The course will give you the opportunity to learn a range of photographic skills to develop your creative potential and express your thoughts, feelings and ideas through the medium of a photographic image.

Students will also learn to use a range of critical and investigate skills to analyse, research and evaluate their own work and how it relates to the work of others. A range of photographic technical skills are developed including lighting, camera skills and digital manipulation.

At the end of the course you will have learnt how to respond to a project in an informed, personal manner using all these skills and produce work in the manner of a professional artist, designer or photographer.

Excellent facilities include a dedicated teaching room with Adobe Creative Suite, scanners, laser printers and Nikon DSLRs. A fully equipped studio space and traditional darkroom is also available to use in and outside lessons.

Specific requirements

  • A minimum of five GCSEs, two at grade 6 and three at grade 4.
  • GCSE English at grade 4.
  • At least a grade 4 at GCSE in Art or Photography or a Distinction in BTEC Art & Design.
  • Outstanding students without these subjects but with a good portfolio of photographic work and a background in subjects such as Graphic Communication and Media Studies may be considered.
    • Please click here to see grades conversions in line with the new grading system.

What will I study?

Awarding Body:

  • WJEC


  • Personal Investigation - 60%
  • External Assignment - 40%

Course Content:


Component 1: Personal Investigation

An initial introduction programme allows students to learn about DSLR cameras, Photoshop, photographic theory, contextual studies and camera techniques before applying
these skills to a variety of themes.

The Personal Investigation consists of two integrated parts:

  1. An in-depth critical, practical & theoretical investigative project and outcome/s based on themes and subject matter that have personal significance.
  2. An extended written element of 1000 words, which may contain images and texts and must clearly relate to practical and theoretical work.

Learners will be required to select, evaluate and present their work for assessment.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (Begins January of second year)

This component incorporated two major elements: preparatory studies and the practical exam. The Externally Set Assignment represents the culmination of the A Level qualification allowing students to draw together all the knowledge, understanding and skills developed throughout.

The Externally Set Assignment consist of a series of visual and written stimuli, which are to be presented to the learner at the start of the preparatory study period. One of the stimuli is to be selected by the learner and used as a starting point to which students should respond in a very personal way by developing a portfolio of practical work and final outcome(s).

The practical exam consists of a 15 hour period of sustained focus work where students will create final pieces as a development of their preparatory work. This period of sustained focus work must be completed under supervised conditions.

The Externally Set Assignment contributes 40% of the total qualification.

AS 2015 Gallery

A2 2015 Gallery

AS & A2 2016 Gallery

Where does it lead?

Possible career paths could include Photographer, Photographers Assistant, Picture Editor, Teacher, Photographic Lab Technician, Graphic Designer or Computer Aided Designer. Degree courses which students have gone onto include Photography, Photojournalism, Visual Communication, Web or Magazine Design, Fashion Photography, Fashion Journalism and Fine Art.


To apply for this course click here.


“I studied Photography with Art & Design and Graphics at Cadbury College. I am now studying a degree in Photography at the Manchester Metropolitan University.”

Zakk Bisseker