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Creative Industries

A level Photography

Photography - lens and light based media


This course has been designed for anyone who has an interest in photography and wishes to develop their skills technically and creatively. You will learn to express yourself through images and form critical opinions about the world around you. Research has shown that studying photography will support your studies in all other subject areas and will enhance problem solving skills, lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical thinking skills. 


During this course you will learn how to use a Digital SLR camera and digital and analogue (traditional darkroom) processing and printing technology. The course offers an innovative and exciting approach to photography and will encourage experimentation with technology, media, materials, techniques and processes. Contextual understanding through research and investigations into historical and contemporary photographers and artists, will support your project work. Discussion and seminars, along with tutor facilitation will develop your critical thinking and analytical skills, which will then be applied to project work.

At the start of the course, exciting and challenging assignments will initially be set by the tutors when learning photographic skills. Self-directed study based on your own creative approach to photography through focused investigations based around themes and topics of your own choosing, will then become your main area of ongoing study.

You will learn about:

  • Camera use
  • Photographic Composition
  • Aesthetics
  • Image Manipulation in Photoshop
  • Studio and Location Photography
  • Traditional Darkroom Image Making
  • Contextual Studies and History of Photography

You will explore:

  • Portraiture and Fashion Photography
  • Landscape Photography: urban, rural, coastal etc.
  • Still-life Photography
  • Documentary Photography and Photojournalism
  • Experimental Imagery and Fine Art Photography
  • Traditional Darkroom Photography
  • Photographic Installation

Course structure: the course consists of 3 Units of study

Year 1: Unit 1

  • In the first year of the course, after having studied photographic skills, you will undertake an in-depth personal investigation based around a topic/theme of your own choosing, which is personal and meaningful to you. The Enquiry must integrate critical, practical and theoretical work.


Year 2: Unit 2 and Unit 3


  • Unit 2 consists of two integrated constituent parts:
  1. A major, in-depth, critical, practical and theoretical personal investigation based around a topic/theme of your own choosing, which is personal and meaningful to you.
  2. An extended written element of 1000 words minimum which critically discusses your personal investigation. This must clearly relate to practical and theoretical work you have made in part 1 of the Unit, using an appropriate working vocabulary and specialist terminology.

Unit 3 consists of an externally set assignment 

  • The externally set assignment materials are to be released to learners from 1st February and will consist of a series of visual and written stimuli, which are to be presented to the learner at the start of the preparatory study period. One of the stimuli is to be selected by the learner and used as a starting point from which to elicit a personal response. The learner will produce a practical and theoretical investigative project/portfolio and outcome/s based on the chosen stimuli.




What is expected from a learner studying this course?Full commitment and 100% attendance are required.  Respect for others, enthusiasm for the subject and self-motivation are essential qualities we expect to see in all our learners.  There is an expectation that you will continue your studies and coursework independently during your own time, meeting regular homework deadlines, along with attending regular, formal assessments


























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Course Length:

2 Years

Course Levels:



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