A Level Photography
In the Art department we offer 2 A Level courses:
- Art & Design: Fine Art
The full A level in Photography is a 2-year course with 1 Externally Set Assignment (exam) at the end of the second year.
This is a course for students who want to study an introduction to Photography and is ideal for those who want to go on to study an Art or Photography related course at University.
A Level Photography students will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of ideas and develop skills in studio, documentary and landscape/architecture photography. They will learn about contemporary and historical photographers and develop relevant industry skills in both the use of DSLR cameras, software packages such as Adobe Photoshop and studio lighting equipment.
In Photography, students follow a course similar in structure to A Level and GCSE Art. They produce a coursework project (portfolio) worth 60% of their final mark and sit an externally set exam worth 40%.
Both the coursework portfolio and the exam are marked using the same Assessment Objectives:
- AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
- AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
- AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
- AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.
Component 1 – Personal Investigation (60%)
1. Coursework Portfolio/ Personal Investigation
Students produce a body of work that takes the form of a sketchbook supported by an A3 portfolio of their own images. They explore an idea or theme developing work in a way that reflects their personal interests or strengths until they reach a final outcome. Work produced should satisfy the Assessment Objectives above and demonstrate that they have researched and responded to photographers relevant to their theme, experimented with their images and objects through photography and then produced a relevant final piece.
2. Personal Study
This is a separate piece of critical and analytical writing (1000-3000 words) making links to the student’s own Personal Investigation, and supported by artists research and references. Through the personal study, students will demonstrate understanding of relevant social, cultural and historical sources. Students will also express personal interpretations or conclusions and use technical and specialist vocabulary.
Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment (40%)
Students will be issued with a paper from which they will select a title/starting point to develop ideas. They will have time to produce preparation work that satisfies the first 3 AO’S (just as they have done for their coursework) before they begin their exam. With Photography, students will spend their exam editing one (or a series) of their own images selected as a final piece using Photoshop.
The A Level exam is 15 hours long typically split into a series of sittings of up to 5 hours. As in other subject areas exam conditions are observed. The focus in the exam is to produce a final outcome that satisfies AO4.