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Photography A level at The Holy Cross School

Course description

The course is delivered as digital lens based photography. The focus of the course is creative photography using manipulations techniques. It requires the student to be able to do more than just take a good photograph.

The student will develop a creative art based project; one of the main course requirements is creative development. Students must go beyond mere observation and recording; they must analyse and critically evaluate the photographic images of their own and other artists’ work.

Course content

Unit 1 Skills based workshops in Year 12 (Sept - Dec)

Unit 1 Coursework (Sept - Jan in Year 13) 60% of A Level

Within the first term students will be taught digital and traditional techniques in skill based workshops, helping to build their confidence within the subject. Students will select a personal portfolio theme for their personal coursework unit, giving them the opportunity to generate ideas and research from primary and contextual sources, record their findings, experiment with media and processes and develop and refine their ideas towards producing a series of outcomes.

This personal portfolio coursework unit incorporates two linked elements, practical work and a personal study. The practical work allows the student to pursue their creative potential. The personal study is a clearly identified area of study linked to the practical work. It provides the focus for contextual analysis and connections and must be between 1000 and 3000 words.

Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% A Level) Feb - May in Year 13

Students will be set a question or theme by AQA. They have an extended preparatory period in which to develop their ideas before a 15 hour examination.

Entry requirements

GCSE Grade 6 or above in Art & Design, Art Textiles or Photography or Merit in GCSE Applied Art & Design. Also, GCSE Grade 4 or above in English Language. A photography portfolio will have to be completed to a satisfactory standard. You will be given a topic and guidelines for the project before enrolling on to the course.


All work is internally assessed and externally moderated. Specific Entry Requirement:

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 11 October 2017

Key information