Digital Photography

Examination Board: AQA


Photography: lens-based and light-based media


Candidates will produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including portraiture, landscape photography, still-life photography, documentary photography, photo journalism and experimental imagery.


The AS course can be taken as a stand alone or as 50% of a full A level


The AS course will consist of-


  AS Part of full A Level
Coursework 50% 25%
Controlled Assignment 50% 25%


The A2 course builds on the AS grade. The grade makes up 50% of the overall A2 grade.


Coursework 25%
Controlled Assignment 25%


The general approach will always be; working from direct observation from primary sources, exploration of other artists and photographers work, idea development and problem solving, using a range of media and processes, arriving at personal responses.


Students will explore a range of photographic media techniques and processes. Students will mainly use digital photography processes but will be made aware of traditional processes.  Students will engage in ICT manipulation, digital application and explore ways of presenting photography through ICT presentations. Students will learn about different styles, genres and traditions showing understanding through practical and critical activities. Student will be expected to develop creative ideas and work independently to carry out photo-shoots.


AS Unit 1 – Coursework Portfolio


Students must produce a portfolio of course work making up 50% of the As Grade, showing skills in:


–     The ability to explore a theme, concept or idea for example: portraiture,

landscape, still life, photo journalism, Surrealism and experimental imagery.

–     Show understanding of line, colour, pattern, texture and shape in the context of


–     Show appreciation of viewpoints, composition, depth, movement and frozen


–     The appropriate use of the camera, film, filters and lighting

–     Understand and use techniques related to developing and printing photographic


–     Analysing and using sources and contexts to inform and inspire their own work


Unit 2 – Externally Set Assignment


The Externally Set Assignments should involve students showing evidence of the development of visual language skills in:


-    Generating a range of ideas, reviewing and refining.

–    Appropriate research into sources and contexts

–    Primary recording and analysis of sources and contexts

–    Sensitive selection and exploration of media and processes


Students are given 3 months to complete work for the controlled test. At As level students have approx 4 weeks before completing a 5 hour controlled test based on developing ideas before completing the ideas and a personal responses in lesson time.



Unit 3 – Personal Investigation


Students must produce a personal investigation supported by written element of 1000-3000 words.


The Unit 3 coursework consists of two elements, practical work and a personal study based on a chosen theme, concept, idea or issue; the two elements are interlinked. The unit makes up 50% of the A2 grade


Students will produce a written dissertation of 1000 – 3000 words.

Develop a range of ideas, reviewing and refining.

Show a high level of understanding of critical and contextual related issues.

Producing a sketchbook showing your research and pastiches.

Produce a final piece or piece’s of work.


Unit 4 – Externally Set Assignment:


A2 level students complete a 15 hour controlled test at the end of the 3 month period of idea development.


Students should show evidence of the development of visual language skills in:

-    Generating a range of ideas, reviewing and refining

–    Appropriate research into sources and contexts

–    Recording and analysis of primary sources and contexts

–    Sensitive selection and exploration of media and processes


The AS and A Level course will involve visiting galleries and museums.


A considerable amount of work is needed to be done outside the classroom. Students must display good time management skills and some expense will be incurred for personal equipment and portfolios etc.


Entry Requirements:

A Minimum of grade C in Art GCSE plus 4 other GCSEs minimum grade C including English and Maths


Contact: Mrs J Bullworthy