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Photography A level at Easthampstead Park Community School

Course description

Photography and the manipulation of light is at the heart of all contemporary media, Art, and the modern world which we absorb and reflect. Any young person wishing to pursue a career in the creative industries or advertising/marketing would hold a valuable qualification in A level Photography. An ability to project ideas and creativity through the lens of an analogue or digital camera, either via still images, moving image, or digital software is at the heart of this subject.

Photography provides an exciting and limitless avenue for self expression beyond the pencil and paintbrush.

Course content

Over two years of study, students will learn the basic principles of photography using film and digital media. They will explore the historical magic of traditional black and white photography in our new dark room, through to the use of studio photography and digital manipulation with the newest version of Adobe Photoshop in our newly refurbished Mac suite.

Unit 1 is entitled ‘Deconstruction’ where practical and contextual understanding is developed in tandem. Both the technical attributes, and theoretical basis of established photographic masters are examined, culminating in a ‘mini project’ where students are encouraged to utilise new found skills and understanding in their own creative expression.

Following a series of further technical workshops, students will then complete a second more refined personal project up to Easter in Y12. At the heart of this course is a great emphasis on independent and confident self-expression, supported by technical workshops and continual reflection and feedback by teaching staff.

After Easter in Y12, students embark on their own ‘Personal Investigation’ which can take any form their creative thought process sees fit. This investigation comprises a written element of 2000-3000 words where Artists and Photographers are researched, and contextual understanding is displayed by linking these Artists’ and Photographers’ work to their own.  It should involve practical experimentation and refinement of ideas in relation to the research undertaken. The written element to the unit is there to support the practical work, and as such strengthens creativity via solid contextual and technical understanding.

Entry requirements

A*-C GCSE grade in Art and English would be beneficial to any student wishing to enrol on the course. A GCSE in Media Studies would also provide a good basis for developing creative responses within Photography. It is also necessary for students to have access to a DSLR or bridge camera outside of lessons. The department does have equipment to use during school hours, but the ability to shoot outside of school is paramount to success on the course.


Photography is broken down into 60% coursework represented by the ‘Personal Investigation’, and 40% exam which is 15 hours over 3 days. The exam follows 10 weeks of investigative photography into an exam question theme provided by AQA.

The Art department is embracing the 21st century and EPCS adoption of the new Google drive system. Staff can track and monitor progress of students’ work at all times by working in a virtual classroom. This exciting teaching development enables instant feedback on work, and the opportunity for collaborative work in a digital realm.

Future opportunities

This course is the gateway to the creative industries: professional photographer, game designer, art director, filmmaker, graphic designer, or even architect. An understanding of photography, and how to use it as an effective tool for presenting ideas is at the heart of a creative career.

An A level in photography is a valuable element to any pathway to university to study a creative subject, from Animation to Fine Art.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Easthampstead Park Community School directly.

Last updated date: 14 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September