A-Level Photography

Unleashing Creativity

Exam board and Specification Codes: AS-Level 7246/C and 7246/X; A-Level 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?

AS Components One and Two


Comprises one or two projects with supporting written work in the form of a journal. Pupils can choose to work in areas such as portraiture, documentary, photojournalism, environmental photography, still life or experimental imagery.

Externally Set Assignment

A choice of five projects set by the exam board. Pupils have a preparatory period of eight weeks leading to a five-hour supervised practical.

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 pupils’ practical work.

Externally Set Assignment

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

How is it Examined?

Coursework and external assignments are 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