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Photography A Level


TITLE: AQA Level 3 Advanced GCE in Art and Design (Photography) (601/4456/7)


During the course students will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies.

Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to Photography and a wider range of art and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This will be integral to the investigating and making process. Their responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities which demonstrate the students understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students will use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate. There is no specific requirement for students to demonstrate drawing skills in this endorsement unless they wish to.

Students may use traditional methods and/or digital techniques to produce images.

Areas of Study

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below.
They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

  • portraiture
  • landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment)
  • still-life photography, working from objects or from the natural world
  • documentary photography, photo journalism
  • experimental imagery
  • photographic installation, video, television and film.
Skills and Techniques

Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:

  • the ability to explore elements of visual language, line form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of Photography
  • the ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea or work to a brief or answer a need in Photography
  • appreciation of viewpoint, composition, depth of field and movement; time-based, through such techniques as sequence or “frozen moment”
  • the appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting for work in their chosen area of Photography
  • understanding of techniques related to the de3veloping and printing of photographic images, where appropriate, presentation and layout.
Knowledge and Understanding

Students must show knowledge and understanding of:

  • how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in the chosen area(s) of Photography
  • historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres
  • how images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created
  • continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to Photography
  • the working vocabulary and specialist terminology which is relevant to their chosen area(s) of Photography


This is a two-year linear course where students will be required to produce a Personal Investigation for their coursework component (60% of the awarded marks). This will be an extended practical project, supported by a 1000-3000 word written component. The Externally Set Assignment (40% of the marks) is another practical project where students are required to respond to themes set by AQA and culminates in a 15-hour controlled period.


We advise you only take two subjects from Art & Design, and Design & Technology, which includes Art, Electronics, Fashion Design & Textiles, Graphic Design, Photography, Product Design.


Studying an Art and Design Photography related degree at university can give you all sorts of exciting career options, including:

Commercial photographer, Fashion photographer, Filmmaker, Fine art photographer, Forensic photographer, Industrial photographer, Medical photographer, Nature photographer, Photographic Illustrator, Photographic technician, Teacher, Photo journalist, Picture editor, Researcher, Social photographer, Sports photographer.