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A Level: Art and Design - (Photography)

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code 117
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The best foundation for success in Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE in Photography is a genuine interest in the subject and its practitioners. As well as this candidates should have a determination to develop that interest by expanding their own skills and understanding of other people’s work. The course is based mainly on the medium of digital photography. The EDEXCEL specification provides candidates with existing opportunities to develop their knowledge and capabilities through hands on practical tasks and personal research into other peoples work. Throughout the course candidates will develop their technical understanding of the digital camera and how it works. They will learn how images can be captured, stored and transferred in digital format. They will learn how captured images can be enhanced and manipulated by using computer software. Candidates will be encouraged to use their own time to develop their photographic skills and produce evidence in a coursework folio. They will also be required to research into the work of other photographers and produce reports for their folio.


What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course? 

In addition to the standard St Paul’s entry, requirements, this course also normally requires students to have achieved grade 5 or above in a GCSE Art. Previous photographic experience is useful but not essential, as we start everyone from the very beginning. We will consider applications from students who do not have Art GCSE but can show they have had experience of photography.

How will it be delivered?

The course is designed to be fun, exciting and thought provoking for the students and builds on your individual strengths. It consists of two units: 

Thematic enquiry (based on a theme: Environment or Journey). 60% of overall mark. 
This unit is concerned with the relationship between exciting ideas and Art & Design practice. Ideas provide the starting point for much Artwork and as work is produced ideas and outcomes will change and develop. You will also have opportunities to develop an understanding of the expressive nature of the formal elements of art and design and express your ideas, creating a personal and engaging sketchbook or portfolio of work. This includes a separate critical study of 1500 words. 

Theme provided by EDEXCEL exam board. The question paper for this unit will provide you with one interesting and quite broad starting point, such as ‘Icons’, ‘The Environment’, ‘Rituals’ etc. You will have an eightweek preparation period, during which time you can discuss your work with your teacher. You should undertake investigative preparatory work in your work journals throughout the course. You will also have an exam of ten hours of unaided work.

Entry requirements

Generic A-level entry requirements.

Your next steps...

What kind of student is this course suitable for? 

Some students’ progress to degree courses in Photography itself, but students will find A- level Photography useful in supporting applications for further study in wider fields of Art and Design. The course teaches you the skills of visual communication, which will be a valuable asset in a wide range of careers such as advertising, journalism and teaching.


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