Accessibility links

Photography A Level at Don Valley School and Performing Arts College

Course description

AS Level Photography builds upon GCSE Photography or extends the creative from GCSE or BTEC Art and Design although there is no requirement to have previously studied Art or Photography. It aims to expand your skills through a series of intense theme-based projects and critical studies visits. The skills covered within the course range from learning how to use a camera 35mm SLR and digital SLR, developing and printing black and white photographs, experimenting with montage, digital techniques, manipulation using Photoshop and printing, mounting and presenting work and recording ideas, techniques and the analysis of that process in a journal. The course leads to an AS qualification which can stand on its own or lead to A2, the full A Level qualification.

Course content

AS Photography – Year One

  • Unit 1 (50% AS)

This unit explores both traditional darkroom and digital photography techniques and practice, you will be required to produce a portfolio which shows evidence of your ability to explore the work of others, record ideas, experiences and insights using a range of media and techniques, develop ideas and produce final outcomes informed by your investigations

Portfolio Projects

Architecture: working with a practicing photographer to use a 35mm SLR camera and learn your way round the darkroom exploring the theme of churches.

Image and Text: Digital photography with Photoshop development in response to the work of

Martin Parr, Barbra Kruger and Tom Phillips.

Layers: both digital and darkroom work exploring the theme of trees to create experimental imagery influenced by the work of Victoria Crowe.

  • Unit 2 (50% AS)

This unit takes the form of a timed test (5 hours) responding to a theme set by the Exam Board plus preparatory studies. You will choose the style of photography you wish to follow and respond appropriately to that brief.

The information in this leaflet is an example of a typical syllabus in this subject area, and it may be offered at one or more of the Academies in the Partnership

  • Externally Set Assignment: Project themes chosen from those set by the Exam Board to complement work done in the Portfolio Projects
A2 Art, Craft and Design– Year Two

The second year of study is about building on skills and ideas developed during the AS course to produce creative, mature and technically proficient work showing personal commitment, flair and individuality. For this you will produce two units of work.

  • Unit 3 (50% A2)

Personal Investigation. Constructed Landscape: based on landscape photography, designing and producing an image for the back drop of a contemporary play which references the work of artists/photographers of your choice.

This unit allows you to develop a personal project, from preparatory studies to a final piece, based on a theme. It involves producing contextual studies which relate your own work to other artists/ designers using. You will produce a 1000 word (minimum) written element for your personal investigation project.

  • Unit 4 (50% A2)

Externally Set Assignment. You will choose your own project theme chosen from those set by the Exam Board to complement work done in the Personal Project.

This unit is in the form of a timed test (15 hours) responding to a theme set by the Exam Board producing preparatory studies and leading to a finished piece of work. Again you will build on existing skills using the style of photography of your choice.

Throughout both courses you will have clear feedback from your teachers about your progress and you will be encouraged to develop your work and ideas outside of lessons.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or better. No more than two applied courses can count towards this total and each applied course counted has the equivalence of only one GCSE, regardless of its nominal size. In addition, students must achieve the specific entry requirements which may apply to this course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Don Valley School and Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 30 June 2015

Key information