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Photography A Level at The Thomas Hardye School

Course description

Photography is an exciting and creative course where students will learn to develop the skills to make conceptually challenging and ambitious photographic images. Both traditional and digital methods of capture will be explored alongside studio and location work. Students will consider the work of European and non-European contemporary and traditional photographers or artists to gain inspiration and ideas for their own work. Trips are held throughout the year to London galleries to see high quality work first-hand.

The course is designed to offer a wide range of experiences that inspire and generate sophisticated portfolios suitable for the most demanding university courses.

Course content


Students will produce work that exemplifies aspects of their developing knowledge and understanding, they will produce photographic images that reflect emerging technical skills, development of ideas and an increased critical and contextual understanding. Students will explore traditional methods of image making through photograms, using a single lens reflex camera, film processing and wet printing. Digital capture and post production will be taught alongside analogue photography. Students will explore a range of photographic approaches including landscape/ environment, portraiture, still life and experimental techniques. Students will learn advanced studio and location lighting.


The first component is a personal investigation. Students have the opportunity to make a significant body of coursework that is developed by an issue, concept or theme. This component opens up opportunities for a sustained line of enquiry from an initial starting point to a final realisation. This practical investigation is supported by a linked 1000-3000 word essay. The second component is an externally set assignment. The students are given an externally set question paper providing eight potential starting points from which the student chooses one to explore fully, a comprehensive body of work is built in response that reflects research and development of ideas.

There is a 15 hour (3 day) practical exam at the end of the component.


The personal investigation is worth 60%. The externally set assignment is worth 40%. All components are assessed internally but AQA moderated.

Future opportunities

Photographer (advertising, editorial, fashion, sports, documentary, fine art, medical, scientific, and general commercial), processing lab technician, studio manager, post-production technician, graphic designer, set builder, art director, picture library editor, curator. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 30 November 2017
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