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Course outline

A Level photography provides students with opportunities to develop personal responses to
ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures in practical, critical and contextual forms. This two-unit specification requires students to develop their ability to show a range of skills. These include: independence of mind in developing their own ideas; an interest and enthusiasm for photography; the experience of working with a range of media, including traditional and new media and technologies; an awareness of different roles, functions,
audiences and consumers of light and lens-based media.

The tasks are set by AQA, marked by the school or college and moderated by AQA.

This course is particularly suitable for students who wish to study photography or related subjects at a higher level or who wish to pursue a career in the arts.

Course content

  • Photography
  • Digital manipulation
  • Traditional black and white photography
  • Animation
  • 25% written work including analysing the work of other photographers and artists

Pupils will be required to create a portfolio of work using sketchbooks and digital software; a starter pack is purchased from school and then all materials are provided by the school. Trips are also organised so that pupils can see first-hand the work of other photographers.

Working photographers come into school and provide specialist workshops to develop independent practice. Additionally they can give portfolio critiques and interview preparation for arts university.

Entry requirements

A good standard of English of a grade 5 or above. A GCSE in art and/or photography is preferred. 

Someone who is passionate about the arts, filled with creativity and has the ability to analyse contextual issues alongside practical studies with professionalism.

Career / higher education opportunities

Progression to further study, careers in art and design, graphics, advertisement, media, illustration, fashion and textiles, community arts and wider creative industries. A platform for continuing onto university, art college and industry opportunities.

Course specification

AQA Art, Craft and Design: Photography

Student view

“With any given title or topic there is so much you can explore and link to your personal interests, whilst being challenged on your photographic capabilities.”