Photography A Level

About the Course

In Year 12, Photography students will complete their portfolio which will cover some basic workshops focusing on elements of composition, the use of aperture, shutter speed, ISO and how to present their work. Students will then begin to develop their own work and ideas with guidance from teaching staff to ensure they achieve the necessary criteria. In Year 13 the students complete a personal investigation. This is an investigative project where students are able to focus on one starting point and develop from there. Initially a project title will be selected through discussion with their teachers and this will be investigated and developed. In addition to the personal investigation there is an externally set assignment.

Exam Board

We follow the AQA specification for Photography. It is comprised of 60% coursework and 40% practical exam. All work completed for this course is internally assessed and externally moderated.


Grade B or higher at GCSE is required with a strong portfolio of GCSE Art work.

Course Content

This course aims to provide students with a broad foundation in Photography, promoting the individual and creative development of students' work and establishing confidence in capturing photographs using a variety of approaches, including digital and traditional darkroom processes. Students will become confident in the use of Adobe Photoshop and work on MAC computers in good preparation for HE and professional workplace settings. Students will learn to present their work using design programs and consider a variety of outcomes through their work.

Beyond the Classroom

During the Photography course we ensure students attend visits that will benefit their coursework. During the first half term a visit is run for students to capture images outside Doncaster. This year we visited the East Coast, which allowed students to access other areas to develop their photography subject matter. For Component 1: Personal Investigation, we ensure students visit a UK city to begin their investigation and help them to select a starting point. Over the last few years we have visited either Newcastle, Liverpool or London which has allowed the students to see a vibrant city and collect inspiration for their personal investigation. Other visits are dependent on exhibition dates and times, however if a relevant exhibition is showing, we encourage students to visit or, if possible, arrange a visit to see the work. Dedicated students looking to study Photography or a creative subject beyond A level have been able to secure work experience in related specialisms including: studio photography, wedding photography, graphic design and journalism.

Your Future

We have an excellent track record of our students successfully gaining places at universities on specialist Photography and related courses including Animation, Graphic Design and Journalism.

Contact Department

Staff Contact: Mrs Gemma Massarella Burton.
Hall Cross Academy
A paper copy of the information on our website is available on request to the School.