Photography A-Level




Photography A Level Course St Vincent College

Course Description

Do you want to communicate in a visual and creative way? This course will make you confident with film and digital photography.

Experimentation is encouraged through practical lessons and gallery visits. Digital sketchbooks are used to record ideas and artist’s work. Previous knowledge of photography is not essential, nor owning your own camera, just a passion for making your own images!

The photography department provides most of the equipment necessary. We don’t expect all students to have their own digital camera, but you might decide to invest in one if you become serious about the subject as it will aid your ability to make more work independently. You will however need a storage device such as an SD card.

Year 1: Coursework Portfolio Development (60% of the A Level grade) 

  • Exploration of techniques including: using cameras, developing film, printing using chemicals in the darkroom 
  • Digital image composition, manipulation and printing 
  • Traditional and digital sketchbook development 
  • Independent research and visual awareness 
  • Research into Photographers and Artists 
  • Development of considered approaches to being creative 
  • Written discussion and exposition 
  • Planning, preparation and realisation of a project from given titles 
  • How students determine individual directions and choices of media 
  • Document research and creative processes 

Year 2 (A-Level):  

Personal Investigation (60% of the A Level grade) 

  • Students making own choices of creative direction 
  • Making more considered and polished photography 
  • Work on larger scales 
  • Produce one major project that show the clear development and exploration of creative ideas 
  • An extended illustrated essay in the form of a Related Study that forms 20% of the coursework grade 
  • Planning and preparation in creative and inventive ways 

Externally Set Task (40% of the A Level grade) 

  • Final major piece responding to set titles for a 3 month preparation period to produce final outcomes in 15 hour exam  

Two years

Technical aspects of using a camera, aperture, depth of field and framing/ composing images 

Darkroom processes 

Digital black and white/ colour photography 

Adobe Photoshop to edit digital images 

Research skills and image analysis to develop a contextual of the subject 

A-Level Art and Design – Art and/or Graphics.

Film and Digital Arts.


  • All students have access to our MAC suite,darkroom and art rooms to make work in independent study sessions 
  • Opportunity for regular trips to galleries as well as foreign trips and London visits

For creative students, to foundation and a range of Visual Arts degree courses at art colleges.

Other Higher Education courses if studying a mixed study programme. 

• Five GCSEs at Grades 4 – 9.
• Creative Portfolio for interview.

The Personal Investigation and Externally Set Task are internally assessed and externally moderated to verify marks.

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