Photography A Level

Course Description

Photography is the art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place, showing others the world through your eyes, it’s not about the things you see but the way you see them.

Entry Requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade A/A*/7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade B/6 and three GCSEs at grade C/4 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4. It is not necessary to have studied Art & Design or Photography at GCSE in order to study A Level Photography. However a keen interest in the subject is crucial.

Course Content


This course will provide the fundamentals of photography and you will begin using a manual film camera, processing film and printing your own black and white images with a darkroom. By studying and exploring more traditional methods of photography provides you with the foundations to create the perfect image within the lens whilst gaining a real understanding of exposure and camera controls. Traditional and alternative photography processes will be explored and experimented with whilst working alongside new media and digital photography.


You will use a sketchbook to document your studies including photoshoots captured, workshops covered, the development of ideas and experiment work. Annotation is an important part of the research and developmental process and this is also documented within your sketchbook to support your imagery. You will need to be committed, passionate and enthusiastic about photography as you are required to extend and develop work produced in class in your own time. A typical five additional hours per week is vital to expand on ideas initiated in class and techniques demonstrated to do well and fulfil the requirements of the course.
We cover traditional method of photography, using the camera, film and darkroom techniques to new digital media techniques whilst exploring and communicating with the world around us through the lens. The different genres of photography include studio work, documentary, street photography, landscape, portrait and still-life photography to name a few, and you will be introduced to these different aspects of photography through workshops and assignments whilst on the course.


At the start of the course it will be necessary to purchase an essential kit that includes a sketchbook, two films and photographic darkroom paper (financial assistance is available on request). Both film and digital cameras are available to loan but it is beneficial to have a digital camera to enable you to record your ideas.

Links with other subjects:
Photography links well with English, Graphic Design, Fine Art, Media and Film Studies

On Wednesday afternoons the Art department will offer a range of enrichment activities such as:
• Book making & paper making
• Exploration of alternative photographic outcomes
• Workshops with visiting past students and photographers


Component one: Personal Investigation (60% of final grade) throughout year one and to December of year two.

Component two: Externally Set Assignment (40% of final grade) runs from February to May of the second year.

Both components are internally assessed and externally moderated. You will also present a portfolio and an exhibition of your work covering both components which is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Future Career Opportunities

• Fashion photography & styling
• Editorial photography
• Photojournalism
• Studio photographer and manager
• Travel photographer
• Freelance photographer

Why Study at BSFC?

Throughout your time here at BSFC you will build up an innovative and exciting portfolio of work which will support you in studying at a higher level or progressing on to a university course.