Exam board : Edexcel

Curriculum Content and Assessment  : 60% Coursework &  40% Exam

Component 1 : Coursework Unit  60%  :  September year 1 – December year 2

You will complete a Personal Investigation on a theme incorporating three major elements contained in a Digital  Sketchbook  , Portfolio , and  folder  of work comprising of ;

  • Supporting studies – Developmental work, experiments and observations resulting in  generating ideas for practical work, outcomes and personal study
  • Practical work – Development work and final outcomes (Preparatory , Mid and Final outcomes on photographic prints, books, Video, Film , animation ,prints on  paper ,canvas, board,  textiles and  Experimental 3d / sculptural Photographic work  )
  • Personal study – (minimum 1000 words). To be presented and submitted as A3 size boards or a printed book as an illustrated essay relating to an area of your interest within historical, cotemporary, cultural or issue based contexts. You practical work and development will be linked and will provide practical context and personalisation to the essay.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40%)  Jan–May of year 2 + 15hr sustained focus-controlled  test (Practical Exam) This is made up from  work in Digital Sketchbooks and  physical folders/portfolios  fulfilling the assessment objectives and comprises of ;

  • Supporting studies :  Developmental work,  outcomes generating ideas for practical work and personal study ( Digital sketchbook  and practical work folder)
  • Practical work : Development work and final outcomes (Preparatory , Mid outcomes) Preparatory , Mid and Final outcomes on photographic prints, books, Video, Film , animation ,prints on  paper ,canvas, board,  textiles and  Experimental 3d / sculptural Photographic work  )
  • 15 hour exam – Period of Sustained focus over 3-4 days in May. (Final outcome)

How it will be taught :

A Level Photography is a bridge to further education in the creative sector as well as l=having links to marketing, media, advertising and many other sectors. The course is structured in a similar way to the GCSE course allowing students to consistently build their skills in a range of areas. Students will be expected to explore a range of processes as they commence research into their chosen theme. You will learn to combine Manual DSLR photography, Digital manipulation in Light Room and Photoshop, as well as multi-media processes and experimental techniques.  Work may take many from the traditional to conceptual, from photography to film and animation as well as instillation work and mixed media outcomes.  Students will become equipped with skills in the studio photography sessions, gaining experience with lighting rigs as well as ‘on location’ skills, reportage, street photography, event photography and experimental photography . Alongside developing skills in critical analysis and interpretation of your own and others’ work, researching and contextualising art. This will develop confidence in your oral communication skills relating to concepts in art and photography, film and media broadening your artistic vocabulary and developing an ability to use a wide range of specialist terms in context.

Digital sketchbooks are used to document the development of your ideas throughout each assignment and should contain your initial research, shoots, plans, visual studies, design development and experimentation with equipment and edits, along with your outcomes and evaluations. It is expected that you annotate your ideas and reflect on your development as the project progresses.

In preparation for University or placements within the arts, media/film or marketing/ advertising students will be self-motivated, inquisitive and critical of their work and that of others. Staff work alongside the students strengths and interests and will help guide them to refine, stretch and challenge their skills and perspectives. They will gain experience of working with a range of, equipment, industry standard programs and materials. Students will then focus, refining their skills and deepening their understanding of the creative processes to produce the high quality outcomes that desired by many industries. In turn, students will build their transferable skills, creative thinking and ability to independently build a portfolio to be proud of but more importantly to open doors for future opportunities.

Assessment: 80% Exam (2 x 40%), 20% Coursework.

Specific entry requirements:  Students Wishing to take a Photography would be required to have grade 5 or above ideally in GCSE Photography or in either  Fine Art, Art, Craft &Design  Unendorsed art& design or related subject.  Students who have not taken any of these as GCSE  but who may have a strong portfolio and evidence of work may be considered at the course leaders discretion.

Future opportunities:

With one in twelve jobs in the UK in the creative industries, 2.62 million employed  in the creative industries  including  25,000  people within 10 miles of FP2. Since 2011, the UK creative industries workforce has added almost half a million jobs – an increase of approximately 28% ( that’s  2.28 % growth year on year )  This makes it the fastest growing in employment of all the sectors! Creative industries are driving economic growth across the UK, on track to create one million new creative industries jobs between 2013 and 2030!  So why wouldn’t you want to be a part of it?! This could be the creative course for you!

After successfully completing A Level Photography students either can apply straight to University for a Degree course or may opt to apply for  a foundation course, where  in 12 months they can hone and decide their specialism before their degree. (This is a fully funded year)  Photography is relevant and the skills are sought in many other industries so the A-Level isrelevant tothose not looking for a purely Art based route. Photography  ( and film) fits many other Marketing , advertising, graphical, Design & Tech companies, as well as IT and web design etc . Creative degrees can lead to any one of the 2.62 million creative jobs in the U.K. This is a fast growing industry and British art students and designers are world leaders. Many of my past students have gone on to have successful careers.  Some careers students might consider include: 

Fashion Photography, Commercial Photography, Wedding and portrait photography, Advertising and Marketing, Film, set, animation, concept artist,  V-logging , Sports Photographer, Events Photographer,  Architecture , Visual Merchandiser, Web builder , graphical designer,   Art Therapy,  Artist/ photographer , Games design, App designer, Concept artist, Fashion Design, Textile design, Interior design, Theatre and TV set design, Gallery, Procurer, Community &  Installation work, Curator, Primary Teacher, Secondary teacher, College / HE Tutor. Visual Merchandise, Window design, Sign writer. Personalised merchandiser.  Travel  blogger and writer.


Course Information:

Visit the EDEXCEL website – Art and Design > (PHOTOGRAPHY route) new GCE A – Level specs first teaching from 2015.
See Art subjects – go to the Fine Art pages and see > Photography option –
Faculty Leader:

For careers & industry employment information:


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