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Art (Photography) AS/A Level at South Dartmoor Community College

Course description

Art (Photography) is suitable for anyone aspiring to a career in photography or any related art and design area. Progression routes from here lead to Foundation Studies in General Art and Design or more specialised photography courses in Further and Higher Education.

Course content

Emphasis is placed on learning the visual language of photography within a fine art context. You will work within the specialist area of lens based photography, and learn all the necessary skills and processes to exploit the creative potential of 35 mm SLR cameras and black and white processing and printing. You will also learn how to use digital cameras and image manipulating software. Based on your own contextual investigation and understanding of photographers’ work you will be encouraged to develop a personal and informed response to given starting points.

Entry requirements

5 GCSE grades A*-C or equivalent. Students must have at least a grade C GCSE in Photography or related subject area. It is important that applicants demonstrate a keen interest and commitment to Photography.


There are two components to the AS standalone course and two components to the A Level course. The first component is a personal investigation and this contributes to 60% of the overall grade. The second component is an externally set assignment and this contributes to 40% of the overall grade.

Assessment objectives are the same across all A-level Art and Design exam boards. They include:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Future opportunities

As a photographer your career may lead to work in the following areas of photography: Fashion, Fine Art, Advertising, Graphic Design, architecture, reportage and social documentary and portraiture. Please see Fine Art and your future career for more general Art and Design career options.

Further information

Fully equipped darkroom and a film processing room. Two digital suites with 50 dedicated computers. The college has a site license for ‘Adobe creative suite 5.5’. This includes Adobe Photoshop and is installed on all Art department computers. 5 DSLR cameras, 15 compact digital and 10 SLR 35 mm film cameras. (It is advantageous to own your own camera, which you may purchase via SDCC at a reduced price.) We also run field trips to various locations and galleries.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Dartmoor Community College directly.

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years