Photography is a subject that opens many opportunities to those who wish to capture the world in different ways. Apart from great job prospects including photojournalism and advertising, photography is a great medium for developing creative independence and exploring a diverse range of both traditional and contemporary techniques and processes. 


Photography A level

Awarding body AQA

Year 12

Skills & Principles – Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences as they learn the building blocks of photography, including formal elements and rules of composition. Here will develop their technical skills of aperture, shutter speed, depth of field and exposure. Students will also be introduced to traditional photographic methods including handmade negatives and dark room processing. Students will engage with image manipulation using both traditional and contemporary methods in order to respond creatively to a range of contextual sources.

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. 


60% - Coursework (Component 1)      

40% - Externally  Set exam (Component 2)

  • AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. 
  • AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops. 
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. 
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Externally set Exam: Students respond to a stimulus, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

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.