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Photography A Level

Level 3
A Level
Two years
Telephone: 01792 890700 (Gorseinon)


Embark on a creative journey through the captivating world of photography with our A Level Photography course. This course aims to develop your technical skills and artistic vision while nurturing your passion for image making.   

Throughout the program, you will: 

  • Engage in weekly practical assignments which explore various photographic techniques, both digital and traditional 
  • Experience working with film and making your own black and white darkroom prints 
  • Have specific workshops to learn how to effectively use a DSLR camera  
  • Experiment with composition and industry standard studio lighting 
  • Have dedicated lessons in learning digital editing software - Adobe Photoshop 
  • Examine the work of renowned photographers.

Course Outcomes 

  • Be confident with using a DSLR camera manually 
  • Gained experience in digital and traditional photography 
  • Developed proficiency in image editing software 
  • Refined your own style and developed your unique perspective 
  • The course will culminate in a portfolio project, showcasing your best photographs and demonstrating your growth as a visual artist.

Key information

  • A minimum of seven GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language
  • A strong enthusiasm for photography and a genuine passion for capturing the world through the lens of a camera 
  • Photography or a Creative Arts based GCSE would be recommended but not essential 
  • No prior photography experience is required, but basic knowledge of camera operation and image editing software would be advantageous. 

You will have three sessions per week, including a double practical lesson and two singles.  

In addition, you will also be expected to work independently outside of college to develop what you have learnt practically on a weekly basis.  

Assessment of the course is achieved through critiques throughout the course, half termly reviews, internal assessment and external assessment via the examining body. 

The grading criteria as set by the WJEC exam board covers the four assessment objectives: 

  • AO1 Contextual Understanding 
  • AO2 Creative Making 
  • AO3 Reflective Recording 
  • AO4 Personal Presentation.

Year 1 (100% coursework with no exams) 

  • AS Level Unit 1 The Personal Creative Enquiry 
  • 40% of qualification.

Year 2 (100% coursework no exams) 

  • A Level Unit 2 - Personal Investigation 
  • 36% of qualification 
  • A Level Unit 3 - Externally Set Assignment 
  • 24% of qualification (includes 15 hour sustained focus period).

Upon successful completion of the A Level Photography course, you will be well-equipped to pursue higher education or careers in the creative industry.  

You may choose to study photography, fine arts, or design at a higher level, such as a foundation course or degree program.  

The Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Gower College Swansea.

Career paths could include professional photography, photojournalism, graphic design, advertising, media and digital marketing.  

The skills acquired during this course, such as visual literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and digital editing, are transferable and highly valued in today's image-driven world.  

Access to a DSLR or personal digital camera with manual functions would be beneficial. 

There is a £30 studio fee for each year of this course. 

Second year students celebrate their work in an end of year exhibition.  

GCS Photography students have won many categories in the National Eisteddfod in recent years. 

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