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Level 3

AQA L3 A Level Photography


The A level course offers students the opportunity to learn about the history of photography, its techniques and processes and how to apply an understanding of visual language and the formal elements. We want students to experience the magic of the darkroom as well as the wonders of digital processing when they are “drawing with light”. This will support our students in learning how to develop a sophisticated body of work in the 2nd year.

Over the course of the two years, areas explored include:

• Film-based photography

• Digital photography / dark room

• Moving image (Film, video, animation)

• Multimedia

• Studio Photography

• Experimental imagery

• Photographic installation

• Students will be required to work in one or more of the disciplines to communicate their ideas.

Drawing and other materials processes

• The word photography could be taken to mean ‘a graphic representation with light’;. In this way a photograph can take on the qualities of a drawing. In the context of this endorsed title, drawing forms an essential element of both development and final product.

• A camera can record the observed world but is not able on its own to explore ideas.

• Students must reflect on, refine and apply the observations they make with a camera, and determine which tools or techniques are most appropriate in their exploration of ideas.

• Photography includes works in film, video, digital imaging and light- sensitive materials.

Contextual understanding and professional practice

• Students should incorporate contextual investigation and translation as inspirational starting points for their development work. They will consider the work of others and use understanding gained to inform the progression of their own personal creativity.

When undertaking work in photography, students will be required to engage with:

• The operations and principles of creating a photographic image, including the use of available and controlled light, lenses, cameras and light-sensitive materials, including digital and non-digital.

• A range of materials used in photography, including print and screen-based materials.

• Ways in which ideas, feelings and information can be communicated effectively through photographic images.

• How the formal elements evoke responses in the viewer, with particular reference to tone, colour, shape and composition.

• The processes for production of digital and print-based photographs.

• Methods of presentation of photographic images.

• Historical and contemporary themes and sources within the context of the chosen disciplines.

A range of teaching and learning styles is used during the course. Group briefings, slide shows, practical demonstrations, research tasks, discussions, group and individual critiques.

For much of the course you are working on individual, practical, ILT or research based tasks.

1:1 support is available to all students.


Minimum of 5 GCSEs at 9-4, including a grade 4
in an Art-based subject and English Language.

A general interest in various areas of photography and visual ideas is an advantage.

You must have the enthusiasm to go out on location and take photographs.

The subject is mainly coursework based so good time management is essential.

*FREE* Online short courses

Make the most of these extraordinary times and gain a nationally-recognised qualification. A short online course is a significant first step to improving your skills and achieving your career goals.

Financial support

The applicable fees for this course, including any available discounts, will be listed in the information above.

How to apply

Once you have created an account, you can easily apply to your chosen course and track the status of your application at any time.


Step 1

Set Up Your Account

You’ll be prompted to create an account which will allow you to log in to our Application Tracker website whenever you wish. This will provide you with important information and you can also track the progress of your application.

Step 2


Complete each step of the application form and then submit your completed form. We’ll let you know when we’ve safely received it with an acknowledgement email.

Step 3

Application Review Meeting

Before offering you a place at college, we’ll meet with you (either in person, by telephone or online). We’ll send you a link to our booking page where you can select a time that’s convenient for you.

Step 4

Accept Your Place

Offers will be sent to you via the email address you have provided. The offer will be conditional, based on predicted GCSE grades. You’ll need to accept your offer within 14 days to secure your place.

Step 5

What next?

Once you receive your GCSE results, you’ll need to get in touch with the college to inform us of them and start your enrolment process.


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