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Art & Design (Photography) GCE A Level

  • 3

    Level 3

  • Duration
    2 years

  • Start Date
    September 2024

  • Venue
    Paston College

  • Course Code

Start Date

  • September 2024, Full Time


We tailor the course to maximise your individual interests and develop your own creative identity with a strong sense of cultural awareness.

The two units that are covered during this course are personal investigation: exploring a self-initiated photographic theme and an externally set assignment which encourages you to choose from eight themes and produce a final piece during a fifteen hour practical exam. In both units, you will be asked to produce experimental coursework and research prior to a final piece. Throughout the course you will learn a wide range of practical, expressive and theoretical skills to build creative confidence.

These skills include:

Understanding camera features in film and digital formats from 35mm, medium and large format.
Understanding light and exposure and applying camera techniques to suit portrait, landscape and still life subjects.
Using photographic accessories such a studio and off-camera flash, lens filters, time lapse etc.
Manipulation and refinement of imagery through digital software (Adobe Photoshop) and darkroom practice, processing and enlarging black & white film negatives.

Understanding how to combine technique and subject matter into photographic themes to express a personal vision.
Applying skills and ideas to contexts such as documentary, fine art, commercial, editorial and natural history photography.

Exploring elements of the history and contemporary practice of photography to gain inspiration.
Understanding and applying analytical skills in writing about and discussing photographer’s work.
Photography gives you a brilliant creative outlet where you might not have conventional artistic skills such as drawing and painting.

Entry Requirements

3 A Level Programme

Minimum of 2 6/B grades and 3 4/C grades at GCSE. Vocational subjects cannot replace GCSEs for entry to an A Level programme.
Art, Graphics or Photography GCSE grade 4
If you did not take an Arts GCSE you must have a portfolio approved after interview as a condition of offer.

You must also study English Language and/or Maths GCSE if you have not already achieved a minimum of grade 4/C in these subjects.


You will be assessed formally through assessment criteria from the exam board and informally through one to one appraisals of ongoing coursework. You will also be assessed through a variety of coursework and will be asked to complete preparatory studies to complete a finished piece of work completed under exam conditions.


If you are a UK or home fee status student and aged 16-18 on the 31st August before the start of your course, tuition fees are free. If you are aged 19 and over please contact the Advice Shop.

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