Photography is an outstanding course to study at Hermitage Academy. Students are expertly trained in the use of their equipment in a way that embeds techniques and ideas over time.

Students are expertly trained in the use of their equipment in a way that embeds techniques and ideas over time. Students will have the opportunity to see FORMAT, a world-renown photography festival in Derby as well as regular visits to Baltic.



Awarding body AQA

Entry requirements

Grade 5 or above in both GCSE maths and English. Grade 6 or above in art or photography, unless a suitable portfolio of skilled work can be provided.

Year 12

Foundation studies - a wide range of workshops to train in the use of camera technology, lighting, gels and related equipment. Students also learn more abstract applications of equipment including painting with light and the experimental use of scanning equipment. 

An extended Project called ‘Why does it have to be in focus’, based on the work of a wide range of practitioners. Students get to ask fundamental questions about what this light medium of making is, whilst making and taking photographs. Students will also start their personal investigation, constructing an in-depth inquiry of their own choosing.

Year 13

Personal investigation – having begun to develop an exciting investigation, students pursue multi avenues of inquiry at pace. Alongside a wide breadth of making exercises students also contribute research and writing, culminating in up to 3000 words of extended written prose.


Externally set assignment - students choose one theme from an exam paper to prepare works and investigations towards, which takes place from February to April in Year 13. This assessment ends with a 15-hour period where students will produce a purposesful and meaning response, in any appropriate format or media.

Why study photography?

Photography offers an incredible breadth of thinking and functional skills that are transferable across a vast spectrum of study. Many students have proceeded to study: 2D and 3D animation, fashion and textile design, film and media studies, game design, illustration, product design, photography, set design and graphic design at degree level.

I was introduced to a range of contemporary photographic practices. The course stood out in its focus on and encouragement of experimentation and play, two crucial activities for the development of any artist or photographer.
Max Southern, Brighton University, studying photography