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Photography A-level at The Oakes College Cambridge (at The Netherhall School)

Course description

The main aim of the Photography course is to develop your ability to appreciate the visual world and enhance your personal creativity.  You will gain a working knowledge of photographic materials, practices and technology within the discipline, allowing you to develop the skills required to interpret, record and convey your ideas effectively.

We can offer you Darkroom facilities, Studio lighting, Nikon digital and analogue SLRs, Adobe software on our iMac computers in the Studio plus a myriad of techniques offered by our Tutors.

A-level Photography is demanding and rigorous.  The course will challenge your intellect, creativity and imagination.

Course content

In your first year of study you will be actively engaged in developing your photographic skills in a variety of processes, such as critical analysis, animation, digital imagery, image manipulation, darkroom practices, studio lighting and exhibiting.

You will consider and analyse photography in its historical and contemporary context, reviewing the work of photographers and photographic processes.

We have equipment and facilities for you on site, including sophisticated industry-standard software, darkroom processes, digital and analogue SLRs and technical studio lighting.

During the second year you will expand on theory and practice developed so far, exploring and refining techniques further to meet the needs of your ideas.  Your second year will also be composed of a 15 hour practical exam and a critical analysis essay.

Ultimately, you will build an effective and balanced portfolio of work that demonstrates technical skills, theory based knowledge and critical analysis. This portfolio may be used for interview at higher educational level, for securing external exhibitions or for entering industry at apprenticeship or employment level.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement is 7 GCSE or equivalent passes at either grades 9-4 or grades A*-C in an appropriate range of subjects, including Maths and English at grade 4 or above.

The college will accept one BTEC at Merit level as one GCSE equivalent.

Where a student continues on to an A-Level from a GCSE subject, it is advisable for a student to have a minimum of a grade 6 or grade B.


  • Personal Investigation worth 60% (inclusive of an extended contextual research essay)
  • Externally set exam worth 40% (inclusive of a 15 hour examination and preparatory studies)

Financial information

There is a yearly Course Fee (for darkroom materials and exhibition prints)

Future opportunities

Photography A-level will offer you the chance to attend a Higher Education institute to pursue a degree in:

  • Photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Fashion Photography
  • Documentary Photography
  • Graphic Design
  • Fine Art
  • Radiography

and many more.  You will also have a portfolio of work if you wish to enter industry at both apprenticehsip and employment level.

This course aids your creative intelligence, heightens your visual awarenenss, addresses visual literacy and gives you a high level of Technical/ICT skills.

Further information

Contact Mr A Courcha for further information:

Delivery: Full-time


Open Evening:  16 October 2018

Application Deadline:   15 January 2019

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 28 September 2018
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