A Level

Course code
Type of study
Examination board

Apply now


Photography is an ever-changing medium which stretches across fields including press and editorial, advertising, fashion, fine art, wildlife and scientific recording. This course explores a diverse range of techniques, to help you develop your own direction as a photographer and create a varied portfolio which can be taken to employment or university interviews.

You will have the opportunity to investigate and refine a range of skills in both contemporary and traditional technologies through the exploration of portraiture, landscape, still life, documentary and experimental imagery, in the studio and on location. From this, you’ll create your own photographic-based imagery in response to a variety of exciting and stimulating projects.

Trips are organised to galleries hosting photographic exhibitions across the country plus practical-based trips to local venues for night photography and street photography.

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above.

On this course you will study three components of coursework which are internally assessed and externally moderated.

In components one and two you will be expected to produce a portfolio of images, through a number of set projects, demonstrating experimentation and the creative use of the medium. Critical and contextual studies together with other evidence of development will also need to be presented for assessment.

Component three is an externally set assignment. Here you will be required to produce preparatory work in response to set questions, then develop ideas towards a self-directed outcome. You will need to create an informed and competent response within a controlled test environment.

You will study the history and theory of photography through workshops and assignments.

Lessons comprise of demonstrations, discussions, practical assignments, study trips and visits to exhibitions. You will also be expected to keep a work journal for each of the units, in the form of sketchbooks. In these you will record evidence of the development of ideas including reference to the work of others.

The work journal is also a vital tool in supporting and stimulating the artistic process and has a major role in the production and development of your photography, offering a context for exploration and discovery.

In addition to participation in formal classes, you will also be expected to continue your studies and practice in your own time.

Your work is assessed individually in tutorial sessions, group discussion, presentations and by formally assessed unit submissions. Final assessment is carried out by your lecturers, then moderated by an external moderator appointed by the examining board.

Apply now

Contact us

You’re here to learn and you want to learn, and the lecturers make it fun. You don’t have to come to college but you want to come to college.

Natalie Thorpe, A Level student

The teaching and support was absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have done anything more or anything better, if I had any questions my lecturers would always stay behind to help me if I needed it and their emails were always open, it was second to none. South Downs College is the best by far.

Amber Searle, BTEC student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student


A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

What to do next

Apply now Contact us