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A Level Photography at The Creative & Media Studio School at Netherhall Learning Campus

Course description

Photographs are the universal language of our time; an image tells a story, documents events, persuades opinions and evokes emotion with just one click. Imagery is part of who we are and what we see.

Why study Photography?

Our A level Photography course allows you to develop a creative, professional identity and signature style by combining technique, theory and ethical practice with experimentation. We attempt to work ‘outside the box’ as much as we can; pushing the boundaries of what photography is. Our students work predominantly using digital SLR cameras within a studio environment, on location and experimental shooting. We encourage each student to learn a range of varied skills, put these into practice and nurture their own individual creative style.

Course content

Year 12

Within the first year of Photography, students will take part in workshops where they will build their knowledge and understanding of photographic techniques. This is a time for experiencing the opportunity of working with a wide and exciting range of materials, media and processes. Students will develop a foundation of skills such as use of DSLR cameras (Nikon D90s and Canon 5D MK3), use of Photoshop manipulation techniques, as well as experiencing a varied range of experiments. Students will develop their practical skills learning techniques such as high speed, long exposure, macro, multiple exposure, panorama, coloured gels, illusion and many more. Basically, we try to have some fun while teaching skills! Students will be supported by tutors, who will prepare each individual for the challenge of the personal investigation project; which will start later on in the year and continue within Year 13. Students will be introduced to a range of contextual inspirations and will develop skills in research and analysis in order to support their practical investigation.

Year 13

The second year is split into two components; the personal investigation project that will be completed by January, and the externally-set assignment, which starts in the New Year, to the handing-in day in the middle of May. Both of these projects will be an opportunity for you to follow a personal direction, building on your individual strengths, interests and future progression goals.

Stage 1 – personal investigation

This is a practical investigation supported by written material. Students are required to conduct a practical investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. The investigation should be a coherent, in-depth study that demonstrates the student’s ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation. The investigation must show clear development from initial intentions to the final outcome or outcomes. It must include evidence of the student’s ability to research and develop ideas and relate their work in meaningful ways to relevant critical/contextual materials. The investigation must be informed by an aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists, photographers, designers or craftspeople.

Stage 2 - Externally set assignment

Separate question papers will be provided for each title. Each question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one. Students will be provided with examination papers in February of year two. 
Preparatory period – from 1 February
Supervised time – 15 hours

Entry requirements

Students applying for A Level Photography should achieve at the very least a Level 4 in English Language, Maths and 3 other GCSE subjects. Students invited for interview will be asked to preparea portfolio of creative work showcasing your talent and individuality. This work will be assessed by the subject specialist as part of the interview process and will contribute to the decision of an offer being made.


Component 1: Personal investigation
No time limit
96 marks
60% of A-level

Component 2: Externally set assignment
Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time
96 marks
40% of A-level

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: 17 December 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Number of planned places: 20


  • More information
    • Welcome to The Creative and Media Studio School

      Studying at the Creative and Media Studio School is unlike studying at any other high school in the country. Our students are able to learn through a mix of recognised academic and vocational subjects in a unique environment, where businesses and students work side by side. Some will go on to achieve vocational qualifications and get a great job, some will find themselves going to university and some will have the skills to set up their own business.

      Studio Schools have been specially designed to make this happen; this is a school unlike any other in the country. We have businesses and pupils working side by side and our new purpose-built £4.5m building will be one of the best learning facilities in the country, let alone Kirklees.

      The Creative & Media Studio School will not be an easy option, and academic excellence will run throughout our curriculum offer. Year 10/11 students will still follow the national curriculum and will gain the same key qualifications as a traditional school.

      What makes us different is not what is offered but how it is delivered. We are taking learning out of a traditional classroom setting, and teaching the curriculum through real-life enterprise themed projects in the school and the surrounding community.

      The brand new state of the art purpose built facility has been designed with the purpose of linking vocational excellence, academic growth and business and enterprise development. As a condition of this the building will have an array of the latest innovations in technology and design, this will support the academic growth and business imaginations of the next generation.