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Art & Design (Photography)

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Art & Design (Photography) A Level

Photography has undergone seismic change in recent years. It seems everyone is now a 'photographer',  to record images and exhibit to the world almost immediately. This is photography's greatest strength but also its greatest weakness.

During the course you will develop a sophisticated level of 'visual literacy' and be able to understand the why and how to elevate your photographs above the mundane and the everyday.

Photography is an Art & Design course with the focus on lens based work. The endorsement will be in Photography.

What does the course involve?

The emphasis of the practical work is to employ creative approaches which could also include work in other Art disciplines.

In addition to the practical element, the course requires the research and critical evaluation, in written form, of the work of photographers and other artists. These creative investigations allow a greater understanding of the role of Photography within society and the importance of the photograph as a cultural artefact.

You will have four lessons each week and, in addition, you are required to do a further three hours homework or independent study.

Year One:

First year work focuses upon skills and research.

Coursework Portfolio
You will record and present your practical work and your research into different photographers and artists.
The Portfolio will be used as a means of skills building in preparation for Year Two.

Year Two:

In the second year the emphasis is on original ideas and interests.

Personal Investigation
You choose the theme or topic that you wish to follow, building on your previous year’s work. You are required to create more mature resolved work and write a personal study of at least 1000 words. This will focus on the work of individual artists, reflecting on the social, cultural and historical role of their work and how this has influenced your own practical project.

Controlled Assignment (15 hours)
Preparation for the assignment lasts at least six weeks and ends with a fully resolved final piece which you are given 15 hours to complete.
This unit allows you to build upon the work done in your personal investigation.

Resources and facilities

You will need to buy a Department Kit of materials, although the department will supply most of what you need to create your own work.

Support materials are provided.

You are also expected to have access to a digital camera, iPod, iPhone or similar, capable of being used with downloadable apps.


There are occasional trips to both local and national galleries, including residential trips to London in the second year, Bristol, and Oxford and local visits in the first year.

For second year students there is a five day study visit abroad.

What can you do after the course?

Many of our students progress to Art Foundation courses at art college or university and then on to a range of specialist Art courses in higher education.
A few students each year progress straight on to Photography degree courses.

Students' work

You can get a good idea of the range and scope of the Photography course by visiting one of the College Open Events or the Summer Exhibition of A Level work.

Art Media and Photography End of Year Show 2022

Ella talks about Photography at Hereford Sixth Form College