Photography A level

What will I study in Photography A level?

A level Photography is a great combination of creative thinking and technical skill. Pupils will learn and explore a variety of techniques ranging from Photoshop to Dark Room Practice. They will learn exactly how the camera works and will be expected to control it with expertise in order to create the shots that they plan for. A level Photography equips pupils with many transferable skills. For example: problem solving, creative thinking, IT skills, independent thought, the ability to work in a team, research skills, planning and organisation. This course is an exciting and engaging one in which at least one pupil from each year group has gone to study Photography at University due to their engagement in and enjoyment of the A level Programme.

Entry requirements

A grade 6 in Art or DT GCSE or a portfolio demonstrating your abilities and interests is required.

Units of study

  • Unit 1: The basics of Photography - how the camera works, how Photoshop works, how Lightroom works, how to write about photographs in an effective way.
  • Unit 2: Mini Project - Pupils will learn how to import, edit, write about and present their work in Adobe Lightroom. All pupils will work on the same theme at this stage.
  • Unit 3: Independent Project - Now pupils understand the structure of working through a project, they will be given a selection of themes to choose from, in which they research and develop and project of their own choosing
    • Coursework Project: Pupils select a starting point from a number of given themes. They have from September to January to complete the project. They must produce a fnal piece at the end of the project which summarises their work (60%).
    • Exam Project: The exam board provides a paper of different themes that pupils have to choose from as a starting point. They develop a project based on their chosen theme. It culminates in a 15 hour supervised examination (40%).


  • For Component 1, the “Personal Investigation” (Coursework Project) is a practical element where you will develop an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material of 1,000-3,000 words (60%)
  • For Component 2 , the “Externally Set Assignment” (Exam) you will produce personal work in response to one of eight exciting starting points over a three month period before completing your final response in a 15 hour supervised examination (40%).

Where could it lead?

The study of Photography equips you with transferable skills that will support you in both further study and a range of university degrees and careers such as: flmmaker, photojournalist, graphic designer, art critic and fashion photographer.