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Photography A Level at Sir John Lawes School

Course description

This is an exciting contemporary course with students looking at the principles of good photography studying fundamentals like composition, lighting, depth of field and focus. Students will learn theory, look at work by other photographers and artists, but the main focus will be producing their own practical work demonstrating understanding through experimenting and producing images.

While we will be looking at a range of ways of making images with the possibility of some darkroom work, the majority of the course will be digital with students taking images digitally and refining and manipulating those images in our computer suite. Access to your own camera would be an advantage but not essential as some digital SLR cameras are available for use in school.

Course content

You will start off with a set of skills based projects, leading to a more self-directed sustained project where you develop a series of photography based final pieces and supporting back up work. The course will culminate in an assessed exhibition a 10 hour mock exam and a 15 hour practical exam.

Entry requirements

You would be expected to have achieved a good pass, (B or above) in GCSE Art and Design, Graphics, Textiles or to be able to demonstrate interest and aptitude for photography through a portfolio presentation to Mr Higgins before you are accepted onto the course. All students must have an APS of 4.5 or above. 


You will be marked on your recording and photography skills, development of ideas, contextual awareness and the quality of your realisations.

Coursework 60% included 1000+ word written research project that is worth 12% of the final mark.

15 hour Practical Exam sat in sessions over a three week period worth 40% of the final mark.

Further information

This course can also be taken in combination with Art and Design, Textiles or Graphics A level. Indeed knowledge of photography and the ability to take high quality dynamic photos would be an asset for Graphics A Level. However due to the similar structure of the courses advice needs to be taken if you do plan to take more than one of the options.


A3 sketchbook x 2 Printing costs. Possible film and developing costs if students wish to use camera film as well as digital.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sir John Lawes School directly.

Last updated date: 05 January 2017
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