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Photography A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

Photography students at Ashbourne have the opportunity to benefit from up to date facilities, including a fully equipped dark room. They study traditional as well as digital photography and learn practical skills and techniques. Students must be willing to explore in search of photographic subjects as well as develop hands on darkroom and presentation skills. They investigate the three dimensional aspect of Photography by engaging with the newest media and technologies. Tutors from across the Art Department work together to encourage their students to mix media, explore ideas and push boundaries. Students will be encouraged to critically about the meaning and story behind their work.

The Art department at Ashbourne sees Art and Design as being absolutely central to society. Art is everywhere; in the clothes we wear, the crockery we eat from, the buildings we live in as well as the images we see around us. The Art department is committed to preparing its students for commercial and vocational careers in a wide variety of media.

Students experiment in various photo-assignments around London understanding how to work with their environment capturing exciting and interesting images and subject matter. Creative techniques will be explored through the use of ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed and manipulation for stunning and successful images. Students benefit from talks on technique and edit and critique sessions.

Course content

There are four units; two at AS and two at A2.

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies. They will explore images, artefacts and resources relating to Photography and a wider range of Art and Design from the past and from recent times. Students will appreciate how ideas, feeling and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts, they will study historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres and begin to understand how images and artefacts relate to the social, environmental and cultural contexts and to the time and place in which they were created.

Students are required to work in one of more area(s) of Photograhy, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas: portraiture, landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and or/coastal environment) still-life photography, working from objects or from the natural world, documentary photography, photo journalism, experimental imagery, photographic installation, video, television and film.

Students will be expected to develop and later demonstrate skills in all of the following:

The ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of Photography; the ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea or work to a brief or answer a need in Photography Appreciation of viewpoint, composition, depth of field and movement; time-based, through such techniques as sequence or frozen moment; the appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting; understanding of the techniques related to the developing and printing of photographic images.

Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.


Unit 1:

AS unit 1 is portfolio of work set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 2:

AS unit 2 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in supervised conditions over 5 hours and will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 3:

A2 unit 3 is a personal investigation supported by written element of 1000-3000 words, set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 4:

A2 unit 4 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in timed conditions over 15 hours. Work produced will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Future opportunities

Many of our students are preparing for a career in Art or Photography go on to prestigious Art Colleges but many others combine Art A Levels with A Levels in English Literature, Humanities or even Sciences. Students can pursue courses and careers in Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Public Art, Jewellery Making, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Surface Design, Architecture, Photography, Advertising and Animation. Art A Levels can provide a gateway into a structured commercial career.

Further information

Students wishing to study Art related subjects may need to produce a portfolio of related work, which they are prepared to discuss with the Art Department. Art A level requires students to produce a large quantity of work and is usually an unsuitable course for completion within one year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashbourne Independent School directly.

Last updated date: 10 November 2016

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