Option Subject - Category B

Examination Board: AQA

Specification Code: 8206

Why Take This Course?

Photography is an exciting medium that can be used in many different ways.  This course will teach you to look at the world in a creative way.  The innovative potential stimulated in this course will enable you to apply creative, analytical and critical thinking to any other course that you do.

You will develop an awareness of critical analyses of artists’ work, helping to generate your own ideas through practical application and written reflections.  You will have the opportunity to document your work successfully online, creating your own digital e-Portfolio.

GCSE Photography could lead to entry into ‘A’ Level Photography in the Sixth Form

Aim Of The Course

To broaden your understanding of a variety of light and lens-based photographic techniques and processes, utilizing both traditional and new technologies.  The aims are to teach you to select and record information, experiment with materials, images and ideas and become aware of art and design contexts within your life.

Course Structure And Content

In Component 1 and Component 2, students are required to work in one or more area(s) of photography, such as those listed below:

  • Portraiture
  • Location photography
  • Studio photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Installation
  • Documentary photography
  • Photo-journalism
  • Moving image: video and animation
  • Fashion photography


The course is broken down into two sections:

Component 1 – worth 60% of final grade.

Component 1 requires a portfolio that must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment – worth 40% of final grade.

Component 2 requires students to respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper.  The externally set assignments will be available to students from 2nd January in the year of the examination.  A preparation period begins after the 2nd January, followed by 10 hours of supervised unaided work in which the students are required to realise their intentions.

Through both components, students must record their ideas, observations and insights, both visually and through written annotations, using appropriate specialist vocabulary in both portfolio and externally set assignments.

Entry Requirements

A true interest and enthusiasm for the subject as well as an awareness of the need to carry out research and homework in your own time and attend Photography workshops on a regular basis.

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