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Art & Design: Photography A Level at Salisbury 6th Form College

Course description

The two year Art & Design course in Photography is designed to develop your technical skills in digital photography and photo editing as well as an aesthetic awareness and appreciation of compositional strategies used in the specialism.

There will be opportunities to:  

  • record ideas and observations
  • develop work informed by photographers, artists and designers
  • experimentation with media and materials and
  • reviewing and refining work.  

The course allows for the development of new skills and techniques within various specialisms in the subject area such as:

  • graphic communication
  • printmaking and
  • mixed media.  

An appreciation of the importance of context is necessary for this course and the ability to make explicit the relationship between one’s own ideas and those of others is essential, as are analytical skills and the understanding of visual language, codes and conventions. There is an emphasis on self-directed learning and growing independence as the course develops over the two years.

You will visit local galleries such as the Young Gallery and Salisbury Arts Centre. Day trips to London have been organised to visit galleries and museums.

Course content

You will be offered a range of opportunities in Photography such as:

  • Live briefs set by college and competitions
  • Work experience as college photographers for social, news and promotional events
  • Teaching to feeder secondary schools

Year 1 

  • The first year is an opportunity to build a portfolio of work that can be used in interviews for university, art foundation, apprenticeships and work experience placements in the future. Work produced for the portfolio will derive from workshops designed to encompass a wide range of art & design skills, techniques and processes.  You will be expected to complete a project based on a starting point that will address all four assessment objectives and conclude with a resolved outcome or series of resolved outcomes.
  • Year 2
  • The second year comprises of two components, the personal investigation and externally set assignment. In Component 3, the emphasis should be on self-directed study based on a personal interest, issue or theme; you are expected to work independently, demonstrating their increasing confidence in your ability to explore and handle themes, ideas, materials, techniques and processes.  Component 4 should demonstrate greater maturity and depth in skills, knowledge and understanding. 
  • The externally set assignment provides opportunities for you to work in depth, responding to one of the starting points handed out in February.  You are expected to make reference to the artists, designers and craftspeople suggested by AQA and address all four assessment objectives concluding with a 15 hours of supervised time in which a resolved outcome or series of resolved outcomes is completed.

Entry requirements

To study this course you will need grade C or above in GCSE Art & Design or an equivalent qualification or a technology subject such as Graphic Products or Textiles.  

A portfolio of work will be expected to be seen at interview.  Consideration will be given to those who have not studied an Art or Design course at GCSE; again, a portfolio of work will be expected to be seen at interview.


You will receive continual assessment on your progress and termly progress tutorials. The four units are assessed internally and then subject to external moderation to national standards.

Future opportunities

Many careers involve some aspect of visual imaging.  Specific career paths include: journalism, radiography, survey, commercial arts, advertising and graphic design.

The skills gained in the study of photography at this level such as analysis, evaluation, discussion and presentation, are highly transferable.

Further information

What our students think

“A Level Photography lets you explore areas that intrigue you, it has increased my passion towards different cultures and to look at the world from a different perspective. I chose S6C due it offering a wide range of courses ranging from English and Maths to Law and Sociology. S6C is convenient for me due to being walking distance to the centre of Salisbury and be able to travel easily to and from S6C.”

Caitlin, previously St Edmund’s Girls’ School

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: 12 September 2016
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Key information


  • More information
    • S6C will have a brand new purpose built College on Tollgate Road ready for September 2015. For September 2014 we are located in Wiltshire College in a dedicated area which has been refurbished specifically for our students.