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Photography A level at The Thomas Aveling School

Course description

A specialised endorsed programme within the GCE in Art entitled ‘Photography’.  

In this specialism you will demonstrate the use of still image photography through an experimental approach to dark room practice. You will demonstrate how to innovatively combine methods and processes to produce an expressive response through an explorative approach. You will use a range of methods techniques and processes including: darkroom practice – for example, pin-hole cameras, photograms, solarisation, multiple exposure and reversal printing; alternative print processes – for example, liquid emulsions, resist printing, toning and the use of ‘art’ papers.

You will complete a coursework unit (personal investigation) set by your teacher. This unit will be worth 60% of your qualification. It will also include a minimum of a 1000 word contextual response. This unit could be a continuation of the year 12 coursework.

An externally set exam will begin in February, which will comprise of a preparatory sketchbook along with a 15 hour exam. Together this will form 40% of your A2.

Both units will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE (or equivalent) passes at Grade A* - C, and we recommend A* - C in level 2 vocational qualification in Art and Design - Merit or Distinction.


To satisfy the assessment criteria you are required to demonstrate the following skills:

• a range of approaches to working with images, signs and symbols such as observation, analysis, expression, communication and imagination;

• An understanding of conventions and genres such as figurative, abstract and symbolic

• An understanding of role and function such as documentary, portraiture and narrative

• A range of techniques appropriate to the specialism

• An understanding of pictorial space, composition, rhythm, sequence, scale and structure 

Future opportunities

There are many careers using photography.  Most of these require further study at an art school, further education college or university.  At present most students wishing to take art, craft or design beyond 6th Form will go on to do a one year ‘Foundation’ course at an Art College or University before applying to degree courses in specialist areas of art and design.  In recent years increasing numbers of students have gained direct entry onto degree courses.  This could lead to careers in such fields as advertising, marketing, design, publishing and the media.  The study of Art can also help you develop transferable skills you can take into any career or job.


Further information



How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Thomas Aveling School directly.

Last updated date: 20 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September