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Exam board: EDEXCEL 8034/9034

Why choose to study Photography?

Studying photography is about learning to speak a new visual language with confidence and understanding. Photography is where Art and Science meet. It’s about learning an innovative process of making an image and experimenting with the possibilities of the subject whether as beautiful still images, animations, films or experimental work.  Whether you intend to pursue a creative career or university course or not there are many transferable skills unique to studying a creative subject at A Level:  from creative thinking, decision making, digital understanding and communication to self-confidence, presentation, collaboration, self-analysis, research and visual outcomes. If you enjoy taking photographs, exploring the world around you, discovering new places or experimenting with your camera then Photography could be for you.

Course outline:

Unit 1 – Photography coursework

Year 1:

Candidates are required to work sequentially from a given starting point towards a conclusion. 

Skill Acquisition:

Camera settings, Digital darkroom, Lighting, Analysis of Artists, Presentation of work, Developing ideas and final visual outcomes

Year 2:

Students are required to build on their prior knowledge and experience developed during the course.  This unit incorporates two linked elements: practical work and personal written study.

Unit 2 – Externally Set Assignment:

This represents the culmination of the Advanced GCE course in Photography. Students will receive the paper in January allowing preparation time for thorough research and development of personal ideas.  The fifteen hour exam will take place in the summer term.

Year 1



Type of assessment


Unit 1 - Coursework

  • Acquisition of Photography skills
  • Developing a visual project from a given starting point

Internal assessment


Year 2



Type of assessment


Unit 1 – coursework (continued)

  • Developing a visual project from a chosen starting point
  • Written study

Internal assessment, externally moderated


Unit 2 – Externally set assignment

  • Develop a visual project from a given starting point

15 hour exam

Internal assessment, externally moderated



Essential student qualifications/abilities:

Students will need to have access to the use of a camera (minimum 5 mega pixels, SLR desirable). A USB memory stick or similar is also desirable. They will also be expected to undertake work at outdoor locations.

Desirable student qualifications/abilities:

The student must be self-motivated, have an interest in photography and be prepared to visit exhibitions and galleries.

Higher education opportunities:

Photography is an appropriate area of study for all students but particularly for those wishing to pursue careers in the many areas of Design, Architecture, Fine Art, Photography, Education (Teaching), Film, Animation and Television.

Career opportunities:


Essential Field Trips involving financial commitment:

3 day residential trip to St Ives, Cornwall – cost approximately £240


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