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16-18 Course Details

Photography A Level - 2020:21

Location: Farnham Sixth Form College
Course Code: FCPHO-AL
Year: 2020:21
Duration: 2 Years
FT/PT:  Part-Time 
Exam Board:  Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)
Fees (16-18): £ 0
Fees (Adv Learner Loan): £ 2583
07/09/2020Places Available
Subject Area

The Government funds and regulates adult Further Education and skills training in England. They pay a proportion of the cost to deliver the course and expect the student, or a sponsor, to pay the remaining portion. This is referred to as the ‘tuition fees’ and is what we display on our guide. If a course or a learner is not eligible for government funding the Full Cost /international fees will be liable. Please refer to our International fees page for more information.

Please note that the fees shown relate to the WHOLE programme but may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, including changes to Government funding and remission policies, so before enrolling on a course please check with the College for the latest information. The College also reserves the right to close, or not to start any published course.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained on this website is correct. However, the College reserves the right to change or amend, at any time, any of the course details including content, dates, times, venues, fees payable, concessions available, terms and conditions.

Content / Overview 

This two year course will emphasise photography as a creative medium and will be taught primarily as a practical subject. You will learn the basic techniques, theories, principles and how to use photographic processes and equipment; incorporating studio, ICT and camera technique. This will enable you to create your own photographic imagery in response to a variety of exciting and stimulating projects. You will have the opportunity to explore the world of fashion, photo-journalism, advertising, social documentary and many other commercial applications of photography. This can lead to progression towards higher education in photography graphic design, web design, multi-media, video production and also into direct employment.

The course provides the opportunity to extend further your techniques and understanding of software applications, with a critical awareness of other photographers work, through focused self-managed assignments.

All 16-19 year olds on full-time programmes will be required to retake GCSE English and Maths or to undertake Functional Skills, if they have not already attained the equivalent of a GCSE grade C in these subjects, every year of their course, until they complete their studies.

Course Modules 

Steps to Success Year 1 Year 2
Route and Progression arrows

Entry Requirements
At least five GCSE at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including Maths and English Language, and a grade 4 (grade C) or above in an Art and/or design related subject.

Entry Requirements
85% or above attendance in year one.

Specialist Academic Skills

A confident ability to create and develop ideas using a wide variety of traditional materials and techniques and digital software based on a thorough understanding of a variety of photographic styles and movements.

A confident ability to critically analyse, review and refine own ideas.

A confident ability to develop and realise relevant and meaningful solutions showing an in depth understanding of a brief.

A confident ability to effectively plan, organise and manage a brief from inception to successful conclusion.

Essential Skills for Progression

Development of English and ICT

Confidently record ideas in a variety of ways

Confidently use SLR and DSLR cameras

Confidently use (wet) darkroom equipment

Confidently use digital darkroom (Photoshop) equipment and software

Confidently use inspirational sources to develop ideas

Experiment with a variety of media and processes

As per Year 1, plus the ability to effectively plan, manage time, and define target audience.

Subject Specific Enrichment

Possible trips undertaking photographic shoots in different environments.

Possible trips to photography related exhibitions, universities offering graphic design and related programmes of study at higher level.

Possible guest speakers, lectures and workshops from universities.

Possible presentations of portfolios from ex-students

As per Year 1, plus mock interviews for Higher Education and job applications.

Personal Development (EEP)

Managing own learning

Organising self

Independent study and use of online learning

Trips and visits

Personal safety and ELM themes


As per Year 1, plus reflective learning.

Building on Social, Community and Employability Skills (EEP)

Team working, options might include:

Participation in sports


Charity fund-raising

Preparation for employment

Practitioner values & attitudes

Experience of work

As Per year 1, plus skills development in a range of specialisms tailored to employment in the arts


Why Study Here

Access to photographic studios and darkrooms the option to loan digital and film cameras and portable flash equipment, plus a dedicated suite of iMACs and current Adobe software.

Suitable For

Those students who are interested in studying photography in a practical and creative environment. You should enjoy creative arts subjects and be able to grasp technical concepts.

Application Method

Application followed by individual interview

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSE at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including Maths and English Language. A grade 4 (grade C) or above in an Art and/or design related subject would be desirable but not essential.

Delivery Method

Practical and theoretical elements are taught.


Homework is set and marked on a fortnightly basis and could consist of written research or practical experiments, which typically can be completed within four hours per week.


This is a coursework based subject with no final written exams.

Further Study

Students typically progress to Higher Education to study photography or an art related subject at degree level at university. Some work experience placements have led directly to employment.

Additional Information

It is desirable that students have their own 35mm SLR camera or digital camera, but not essential at the start of the course, as the option to loan equipment is available. Students will need to purchase an equipment pack that will consist of the essentials to start the course. Material fees will be approximately £100.

All students aged 19 years or over on 1 September in the first year of their course are expected to pay tuition, registration, exam fees and all other course related costs. Some assistance with these costs may be available depending on your circumstances and the latest government funding position.

There are normally no tuition, registration or examination fees to pay if you are aged 16-18 on 1 September in the first year of your course and are a British or European Union resident. This does not apply to HNCs/Ds, Foundation Degrees, Degrees or courses that do not attract government funding (identified as 'no fee remission available on this course').


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