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Photography A level at Bishop Thomas Grant Catholic Secondary School

Course description

The Art department delivers an ever increasing multi-disciplinary approach to Art.  We offer a wide range of courses that cater for a diverse range of pupils and students.  We currently have a fully functioning ceramics room with a kiln, a dark room, a photography room, and four large classrooms. The Art department is well equipped and can also cater for pupils wishing to pursue Art Textiles. We have six members of staff, including a part-time Art technician.

Course content

Students begin the course with the transition programme which introduces them to the standards and expectations of A-level Photography. Students will then go on to explore ‘Threshold Concepts’ in Photography; these will give students a broad range of skills and knowledge to enhance their understanding and practical abilities so they are then able to begin coursework.  

Entry requirements

Students do not require a C grade in GCSE Art and Design but it certainly benefits their knowledge and understanding of the subject. Students require a C grade in English as there is a strong written element to the course. 


The A-Level Photography course is now a two year linear course with an exam at the end of Year 13. We use the exam board AQA.  

The course is made up of two components:  

Component 1 is a coursework component worth 60% of the overall mark, a project based on a theme of the student's choice. This will start at the end of Year 12 and continue into Year 13 until the 1st February - this is when all the coursework is submitted and students are given the externally set assignment. 

Component 2 is an externally set assignment, worth 40% of the overall mark.  The final exam is 15 hours spread across 3 days but there will be a mock exam at the end of Year 12.

Future opportunities

Many of our students choose to study Art at higher educational institutions and, out of those who have applied, 100% have successfully gained a place.  Students have gone on to study degrees and foundation courses at such places as Ravensbourne, Kingston, Greenwich, Camberwell and Central St Martins.  The high success rate of students gaining places at university is down to the strong links with different higher educational institutions and encouraging students to take advantage of the benefits available such as Saturday School, Summer Schools, portfolio workshops and short term specialist skills courses, most of which are available through the prestigious University Arts London. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishop Thomas Grant Catholic Secondary School directly.

Last updated date: 24 November 2016
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