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Photography A Level at Thomas Mills High School

Course description

The Photography course stimulates interest in, and awareness of, the natural and manufactured environment, helping to develop skills of observation, analysis and criticism. It encourages independent thought and the ability to explore, experiment and innovate, providing students with experience of a range of lens based media through which to express their observations and ideas. As well as being an enriching experience in itself, it provides a pathway to numerous further and higher education courses, leading to careers in various aspects of art and design.

Course content

1 Course work
Students will learn how to use a camera on a manual function, a range of lighting, how to edit photographs using Photoshop and Light Room. They will experiment with traditional darkroom image making.

They will study and work in different genres, and be introduced to a broad range of photographers across time and place.

Component 2 Externally Set Assignment
This unit allows students to demonstrate evidence of their development of in:
• generating a range of ideas
• appropriate research into sources and contexts
• primary recording and analysis of sources and contexts
• sensitive selection and exploration of media and processes

It will involve a preparation period followed by an 10-hour examination.


3 Coursework
This unit incorporates two linked elements: a Practical work

This provides opportunities for students to pursue their own creative, visual ideas in an area of their choice
. Students will learn how to resolve issues and ideas that emerge as an inevitable part of the process of creating photographic work. Students will develop their practical, creative ideas in the light of their chosen focus for the personal study.
b Personal study
Work for this element requires students to produce an illustrated dissertation on a selected aspect of others’ photographic work. Students are required to research, evaluate, analyse and establish coherent and sustainable links between their own practical work for this unit, with that of historical and contemporary references. Students will become aware of some of the methods employed by critics and art historians in achieving an understanding of photographic practices and analysing the imagery and meaning of the work produced. The study will include a written text of between 1000 and 3000 words.

Component4 Externally Set Assignment
This unit follows the same format as unit 2 but with a 15-hour examination.

Entry requirements

A GCSE grade 4 in Art is required, or a portfolio of photographs taken by the student.

Future opportunities

Photography A level will link well with Art A level and vocational foundation and degree courses offered at a large number of centres. Equally it will be considered as a subject in its own right.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Thomas Mills High School directly.

Last updated date: 06 November 2017
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