GCE A Level Photography

1 Year for AS, 2 years for A2 level. 

The first Assessment of the new A Level Art & Design courses is 2016


OCR Specification. Further details are available from their website.

Entry Requirements/Student Suitability:

Students are required to reach the Wadebridge Sixth Form Level 3 entry criteria.  Photography is an A  Level Art qualification.  It is therefore a visual subject, which also requires a good level of literacy and numeracy skills so that students can clearly express ideas through written communication.  Students who choose to study AS photography should have a keen interest in this subject area and  ideally have the use of a camera to enable them to continually record and respond to the demands of the course.  A creative portfolio  is encouraged therefore the knowledge and ability of previous success in GCSE Art is a great starting point.

We expect all students to be committed, motivated, and willing to put in a lot of effort right from the start; working on an understanding of different themes, styles, cultural contexts and different photographic genres, with a real interest in the subject and an ability to meet assignment deadlines.

Course Content:

AS Level

Term 1 and 2 - Key Skills 
Term 3 -  Mini Projects

Students are required to produce work from given starting points that demonstrates a range of methods,  techniques and processes, whilst experimenting and recording their ideas.  Students will also need to show the development of their ideas, which have been informed by the study of different photographers and artists that leads to well presented final images. 

Component No 1 - Externally Set Task (10 hours)  = 100% weighting for AS

Students will be given an exam paper around 1st January.  This exam paper will have a choice of  starting points, from which their will pick one to produce a well researched thorough body of work and then prepare materials for a 10 hour exam.  This element is worth 100% of your overall AS grade.

A2 Level

Component No 1 - Personal Investigation = 60% of total A Level
This requires students to follow the same procedure in developing a personal response, but to a self chosen starting point.  As part of the component you will be required to submit a written element of minimum 1000 - 3000 words.
Component No 2 - Externally Set Task - Examination (15 hours) = 40% of total A Level

For further information and exemplar question papers see the OCR website.

Methods of Study:

  • Demonstrations
  • Presentations 
  • Group work
  • Critique
  • 1-1 tuition 
  • Research of different photographers' techniques and equipment
  • Looking at different photographers' images
  • Practice exam questions

Independent Study Time:
A successful Photography student will have an interest in regularly recording their observations and generating project ideas through independent research outside of lessons, in order to extend their learning skills. Reading photography books and magazines, watching relevant films and browsing the internet, whatever the source, if the content is related to the projects set, it will help to develop understanding and provide a broader knowledge of the subject.  

Students will be given the opportunity to complete practice exam assignments and to experience working alongside other practitioner's plus specific photographic trips.  Specific homework tasks will be set on a regular basis. Coursework will be assessed regularly and allow us to monitor progress and feedback strategies for improvement to the students work.

Progression and the Future:
Photography is all about capturing a precise moment in order to present an image that conveys response and meaning.  Photography is a popular and competitive subject on its own and has links to other subjects like Fashion, Graphic Design, Illustration, Film and Media.  There are numerous related jobs with Photography, including Wedding Photography, Commercial, Press, Nature, Film, Food, Publishing, Portraiture, Studio and Travel.

Subject Contacts:

Mrs Webb

How to Apply:
The Application Process begins in February of each year.  Please contact Debbie Chick, Sixth Form Support, for further information or to request an application form.

Click here for a printable version of this subject specification.

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