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Overview

Photography A-level is the practice of producing images using light-sensitive materials such as photographic film, or digital methods of development and production to create static or moving images.

Key Facts

Start Dates:

  • 3 January 2023
  • 11 September 2023

Colleges:

  • Oxford

Entry level:

  • Academic: Completed 10 years of schooling (GCSE or equivalent)
  • English: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Minimum age:

  • 16

Length:

  • 2 Academic Years (3 terms)
  • We also offer entry from Year 12
  • One year programme available at part of the fast-track Art pathway in Oxford

Lessons:

  • Average 7 hours per week for each A-level subject (plus homework and private study)

Learning outcomes

  • Gain UK national university entrance qualification
  • Raise English to university level
  • Develop study skills required at degree level
  • Develop specialist subject expertise

Areas of study

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below:

  • portraiture
  • location photography
  • studio photography
  • experimental imagery
  • installation
  • documentary photography
  • photo-journalism
  • moving image: film, video and animation
  • fashion photography.

They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas. Final decisions regarding these areas will be made in collaboration with our experienced staff.



Knowledge, understanding and skills

Students will develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills, below, to realise personal intentions relevant to photography and their selected area(s) of study.

Knowledge and understanding

The way sources inspire the development of ideas, relevant to photography including:

  • how sources relate to historical, contemporary, social, cultural and issues-based contexts and external considerations such as those associated with the cultural industries and client-oriented requirements
  • how ideas, themes, subjects and feelings can inspire creative responses informed by different styles, genres and aesthetic considerations and/or an individual's distinctive view of the world


The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions relevant to photography can be communicated include the use of:

  • figurative and non-figurative forms, image manipulation, close up, and imaginative interpretation
  • visual and tactile elements such as colour, line, form, tone, texture, shape, pattern, composition, scale, sequence, surface and contrast.

Skills

Within the context of photography, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • use photographic techniques and processes, appropriate to students’ personal intentions, for example, lighting, viewpoint, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed and movement, use of enlarger, chemical and/or digital processes.
  • use media and materials, as appropriate to students' personal intentions, for example, film, photographic papers, chemicals appropriate to darkroom practices, digital media, programs and related technologies and graphic media for purposes such as storyboarding, planning and constructing shoots.

Typical A-level subject combinations with Photography

Sample enrichment activities

  • Photography Club
  • History Film Club
  • Trinity Arts Awards
  • Current Affairs and News Club
  • Debating Society

Sample academic calendar (2023-2024 and 2024-2025)

Year 1

Sept

11th: term starts
Student induction

Oct

23 – 27th: half term
Progress tests

Nov

University fairs and talks

Dec

15th: term ends
End of term exams

Jan

8th: term starts

Feb

15th – 16th: half term
Progress tests
University fairs

Mar

End of term exams
22nd: term ends

Apr

8th: term starts

May

Progress tests

June

Exams
14th: term ends

Year 2

Sept

9th: term starts

Oct

21st October – 1st November: half term
Progress tests

Nov

University fairs and talks

Dec

13th: term ends
End of term exams

    Jan

    6th: term starts
    15th January: UCAS deadline (other subjects)

    February

    13 – 14th: half term
    Progress tests

    Mar

    21st: term ends
    Mock exams

    Apr

    7th: term starts
    Progress tests

    May

    Final exams

    June

    13th June: term ends

    Degree progression

    Many students who do Photography at A-level use their qualification to do a degree in Photography or a related subject.

    A Photography degree is useful for a number of jobs, including commercial photographer, fashion photographer, filmmaker, forensic photographer, medical photographer, nature photographer, photographic illustrator, teacher, photojournalist, picture editor, sports photographer.

    Example degree courses which require or accept Photography A-level include:

    • Photography
    • Photography and Video
    • Film Studies
    • Digital Media and Culture
    • Filmmaking
    • Media and Journalism

    Thank you for your enquiry.
    We'll be in touch soon.
    The Kings Admissions Team