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Photography A Level at QE Academy Trust

Course description

Photography is a means of communicating in a visual way. It can challenge the way we think about the world. The emphasis of the course is Photography using creative and expressive methods. It is an exciting and highly rewarding subject to take at this level, whether you intend to study it further or not. We encourage you to be inventive, independent and involved. For most lessons you will be engaged in practical project work. You will also learn about a wide range of photographic issues. You will have access to computers, a large well equipped Dark room and the Internet. Visits to exhibitions and outside of the school environment will also be an important part of the course. It is advantageous to have your own traditional or digital SLR camera but is not essential as there is equipment available for loan. Studying Photography can lead to a number of career areas, e.g. fashion or advertising photography, sports photography, photojournalism, fine art photography, forensic/medical photography, film and television, graphic design, animation, photographic processing and printing etc.

Course content

Studying Photography involves:
- learning how to use a camera and developing and printing black and white photographs
- experimenting with a range of photographic processes and techniques, e.g. hand‐colouring, tinting, montage and digital techniques
- producing a folder of personal work and presenting your work effectively to communicate your ideas
- recording the development of your ideas, techniques learnt and analysis of your own and others' work in a work journal
- understanding the history of photography and its role in society

Entry requirements

The general entry requirements for studying at Advanced level apply, and a minimum of grade C in English GCSE is preferred. Students who did not complete GCSE Photography will be expected to show a portfolio of their own work in order to establish suitability for the course.


Unit 1: (60% of AS) This unit is a balance between learning new techniques and being experimental in developing personal responses to specific themes. The course is Fine Art based rather than being technically instructive.

Unit 2: (40% of AS) This unit takes the form of a timed test (5 hours) responding to a theme set by the Exam Board plus preparatory studies.

A2 Level Units

The second year of study builds on skills and ideas developed during the AS course to produce a creative, mature and technically proficient body of work showing personal commitment, flair and individuality.

Unit 3: (60% of A Level) This unit allows you to develop a personal practical project with preparatory studies leading to finished work. You produce contextual studies which relate your own work to other photographers/photographic issues using visual and written elements. You can work with both digital and traditional photographic techniques with no more than 50% of your time spent in digital work.

Unit 4: (40% of A Level) This unit takes the form of a timed test (15 hours) responding to a theme set by the Exam Board plus preparatory studies. In the examination you can choose any techniques and process you wish to produce the final photography work. This can be entirely traditional or digital colour work as 50% of your time is spent in each. 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 lessons. Some of this will be carried out in your workbook which is a vital part of each course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact QE Academy Trust directly.

Last updated date: 17 December 2015
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