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Why study this course?

Are you creative and imaginative? Do you enjoy exploring ideas and looking at things in different ways? If so, you should consider a course in photography with AQA. You will enjoy developing your understanding of the visual world, learning practical skills and responding to ideas and issues in ways that are personal to you.

Photography is about looking, learning, thinking and communicating ideas. It inspires creative thinkers. Photography means ‘drawing with light’ and that is what photographers do when they take a picture. Many photographers have explored various techniques to create images that make a personal statement about things that have interested or concerned them. The most exciting aspect of photography is that you are capturing the world as you see it.

Students are introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. Students will work with predominantly digital techniques and post-processing.

Students will be expected to explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This is integral to the investigating and making processes. Students' responses to these examples are shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students will use sketchbooks and journals to underpin their work throughout the two year course. It is expected that pupils will have confident drawing skills in order to produce storyboards, thumbnail sketches and/or diagrams where appropriate.


Extra-curricular aspects of the course

Photography is an immensely rewarding and enjoyable but demanding course. Students will attend trips to various local galleries and will have the option of attending our bi-annual trip abroad. Students will benefit from talks from guest speakers and lecturers from local universities. Students are expected to dedicate large amounts of their own free time to visiting locations for photoshoots, attending gallery visits and spend at least 6 hours of their free time per week completing home learning.


Entry Requirements

Students must have achieved a minimum of Grade 6 in either Art and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Textiles or Photography GCSE.


Higher Education and Careers


A Level Photography builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through study at GCSE. At the end of the A-level course you will have the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for Higher Education.

Possible career options:

• Commercial photographer
• Fashion photographer
• Filmmaker
• Fine art photographer
• Forensic photographer
• Industrial photographer
• Medical photographer
• Nature photographer
• Photographic illustrator
• Photographic technician
• Teacher
• Photojournalist
• Picture editor
• Researcher
• Social photographer
 • Sports photographer


Equipment required for the course

It is helpful if students have access to their own camera or camera phone at home in order to extend their learning beyond the classroom, however all students will be allocated a camera that they are able to take home to use for the duration of the course.

Students will need to have their own A3 sketchbook in addition to drawing materials. They will be provided with an A6 journal.



60% Coursework Portfolio & 3000 word essay (Component 1).

40% Externally Set Task (Component 2) which includes a 15 hour exam.


Level:  A-Level

Awarding Body:  AQA


Course Leader: Mrs Penny-Collings

Course Leader’s Contact Email: