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Photography A Level at Hugh Christie School

Course description

About the Course

Board: AQA

Photography offers students the opportunity to explore the many diverse approaches to this creative medium. Students will look at the work of a wide range of photographic artists building their analytical and critical skills in the assessment of the work. They will then explore the techniques and processes involved in their practise, formulating their own personal responses. The department is equipped with a studio and large darkroom space along with a full suite of PC’s running the Adobe Production Premium CS6 package which can be accessed by students whenever required. All work is documented in sketchbooks and their best outcomes are hand selected by the students and displayed in the end of year exhibition at each stage of the course. At least two trips are organised over the duration of the course to relevant sites or exhibitions to support their learning.


The course is centred around the Advanced Level, two year course however, there is an option to sit an exam at the end of the first year and achieve an AS level qualification in the subject. This will be at the discretion of the course leader and will need to be discussed with them before applying for the course.


Course content

Units of Study

Year One

Coursework Portfolio: 60% of the full A-Level

Over the first two terms students will explore the full range of techniques and processes available to them through specifically designed skills based tasks. They will then have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work independently selecting a specific genre to explore and develop a personal project in line with the assessment criteria.

A final project will be focused around a specific theme and work towards the end of year show where students will exhibit selected elements of their work alongside the work from the Art, Graphics and Fashion departments. This is an open exhibition that parents and carers will be informed of and are more than welcome to attend.


Year Two

Personal Investigation

Students select their own subject matter exploring as many relevant processes and photographers as possible to build an in-depth project which is supported by a written dissertation of between 1000 – 3000 words.



Entry requirements

5 grade A* - C at GCSE including Grade 5 for English. A Grade 6 or higher in a creative subject (not necessarily Photography. Students will need access to a suitable digital camera throughout the course and contributions for some specialist resources will be expected to maintain and expand on the resources directly offered to students.


Controlled Assessment: 40% of the full A-Level

Students are given an exam paper provided by the AQA board and are required to build a project around one of the questions on it in line with the assessment criteria.

There will be a 15 hour examination at the end of the two month exam period where students will have to work independently under controlled conditions and create their final piece which is expected to form part of their exhibition.





Financial information

You must own or have access to a good quality digital camera. Photography is an expensive subject to take and there will be costs involved with this subject. Each student is required to pay a fee of £25.00 to allow the school to provide premium sketchbooks, colour printing and other associated materials such as wet photography chemicals and paper

Future opportunities

University degree courses and careers such as: Commercial/industrial photographer, Documentary photographer, Fashion photographer, Fine art photographer, Press photographer, Sport photographer, Photo Journalist, Media, Marketing, Journalism and Graphic design. Even without taking the subject further you will find that it develops your skills in using a camera, utilising subject specific software and increases your appreciation of the way in which photography is used in advertising and the media as a whole.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification contact us or ask your  school/college careers staff. Full course details can be found on our website

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hugh Christie School directly.

Last updated date: 22 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Course code: Pt

Contact details