What is it about at sixth form level?
The course covers a broad and changing area of study with light-based imagery spanning almost two centuries. You will engage with early light-based images and rudimentary technology, such as a pinhole camera, as well as the most contemporary, which may include the use of digital cameras, photocopiers, scanners and mobile phones. You may also work with film based or digital technology or with both. Outcomes can be screen or print based, comprise still or moving images and might be particular to the subject area or combined with other art forms. Possible areas of study include: photographing people, photographing places, still-life photography, documentary photography, photojournalism, experimental imagery, photographic installation, fashion photography and digital imaging.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
An A level in Photography is an excellent basis on which to apply to study the subject further at art college or university as, along with the skills, it will provide you with the portfolio you will need for your application. It is also very useful if you wish to work or study in areas relating to design, fashion and architecture. More generally, it will teach you the skill of ‘reading images’. You will also become adept in the use of Adobe Photoshop.
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You will need some experience in art that has been formally assessed, such as an (I)GCSE in Art. Although not essential, it is beneficial to have some experience in photo-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
How is the course assessed?
The A level is a two-year course and all assessment takes place at the end of the second year. There are two components. Component 1 is your personal investigation, which is the coursework component. Component 2 is the externally set assignment. You will be required to develop independently a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli within specified time constraints. The assignment consists of a series of visual (including moving image) and written stimuli set by the exam board. You will develop your response over a preparatory study period. Following the preparatory study period, learners will be allocated a period of 15 hours sustained focus study to realise their response unaided and under supervised conditions. Component 1 is worth 60% of the A level and Component 2 is worth 40% of the A level.
By G. Clarke
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0192842008
Art and Photography
By A. Scharf
Published by Penguin, ISBN 978-0140131321
Photography: A Critical Introduction
By L. Wells
Published by Routledge, ISBN 978-0415460873
20th Century Photography
By S. Klotz
Published by Tashen, ISBN 978-3822886489
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: WJEC Art and Design A656QSL
Head of Department
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