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Photography AS at The Ashcombe School

Course description

Why study the subject?

The study of photography at A-level may lead to a career in the creative industries. It is suitable for those students wishing to pursue a course of study in Further Education in Art and Design and/or Photography. It is also suitable for those who did not study Art & Design at GCSE level but have already acquired some knowledge of photography and skill in the use of photographic equipment. However, it helps if the students have studied either Art or DT as they will be familiar with the method of assessment and some of the creative processes involved. It enables students to build up a portfolio of work for interview to pre-B.A. foundation courses which lead to specialised degree courses in all aspects of Art and Design whether in Photography or vocational courses. Whilst it is a demanding course, requiring intellectual, critical and practical skills, it is also rewarding for those wishing to introduce a visual and creative element to their A-level choices.

Course content

The course is designed to allow students to demonstrate some of the following: 

• a range of approaches to working digitally with images;

• an understanding of conventions and genres, such as portrait, landscape and movement;

• an understanding of role and function, such as documentary, war photography and fashion photography;

• a range of techniques appropriate to the specialism of photography, such as the control of shutter speed and the use of aperture;

• the ability to make effective use of different lighting conditions, pictorial space, composition, rhythm, sequence, scale and structure; 

• the ability to make effective use of formal elements, such as colour, tone, texture, shape, form and sound.

Understanding the context of photography is a significant element in the process of building knowledge of the subject. It provides the relevant circumstances that help to explain ideas, feelings and meanings. It can refer to both the context in which a student produces his/her own work and to the wider context of professional work as demonstrated by varying styles, genres and traditions. It is very important that students demonstrate an understanding of context in their work.


AS Units 

Unit 1: Coursework Portfolio: 

Candidates produce a portfolio of work from starting points, topics or themes determined by their centre. The focus is on including that shows exploration, research, acquisition of techniques and skills. (60% AS) (30%A-level). 

Unit 2: A timed controlled assessment that takes place at the end of the year based on preparatory studies and research in response to one starting point from a question paper questions set by the board. (40% AS) (20%A-level)



Entry requirements

A good pass at GCSE Art or Design Technology (C and above) is desirable. Otherwise a portfolio of work showing evidence of photographic and artistic ability and an interest in the further study of Photography. It is strongly recommended that each student will provide their own DSLR camera and photo printing paper to ensure that a high standard of work is produced.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 August 2016
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