A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

Photography offers wonderful practical, technical and creative opportunities whilst also extending your skills of written analysis and evaluation. Most students go on to further study or work in one of the fields of photography. Others combine their photography studies with other art and design courses to keep numerous options open.

Grade 4 or above in GCSE Art and Design subject preferred if taken at GCSE.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Student Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your subject choices.

This exciting course will enable you to develop your understanding and skills in the areas of: documentary photography, studio photography, computer image manipulation, as well as black and white and colour film. You will also study the history of photography, critical analysis, and photography as an art form and form of social document. You will work with traditional darkroom wet photography, as well as industry standard digital studio equipment and digital processes.

On the A Level photography course, students develop technical skills and understanding that can be applied to both current and emerging photographic technology. Students will be effectively using both 35mm darkroom black and white wet photography and fully manual digital SLR application with their own cameras. Full professional digital specification studio equipment is used at the College and taught to a professional practice level suitable for direct London studio employment.

Students are shown how to develop an understanding of the context of photographic practice, the individual’s place within both historical and contemporary contexts and a knowledge of how an individual’s practice relates to that of others. This two year A level encourages students to foster employability skills by developing the students’ creative, intellectual, analytical and research skills. The course includes the development of a range of knowledge, engaging with texts, genres, aesthetic forms and cultural practices.

60% Personal Investigation, 40% externally-set practical exam

The students’ coursework is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Opportunities set up by E6 for A Level Photography include: official photographers assignments, and entrepreneurial business start-ups specialising in fashion and work experience with alumni professional photographers.

Photography is a versatile A level because it is scientific, technical and extremely creative. This A level is popular with Russell Group Universities. Previous Photography A level students have progressed onto degrees in architecture, law, journalism, advertising, business, and other art-related subjects.

This is a practical course with major deadlines for coursework set for the end of January, for both first and second years of study. In addition, first-year mock practical exams and second-year actual practical exams generally run between the last week of April through to the third week of May, with exam papers being issued for these at the start of February.