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Photography A-Level at New College Pontefract

Course description

The Visual Arts department offers students the opportunity to be creative, and develop their independent working skills in an exciting and supportive environment. The Photography course is an introduction to the subject where you will be introduced to a variety of techniques and produce some exciting and creative photographic work. You will start by learning how to create images in a traditional photographic darkroom, using film cameras, learning about composition and making your own black and white photographs. You will then be introduced to digital photography using Apple Mac computers and Adobe Photoshop to manipulate images and produce professional quality results.

During the course you will have the opportunity to learn about other photographers to produce your own ideas that will be recorded in sketchbooks throughout the year. Photography is intended to teach you how to work independently and creatively by producing original and personal photographs.

Course content

The course will begin with skills building which will develop your technical ability as well as expose you to new ideas. This will cover a wide range of photographic skills from the traditional darkroom to professional digital software such as Adobe Photoshop. You will learn about composition, editing, using cameras and communication through imagery.

You will look at a wide range of other artists’ work both traditional and contemporary and use these to inspire and inform your own work. This will all be done whilst developing your independent working skills and allowing you to determine the direction of your own projects. You will then be able to select your own direction to work in, picking ideas and media that interest you.

Entry requirements

Level 4 English Language and 4 in a creative subject or a merit at BTEC (if studied)


There is an externally set assignment in both year 12 and year 13 where you will be given a starting point to explore and develop in your own way. This will conclude with you producing a final piece of work in a timed exam and exhibiting your work at the end of year 13.

Financial information

Financial support can be provided to students of families who are on low income to help with extra costs of staying on in education. If you need any further information please visit our website or contact student services.

Future opportunities

Photographic and visual communication is essential in many careers including the Creative Arts and Computer Technologies.

You may go on to study Photography on a higher education course or combine it with other creative subjects such as Art, Design, Graphics, Textiles and Lens-based Media.

Further information

What skills do I need?

  • You should possess a genuine interest in Photography.
  • An ability to work practically and creatively.
  • Organisation, and time management.
  • Creativity skills are essential to success on this course.


How will I be taught?
Photography is a combination of technical learning through lectures; demonstrations; and independent and tutor led research, which is then applied through practical sessions. In AS there will be an introduction to basic darkroom and digital skills, structured projects based on the given themes to which you can then apply your technical and creative abilities. In A2 theoretical and practical investigations will be further developed with the emphasis on you directing your own interests and projects with tutor guidance.

Private Study
As an approximate guideline Y12 subjects require three to four hours of independent study each; Y13 subjects four to five hours each and GCSE subjects two hours each.

What materials will I need to purchase?
Three sketch pads will be required for the first year these can be purchased from the College shop.

Examining Board

Photography is for you if: You are an artistic or creative person who likes coursework subjects and is highly self-motivated.

Photography is not for you if:You don't like practical independent work and have no interest in the visual arts.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 06 October 2017
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