Art & Design: Photography

Type of qualification – A Level
Exam Board – AQA

Course Description

The Art & Design course in Photography is designed to develop your technical skills in digital photography and photo editing as well as an aesthetic awareness and appreciation of compositional strategies used in the specialism. There will be opportunities to record ideas and observations, develop work informed by photographers, artists and designers, experiment with media and materials, and review and refine your work.

The course allows for the development of new skills and techniques within various specialisms in the subject area such as graphic communication, printmaking, and mixed media. Essential to the course is an appreciation of the importance of context and the ability to make explicit the relationship between your own ideas and those of others. You will develop these abilities, in addition to refining your analytical skills and your understanding of visual language, codes and conventions. There is an emphasis on self-directed learning and growing independence as the course develops over the two years.

Many careers involve some aspect of visual imaging. Specific career paths include; journalism, radiography, survey, commercial arts, advertising and graphic design. The skills gained in the study of photography at this level, such as analysis, evaluation, discussion and presentation, are highly transferable.

Interesting fact about studying this subject at S6C

You will be offered a range of opportunities in Photography such as live briefs set by the college and the wider community; work experience as college photographers for social, news and promotional events; guest speakers from the creative industry and completing installation video and animation projects.


The first year is an opportunity to build a portfolio of work that can be used in interviews at university, art foundations, apprenticeships and work experience placements.
The second year comprises of two components: the personal investigation (60%) and the externally set assignment (40%).
You will receive feedback every three weeks as part of the assessment cycle as well as 1:1s with your subject teacher.
Components 1 and 2 are assessed internally and then subject to external moderation to national standards.

Equipment Required: Camera, sketchbooks

General Entry Requirements

5 GCSE qualifications with minimum grade 4

Subject Specific Requirements

Level 5 – Art or Photography or Graphics

What Our Students Think

“Photography is an outlet for unlimited expression, experimentation, exploration and development.”
Chantelle, previously Sarum Academy