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What is the course about?

The course is intended to meet the needs of students who wish to undertake further studies in photography, media and/or art and design at degree or art foundation level. It is expected that students will have followed and gained a minimum 6 grade in either art or graphics, or can demonstrate a significant involvement with photography outside school.

Along with timetabled classes, it is expected that students will demonstrate initiative and take photographs in their own time, visit galleries and research the work of other practitioners.

It is recommended that students following this course have access to a good quality digital camera and, ideally, a manual SLR camera. Students who enrol on the course must be self-disciplined, self-motivated and have a genuine engagement with the subject.

Course content

  • Introductory skills: image manipulation software and film- based photography.
  • Production of a sketchbook and a finished piece on the theme ‘Studio Portraits’ and ‘The Street’.
  • Digital and physical manipulation processes, a sketchbook of images and artist research and a finished piece on a theme of your choice taken from a past paper. 


  • Year 12: Portfolio of work set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.
  • Year 13: Personal investigation supported by written element of 1,000 to 3,000 words.

Career pathways

A degree course or an art foundation course. It can be used as the basis for an application to follow a broad-based arts oriented degree. 

Entry criteria

Grade 6 (or higher) in GCSE Art or Graphic Design. If you fail to meet the entrance requirement for this subject, then a portfolio of work may further support your application.