Photography (Lens & Light Based Media) GCE A Level (single option) Level 3 (Option Block A)

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing

What will you be working towards?

Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Students are required to work in one or more areas of photography, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment)
  • Still life photography (working with objects or from the natural world)
  • Documentary photography, photojournalism
  • Fashion photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Multimedia
  • Photographic installation
  • Moving image (video, film, animation)



This qualification gives students the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of photography. This includes camera controls, techniques, materials, printing and presentation alongside study of photography in a historical and social context. The course involves traditional darkroom wet processes and digital photography and manipulation.

Through practical and theoretical lessons students are introduced to techniques, study photographic artists and the ideas, feeling and meanings beyond the images. Responses to these examples must demonstrate the candidates’ understanding of styles and genres

How will it be delivered?

Component 1 Personal Investigation (60% of Qualification). This is portfolio development. Candidates produce practical and critical/contextual work based on workshops and consultation with the teachers.  Student’s work will include supporting studies, practical outcomes and a written personal study of between 1000 – 3000 words. (topics are student led) Work is completed with written elements that lead to a final piece or pieces both in lessons and at home. The practical work and written material are assessed as an integrated whole.

Component 2 is the externally set assignment. Component 2: Externally set assignment – 40% of the A level.

Students are given a choice of questions set by the exam board. They will then have 10-12 weeks preparation time, followed by a 15 hour controlled assessment. Work completed during the assessment must be the student’s own unaided work. Before the controlled assessment, teachers may discuss starting points with students and give help and guidance on how to carry out research. Students will produce a personal outcome in response to their chosen starting point.

Entry requirements

Students will require a minimum of five A*-C/9-4 grades at GCSE, including English

at level 5 or above.

Your next steps...

You could take this course to support other A level courses. It can lead to foundation diplomas or other options in further education.  With further training, you could go into a related job such as a photographic assistant or trainee photographer on a local newspaper.  The course will also help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge sought by employers across the creative and technology industries.