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Photography A Level at Invicta Grammar School

Course description

Photography is an exciting subject where students are introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of photographic media, techniques, and processes. The course is for students who enjoy creative expression and detailed image analysis, incorporating historical and contemporary references. Photography is a practical course which will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the subject in a wide variety of contexts. Using school facilities there are opportunities to be able to enjoy the whole process of photography from initial shooting through to the final development in the dark room and on the computer using Photoshop. The first stages are concerned with learning how to operate a camera, control exposure, and understand lighting techniques. Following this students will develop an ability to translate ideas into photographic images by appropriate choices of camera controls, subject matter, viewpoints, and media.

Course content

By studying Photography you will extend your skills in, black and white, 35mm film processing and printing, darkroom techniques, digital photography, Photoshop image manipulation and studio lighting practice. You will also learn about different types of cameras such as pin-hole photography, digital SLR and 35mm cameras. Manual settings will be explored as well as the history and theory of photography. Throughout the course you will study how to analyse and replicate famous photographer’s techniques and come to understand the importance of viewpoints, composition, depth of field and movement, as well as explore and practice technical skills relating to lighting, lenses, filters, and the developing and printing of 35mm film.

The first year of the course concentrates on the development of skills through a variety of projects and workshop sessions. The second year of study enables students to develop their own assignment at A Level appropriate to advanced level studies and will be an opportunity for areas of personal interest to be explored in-depth.

Throughout the course, you will learn how to work independently and creatively to develop an individual style. You will produce practical and critical/contextual work in a variety of areas including theme-based photography (portrait, landscape, still-life, and reportage), documentary photography, photo-journalism, narrative photography, and experimental imagery. Photography has the potential to enable you to make a personal response to your own individual experiences, environment, and culture. On a wider theme the subject will enhance your understanding and provide a practical experience of the role, purpose, and function of Photography in society.

Entry requirements

6/above in GCSE Photography with submission of a portfolio of work. In schools where GCSE Photography is not available, students need to achieve a 6 grade in their creative subject with submission of a portfolio of work.


Component 1:
Personal Investigation – 60%
A practical unit which incorporates a written component written of 1000 to 3000 words. Students develop a project of work which addresses each of the four assessment criteria before realising a personal outcome.

Component 2:
Controlled Assignment – 40%
The externally set assignment starts at the beginning of February. Students will select a theme from a range of given starting points before embarking on a preparatory period which includes research and experimentation. Students move on to develop their personal ideas before completing the unit with a 15 hour of controlled period.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Invicta Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 16 November 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years