Art and Design: Photography

Course specification: EDEXCEL: AS Photography 8PY0 and A Level Photography 9PY0

Content of AS Level

Component 1 Personal investigation

This component incorporates two major elements: supporting studies and practical. These elements should be seen as integrally connected. The purpose of the personal investigation is to develop a portfolio of practical and written work that shows critical understanding, and development of skills and ideas through Photography. For the purposes of this qualification, photography is sub-divided into the following two disciplines:

  • film-based photography
  • digital photography

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

Component 2 Externally set assignment

In addition to completing a 10-hour examination piece, students produce preparatory studies which show the development of their final piece/s as part of a photographic submission. Students may choose to produce work in one or more disciplines.

Content of A Level

Component 1 Personal investigation

The component incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work, and a written personal study. Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points. For the purposes of this qualification, photography is sub-divided into the following three disciplines:

  • film-based photography
  • digital photography
  • film and video

The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose, which may contain integrated images.

Component 2 Externally set assignment

In addition to completing a 15-hour examination piece, students produce and submit preparatory studies which show the development of their final piece/s as part of their photographic submission. Students may choose to
produce work in one or more disciplines.

Please note for the A Level course there is a limited number of cameras available within school. It is recommended, therefore, that students own or at least have access to a single reflex 35mm camera, offering full manual control in addition to any automatic mode.

Key skills

  • A growing interest in the many working practices associated with photography and professional photographers
  • A lively and enquiring mind
  • A willingness to explore new ideas and communicate them effectively
  • An appreciation of the visual world
  • Information and communication technology
  • Improving learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Enrichment opportunities

  • Visits to local and national museums and galleries
  • Talks given by visiting artists
  • Workshops

Higher education and career prospects

The study of photography can help you to develop transferable skills to take into a wide range of career and Higher Education opportunities. You could enter the world of work or study for a Foundation Diploma or apply for direct entry at degree level following one of many pathways including Photography, Film and Moving Image Production Making, Interactive Media, Illustration, Graphic Communication.

*For both the AS and A Level Photography courses, Component 1 and Component 2 are internally assessed. External moderation takes place at the end of the course when all units of work are presented in the form of an exhibition.

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