show. This is finally assessed by staff according to the exam board assessment criteria and these marks are moderated by a visiting external examiner.


Careers Guidance The development of creative thinking, which is encouraged through the problem-solving involved in exploring themes and issues, puts students in a valuable position as applicants to colleges and universities, and to employers who are looking for bright young people with a range of exciting ideas. Students can go on to study degree-level Photography, film making and the many other arts-based courses which can be a pathway towards employment in many careers directly involved in art and other careers which are reliant on developed creative skills.

Key Information

Transition Work

The transition work for Photography can be found below.

Students should attempt to complete one task weekly over the summer ahead of the start of the course.

Week 1

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Week 2

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Week 3

Download (PPTX, 31.54MB)

Important Information

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