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Photography A-level

Explore photographic skills and techniques and develop your creativity with a Photography A-level. On successful completion of the course, along with other A-level qualifications, you may progress directly into higher education or to an Art Foundation Diploma.

What do I learn?
Research the work of other photographers, past and present, and find your own voice. Explore a wide range of photographic skills including non-lens based media and techniques, developing and printing black and white (B&W) film as well as studio techniques and location photography. Learn the importance of formal elements of design in composition, and the role of photography in visual communication in historical and contemporary contexts. Produce work with both SLR and digital cameras.

You follow the Edexcel specification.

First year (AS)
• Unit 1: Coursework (60% of AS-level; 30% of full A-level) Skills building in experimental approaches to drawing, painting and mixed media tasks followed by an internally-set art project.
• Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of AS-level; 20% of full A-level) Externally-set project with theme provided by Edexcel. Timed final outcome under exam conditions.

Second year (A2)
• Unit 3: Coursework – Personal Study (60% of AS-level; 30% of full A-level) Students self-select a topic/theme to investigate. Extensive artists’ research, together with a written essay of between 1000 and 3000 words is required, plus a significant body of practical art work as a creative response to the theme.
• Unit 4: Externally Set Assignment (40% of AS-level; 20% of full A-level) Externally-set project with theme provided by Edexcel. Timed final outcome under exam conditions.

In timetabled sessions, activities include practical work, research, presentations and critiques, and may be undertaken independently and in small groups. Homework will usually be set once a week, and may include research and preparation for classes as well as starting and continuing with practical work. Classes are timetabled for four and half hours per week, usually between 9am and 5.30pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled lessons, talks, tutorials and workshops. In addition, you can expect to attend study trips and visits to art and design exhibitions and museums as relevant to set assignments.

Coursework units are assessed internally by subject tutors, and sampled for moderation by Edexcel. Projects and assignments for coursework are set by subject tutors. Externally set assignments are overseen by Edexcel and you are required to produce your finished work within a specified time limit. The work is then internally assessed by subject tutors and sampled for moderation by the EdExcel external examiner. Grades are awarded by Edexcel.
What do I gain?
A significant body of work will be produced that reflects your individual creativity, skills, interests and approach. If you want to pursue further study in art and design, you will be supported while you compile a personal portfolio of creative art work that may be taken to interview for an Art Foundation Diploma course, or for direct entry to higher education.
What do I need?
6 x C grades at GCSE, usually including art (or an art-related subject). Applicants will be required to attend an interview and should be able to show examples of some previous art and design work to demonstrate interest and potential.
What do I gain?
On successful completion of the course, along with other A-level qualifications, you may progress directly into higher education or to an Art Foundation Diploma.
What else do I need to know?
You will be given a summer project designed to be used at the start of the academic programme. You will require a range of basic art equipment and materials. Further advice about equipment and materials will be provided during the course.
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