Gumley House School FCJ

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A Level Photography

Studying Photography at A Level

Exam Board:  Edexcel
Expected Entry Criteria:  Grade 6 in GCSE Art or Photography, Graphics or other design-based GCSE

Why study this course?
Students who complete this course may go on to have careers in a range of areas including advertising, film, television, journalism and media. Students on the course work with Photoshop, the industry standard of our multimedia world.

What will I learn?

You will learn about the use of light as the most important element in photography and explore this in the context of viewpoint, composition, focus, aperture, shutter speed and exposure. You will also learn to use a range of source material, software and hardware in the generation and development of ideas. We offer a very flexible and experimental course, which includes photography as Fine Art and Installation Art. Within both of these broad disciplines students may comment on and explore approaches to other genres including fashion, street, still life and documentary photography.

How will I be taught?

In mixed ability groups and in one-to-one and group tutorials. As the course progresses individual schemes of work are developed through negotiation and discussion with teachers. Through discussion, use of exemplar work and assessment linked to the exam board key descriptors for Exceptionally Ability, students fully understand the attitudes and
approaches which result in A* work. 

How many hours a week private study will I have?

Five hours to include photographic shoots on location, research and sketchbook work, image processing and manipulation using Camera Raw and Photoshop.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You have a desire to engage with the world of visual communication and you have a real commitment to research and development working both in the studio and on location.

Course Description

The course commences with short introductions to a varied range of themes and approaches, supported by historical and contemporary photographers. Students visit exhibitions and galleries to broaden their appreciation and knowledge of how photography can be used. You will build a portfolio of work in Year 12 which is thematic but individual to you. The second year is about maturation and quality.


Component 1 (60% of qualification)
Personal Investigation and a Personal Study of minimum 1,000 words concludes in January of Year 13. This extended period allows you to develop your interests and skills more deeply and to make meaning full connections with the work of others.

Component 2 (40% of qualification)
ESA (Externally Set Assignment) commences in February with sketchbook-based enquiry into the externally set theme, culminating in the 15-hour Sustained Focus Examination

For more information, contact Mrs M Martin