Photographs are the universal language of our time; an image tells a story, documents events, persuades opinions and evokes emotion with just one click. Imagery is part of who we are and what we see.
Why study Photography?
Our A level Photography course allows you to develop a creative, professional identity and signature style by combining technique, theory and ethical practice with experimentation. We attempt to work ‘outside the box’ as much as we can; pushing the boundaries of what photography is. Our students work predominantly using digital SLR cameras within a studio environment, on location and experimental shooting. We encourage each student to learn a range of varied skills, put these into practice and nurture their own individual creative style.
Which syllabus do we follow?
The Creative & Media Studio School follows the AQA specification for A level Photography.
What is the course about?
Within the first year of Photography, students will take part in workshops where they will build their knowledge and understanding of photographic techniques. This is a time for experiencing the opportunity of working with a wide and exciting range of materials, media and processes. Students will develop a foundation of skills such as use of DSLR cameras (Nikon D90s and Canon 5D MK3), use of Photoshop manipulation techniques, as well as experiencing a varied range of experiments. Students will develop their practical skills learning techniques such as high speed, long exposure, macro, multiple exposure, panorama, coloured gels, illusion and many more. Basically, we try to have some fun while teaching skills! Students will be supported by tutors, who will prepare each individual for the challenge of the personal investigation project; which will start later on in the year and continue within Year 13. Students will be introduced to a range of contextual inspirations and will develop skills in research and analysis in order to support their practical investigation.
The second year is split into two components; the personal investigation project that will be completed by January, and the externally-set assignment, which starts in the New Year, to the handing-in day in the middle of May. Both of these projects will be an opportunity for you to follow a personal direction, building on your individual strengths, interests and future progression goals.
Stage 1 – personal investigation
This is a practical investigation supported by written material. Students are required to conduct a practical investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. The investigation should be a coherent, in-depth study that demonstrates the student’s ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation. The investigation must show clear development from initial intentions to the final outcome or outcomes. It must include evidence of the student’s ability to research and develop ideas and relate their work in meaningful ways to relevant critical/contextual materials. The investigation must be informed by an aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists, photographers, designers or craftspeople.
Stage 2 - Externally set assignment
Separate question papers will be provided for each title. Each question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one. Students will be provided with examination papers in February of year two.
Preparatory period – from 1 February
Supervised time – 15 hours
Component 1: Personal investigation
No time limit
60% of A-level
Component 2: Externally set assignment
Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time
40% of A-level
Specific Entry Requirements
Students applying for A Level Photography should achieve at the very least a Level 4 in English Language, Maths and 3 other GCSE subjects. Students invited for interview will be asked to preparea portfolio of creative work showcasing your talent and individuality. This work will be assessed by the subject specialist as part of the interview process and will contribute to the decision of an offer being made.
Would You Like To Find Out More?
Maybe you have a question about the different range of units you can study? Or maybe you want a bit more info on the resources? Whatever your question, the Tutors are more than happy to answer any that you have. Get in touch and we’ll get back to you with all the answers.