Click to Expand Year 12 Content:
Year 12 Autumn
Year 12 Spring & Summer
Introduction to Photography A Level
Coursework - Personal Investigation (worth 60%)

Introduction to structure of Photography focusing on assessment criteria, sketchbook marking & guidance and learning to analyse photographs.

Introduction to history of Photography focusing on photographic devices, critical/contextual studies, dark-room practice.

Refresher on principles of Photography using various lens based media focusing on the exposure triangle, camera parts & functions, rules of composition and digital manipulation using editing software such as Photoshop.

Introduction to four genres of Photography. Portraiture, Landscape/Cityscape, Social Reportage and Photoshop.

Pupils will gain skills in all four genres e.g. photographers, techniques, equipment usage etc.

These four projects are designed to prepare pupils with the tools they need to begin their Personal Investigation.

The personal investigation project, which is practical by nature, leads to a final piece(s) and is supported by a compulsory written element that links the work of other artists to the project.

In this component, you are in charge and with our support you will produce a portfolio of work that reflects your strengths and interests. You will be encouraged to work in a variety of ways, exploring fully the subject you have chosen.


By the end of this unit, pupils will have produced:

  • Sketchbook x 1
  • Information boards x 3
  • Final pieces x 1
  • Written essay (1000 words minimum) x 1
Click to Expand Year 13 Autumn Content:
Year 13 Autumn
Year 13 Spring & Summer
Coursework - Personal Investigation (worth 60%)
Exam - Externally Set Assignment

Continue to work on Personal Investigation. Pupils are provided with the time to carry out a number of experimentations and create a variety of pieces so that only the best pieces are submitted for moderation.

Similar to the personal investigation, but working from a series starting points set by OCR, you will produce a portfolio of work that leads to a final piece(s), produced in an exam. This work will be personal to you and can be produced using techniques and materials that you have chosen. Students, by this stage, are becoming independent learners, who work alongside the teachers in the department to realise their ambitions and are given support with their chosen progression routes. Pupils will carry out a 15-hour practical examination.

Subject Overview:

A-Level students have 5 Photography lessons each week.

Students have Photography homework set twice each week.


Students receive regular past paper questions at the end of each topic.

Students sit a 10 hour practical mock exam in Year 12.

Students in Year 13 sit their 15 hour practical exam in the Summer Term.