A-Level Photography

Unleashing Creativity

Exam board and Specification Codes: AQA – Code 7206/C and 7206/X

Why Study Photography?

Photography engages pupils in an enjoyable activity that relates to their own interests and life experiences. All project work is therefore tailor-made to suit each pupil’s own working practice. Lessons are primarily practical, building from the beginning on skills needed for the final exam.

The course covers the history and development of photography, photographers and photographic technique. Pupils come to understand the importance of viewpoint, composition, depth of field and movement, and explore and practice technical skills relating to shutter speed, exposure, stock and lenses and filters, as well as the developing and printing of film.

Class sizes are small, meaning that pupils receive a lot of help with their work and that darkroom equipment does not have to be shared. At the outset, the emphasis of the course is on traditional photographic techniques, but as it progresses pupils have the opportunity to use digital photography and Photoshop applications.

Photography at KPS has a strong history of achieving high grades and helping those who are less interested in strictly academic subjects. Tuition is friendly, supportive and responsive to changing needs.

What is Covered by the Course?

A-Level Components One and Two

Personal Investigation

Based on an idea, concept, issue or theme, supported by 1,000-3,000 words of a critical, analytical nature and supporting written work relating to students’ practical work.

Externally Set Assignment

A choice of eight projects set by the exam board. Students have a preparatory period of eight weeks leading to fifteen hours of supervised practical.

How is it Examined?

The Personal Investigation and the Externally-Set Assignment are both marked internally, then moderated by an external examiner.

Related University Courses and Careers?

Photography is a versatile subject and complements a range of arts disciplines such as Film Studies, Media Studies, Graphics and Art & Design.

Photography could lead to academic or vocational degrees relating to press photography, photojournalism, fine art, editing, fashion photography or styling, the film industry or forensic science.

Suggested Reading:

Photography – John Ingledew

Photography: A Concise History – Willfried Baatz

A History of Photography from 1839 to the Present – T. Mulligan

20th-Century Photography – R. Golden

Photography Foundations for Art & Design – Mark Galer

© Kensington Park School

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400


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