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Photography A Level at South Downs College

Course description

Photography is an ever expanding medium employed in many contexts including fashion, advertising, journalism, medicine, science and industry, art and design and as a leisure pastime.

This course examines a diverse range of techniques, ideas and images relevant to the practice of photography.

Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in traditional and new photographic technologies, through exploration of portraiture, landscape, still life, documentary, abstraction and experimental imagery, in the studio and on location.

The course is intended for those who are interested in studying the principles, aesthetics and role of photography as a means of communicating ideas and information.

Students are expected to demonstrate this through practical and critical/ contextual activities. Photography combines well with most other subjects from humanities, sciences and business management areas of study.

Course content

The A level consists of three components of coursework which are internally assessed and externally moderated.

In components 1 and 2 you will be expected to produce a portfolio of images, through a number of set projects, demonstrating experimentation and the creative use of the medium. Critical and contextual studies together with other evidence of development will also need to be presented for assessment.

Component 3 is an Externally Set Assignment. Here you will be required to produce preparatory work in response to set questions, then develop ideas towards a self directed outcome.  You will need to create an informed and competent response within a controlled test environment.

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.


Your work is assessed individually in tutorial sessions, group ‘crits’ and presentations and by formally assessed unit submissions.

Final assessment is initially carried out by your lecturers, then verified/ moderated by an external moderator appointed by the examining board.

Future opportunities

A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

Further information

Students will be given a small allocation of materials. Additional materials can be purchased from the College.

It should be appreciated that A level Photography is a demanding course and you will be required to dedicate a great deal of your time to keeping up with this programme. It is therefore recommended that you should avoid combining A level Photography with more than one other practically based art subject (e.g. Graphic Communication, 2D Art, Textiles, etc) in your overall programme as this may represent an unrealistic workload.

It is also recommended that you should consider carefully when choosing Photography as a fourth subject for the same reasons.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Downs College directly.

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

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