Photography A Level (AQA)

Course Overview (AQA syllabus)

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies. Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This is integral to the investigating and making processes. Students’ responses to these examples will be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. Students will be able to use traditional methods and/or digital techniques to produce images. Students will be made aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented and of the importance of process as well as product.

Course Requirements

5 GCSEs graded 9 – 4 including English and Maths at grade 4.

Grade 4 in Art & Design related subject required.

Year 1

Until Summer Term: Students will be given a comprehensive introduction to photography. This includes an introduction to concepts and technical skills in photography. They will explore the work of key practitioners and be introduced to important historical trends. They will develop a broad understanding of photographic technology. They will develop their ability to research and analyse independently, important examples of photography from its origins to the present time.

Summer Term onwards:

Students will undertake The Personal Investigation coursework. They will choose a theme or area of practice that interests them and begin to conduct strategic research. They will experiment with making independent responses, developing stronger ideas over time and refining and developing their work. This process will continue into Year 13 to ensure creative, fully developed ideas and explorations.

Year 2

Term 1:

Students will continue to develop their Personal Investigation coursework, resolving outcomes related to their research and considering various display strategies. They will also complete the accompanying critical study essay.

Until May:

Students will undertake the Externally Set Task, independently selecting a question from the exam board set questions. They will prepare research and explorations around their chosen question using the assessment objectives to guide their working process and complete a final response in a 15 hour controlled assessment. An external examiner will visit the school in June to see an exhibition of students’ work and to moderate the marks assessed by the teacher.

Assessment Information

60% Controlled Assessment 40% Externally set assessment

Future Pathways

The qualification provides students with the opportunity to build a portfolio necessary for Art and/or Design degree courses or Art Foundation course.

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