The OCR A Level in Photography is structured to develop your practical skills in many aspects of this exciting, creative discipline alongside enhancing the appreciation of lens-based media as an art form.


Studying A-level photography provides students with the opportunity to study higher education courses in photography or related creative disciplines which is an excellent route into creative careers or the Arts.


What will you be learning?

Year 12

From September to the Easter holidays you work on a series of practical tasks, analytical reading of photographs and workshops which cover a wide range of skills from camera control to image manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. The work you produce is compiled in a journal which isn’t used for assessment purposes in Year 12 but will prove invaluable in preparation for your assessed units. We will look at Portraiture, Landscapes, Abstract and Experimental Imagery and Documentary/Editorial Photography.


From Easter until July, you will be working on your first assessed unit – Component 1. This is a Personal Investigation in which you study an area of the visual arts which you enjoy or interests you. It has two separate elements:


1) A portfolio of practical work based on your own brief


2) A written Personal Investigation looking at the contextual aspects of your brief.


Year 13

From September to January you complete your work on Component 1.


From February until May, you will be working on Component 2. You will receive a ‘theme’ from the awarding body which you use as a starting point to research, plan and develop a personal response which is then produced in 15 hours at the end of the unit. Here you will employ many of the skills you developed during Component 1 and during year 12.


How is it assessed?

100% coursework:

Year 13: Component 1, 60%

Year 13: Component 2, 40%


Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE's, including English and Maths, at Grade 4 and above.  If Art/Media has been studied at GCSE level previously then a minimum grade 6 is required in the subject.  If it has not been previously studied then a minimum grade 5 in English is expected.