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Photography A Level

Course Overview

Study will fall into three main areas, Darkroom practice; students will learn how to shoot, develop and make prints from black and white film negatives, there are opportunities to try specialist colour film processes too. Students will explore alternative analogue techniques including salt-printing, cyanotypes, chemigrams and photograms. 

The digital aspect of the course includes learning photoshop and other digital editing and manipulation software. 

In addition to this students will experiment overlapping photographic work with their other subjects, looking into cross curriculum opportunities to enrich their imagery and embed a narrative into the work. 

Work is internally assessed throughout the course and externally assessed by EDEXCEL at Final Exhibition.

Each student will need to obtain a 35mm SLR camera with manual facilities. They will also need access to a digital camera- this does not have to be a DSLR. 


Course Components

Year 1 Components

  • Introduction to the darkroom
  • Introduction to digital
  • Skill building
  • Experimental Photo-arts techniques
  • Themed project

Year 2 Components

  • Self-Negotiated project
  • Personal Portfolio
  • Personal study Essay
  • Externally set assignment

Key Info

Minimum entry requirements

Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including:

  • GCSE Grade 5 in Art or Photography
  • Or a set task if Art or Photography not studied at GCSE


  • 60% coursework
  • 40% exam (practical)
  • Exam board: Edexcel


Subject Lead

Miss A Gladding

Why choose this Course?

This course is for students who are passionate about photography, art, design and all creative disciplines. Teaching is workshop-based and student- centered and aims to develop each student’s intellectual, aesthetic and creative potential and to teach appropriate skills and techniques. There are opportunities to visit galleries and engage with artworks first-hand. There is an open Studio policy throughout the day and after school.

Skills you Gain

Specialist Darkroom skills and an understanding of many analogue techniques and processes. Digital editing skills and experimental photo-arts and craft methods. Students will learn to be reflective and critically analyse their work to refine and improve their image making.

Students will be taught how to effectively research into Art History and the history of Photography. In addition to examining the work of individual photographers and artists and develop skills to help them write eloquently about their own creative practice.

After Northgate

Students have gone onto higher education at some of the country’s top universities and studied a range of creative subjects. Careers in Photography, Film, Publishing and Marketing, Press and Editorial Photography, Cinematography, Creative direction, the Visual Arts, Architecture, Museum and Gallery work, Curating, Illustration, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Website Design, Games Design, Animation, Set Design, Film and Fashion Design and Events Management.

Contact Us

Northgate Sixth Form,
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123