Course Overview

The A Level 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 investigative 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 style 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. Studio space and a traditional darkroom are also available to use in and outside lessons.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs, two at grade 6 and three at grade 4 GCSE English at grade 4 and 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.


Students have volunteered to work with professional photographers to gain further knowledge and experience. 
Past students have also worked for establishments such as the National Trust.
Possible career paths could include:
Photographer, Photographer’s Assistant, Picture Editor, Teacher, Photographic Lab Technician, Graphic Designer or Computer Aided Designer. 

Course Guide
Course Outline

Students have opportunities to work on live briefs, such as taking photographs for the drama department and the college prospectus. They also attend international photography festivals and other relevant exhibitions. Students have entered and won Photography competitions.

Components of Course
Personal Investigation – 60%
External Assignment – 40% 

Personal Investigation: consists of two integrated parts
    •     An in-depth critical, practical & theoretical investigate project and outcome’s based on themes and subject matter that have personal significance. 
    •     An extended written element of 1000 words, which may contain images and texts and must clearly relate to practical and theoretical work.  

Examination: Component 2 
Externally set assignment (Begins February of second year)
This component incorporated two major elements: preparatory studies and the practical 15-hour exam. The Externally Set Assignment consist of a series of visual and written stimuli, presented by WJEC. 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.

Exam Board

Photo of Cadbury College's main building exterior

“Studying A Level Photography has been an outstanding opportunity to develop my photographic skills and use a fully equipped studio space to produce my own professional images”
Mia Hill

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the college allocate places to students?

All applicants will be invited to attend an admissions interview. An offer of a place to study at Cadbury College is made subject to you meeting the College's standard entry grade requirements. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places on offer a reserve list will be opened.

What are the costs to study at Cadbury College?

There are no tuition fees for 16-18 year olds. Students are asked to pay a £25 book deposit when they enrol at the college, however this is returned at the end of the two years of study when all books and resources have been returned to the college. Some subjects will offer field trips which may impose some additional costs, however these costs will be kept to a minimum and these field trips are not compulsory.

When does enrolment take place?

Enrolment takes place after GCSE Results are announced. It is usually at the end of August into the beginning of September, with all students being on timetable by the end of the first week of September. Further details about enrolment and a date/time for your individual appointment will be sent to you in a letter over the summer holiday. The enrolment appointment will take between 1 and 2 hours.

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