Photography A Level


Examination Board: Edexcel at MWS / AQA at OSA and RA


What is Photography A-level? 


The two year Photography Linear A-level. It is the taking, making, creating and reading of images. You will be expected to produce innovative, creative and experimental images in response to given themes. A part of the course is the analysis of photographic images taken by established photographers as well as yourself. You will learn to read images as works of art and be expected to research the work of photographers and artists to support your own practical work, implementing what you have discovered and developed as a photographer. The course covers digital photography and manipulation. You will learn the basic techniques of using cameras and studio equipment, as well as the software used in the creative industry. 


What is the course structure?  


The A level consists of 2 Components as part of a two year course 


Component 1 

This component allows you the opportunity to generate and develop ideas, research primary and contextual sources, record practical and written observations, experiment with media and processes, and refine ideas towards producing personal resolved outcome(s). (60% of total qualification) 


Overview of assessment 


  • Incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work, and a personal study.
  • Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points.
  • The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose, which may contain integrated images.


Component 2 


This is an externally set assignment. You work in the same way as component 1 however the theme is presented as an exam paper. Your research and practical development culminates in a 15 hour timed controlled assessment This is worth 40% of your final A level mark. 


How will you be assessed? 


You are marked against 4 criteria for all your work which then translates into a grade A to E. The portfolio equates for 60% of the A level, with a personal study contributing to 12% of this portfolio. The additional 40% of the A level comes from an externally set assignment culminating in a period of controlled assessment. You will produce a minimum of one journal for each component. In addition you will also produce a portfolio of prints for each project. You will submit all your work for assessment and moderation in May. Your work is then group marked by teaching staff and externally moderated. 


What can I do after the course? 


You can use A-level Photography to go on to study at Degree level or Foundation Degree level. You could also move on to a vocational course. Photography A-level will also help you open up a range of career opportunities in the Visual Arts sector. The underpinning analytical and technical skills will help you whatever career path you choose to follow.