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Exam Board




In photography, you will be introduced to a variety of practices exploring lens-based and light-based media.  A range of traditional and new technologies are explored, along with exciting experimental photographic image making techniques.  You will explore relevant images, artefacts, artists and resources relating to lens- based and light-based media from the past and present, including examples from around the world. These are integral to investigating and developing stages of your independent study, and open up ways into examining your own ideas. Work is presented in sketchbooks or digital portfolios in a sophisticated manner to clearly demonstrate meaning.  Your investigation will be resolved in the form of final, edited photographic images, installations, sculptures and more.


Why Choose This?

Students who enjoy practical, creative, contemporary, imaginative subjects should choose to study photography. Those who value the opportunity to express their ideas and opinions through visual studies and photographic techniques, and any students who enjoy developing new ideas will enjoy this course. Photography can give you an excellent basis for improving your communication skills and can help you to develop resilience and independence.


Areas of Study & Assessment

You will study eight units of work covering cells, biological molecules, exchange and transport, genetics, biochemistry and response. At least four units will be covered in the first year.

You will begin the course in an experimental manner through individual workshop based lessons which will introduce you to a broad range of materials, techniques and processes. This area of study lasts a term and a half and is designed to ensure that you can make independent decisions about which photographic specialism to focus on for component 1; the personal investigation.


Component 1 is started in the spring term of Year 12 and is an extended project, the theme of which is decided by each student. During this project you will specialise in one or more photographic disciplines and will have the opportunity to research artists of interest within a 1000-3000 word essay. Component 1 is worth 60% of your overall marks.


Component 2 is started in the February of Year 13 and is an externally set unit of work which requires you to work through a set project brief in a short amount of time, culminating in a 15 hour examination period in which to make a final piece. This component is worth 40% of your overall mark.


All work is internally marked using grading criteria published by AQA and then moderated by a visiting moderator.


What Our Students Say

I chose to study photography because I find it fascinating and I wanted to explore life in a photographic way so I could interpret the photograph in my own way and other ways. I enjoy studying photography because the majority of the lessons are practical and in those lessons I explore and experiment with different and new materials, artists etc. It has helped me to develop a new perspective of the world. My favourite lessons are when I get to use the darkroom to experiment with film as I find it mesmerising to watch the prints being slowly developed. Using the film camera and developing them in a darkroom were skills that I have newly developed in this subject. Photography has given me a different perspective when viewing photographs and has made me see people, lifestyles and the world in a different way.


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0121 429 2838