Skip to main content

It looks like you have JavaScript turned off

Pretty much everything should work. But you may find some components look slightly off as a result. You can find out what JavaScript is here. If you don't have JavaScript turned off, or if something doesn't work that you think should do, please email hidden; JavaScript is required.

A Level Photography

Course outline

The right photograph can be thought provoking, heart-warming, challenging, eye-opening, sometimes even world changing.

This course is for you if you want to understand the difference between a good photo and a great photo. It will teach you not only how to use a camera in different conditions, but also how to think creatively, experiment and develop stunning images. You’ll be a person with imagination, who enjoys trying out new techniques and styles.

This course has a practical core, using hands-on workshops, weekly photoshoots and interesting assignments to give you an in depth understanding of creating outstanding photography. We also investigate some of the thinking behind a great photograph: how to be imaginative and develop your own style, as well as looking at the work of world class, inspirational photographic artists.

We boast a dedicated A Level photography studio with professional standard lighting, large darkroom and IT suite with the most up-to-date software packages to enhance and develop your photographs. Our students come away from the course with both the practical skills for a future in photography and the creative thinking skills that can set them apart in many fields.

Topics Include:

  • Using your camera controls
  • Better composition
  • Studio lighting
  • Digital editing using Photoshop
  • Traditional black and white processes
  • How to ‘read’ a photograph
  • Alternative photographic processes
  • Creativity and the camera
  • How to develop your ideas into something extraordinary.

During the course, we organise trips to London galleries, a possible trip abroad and regular visiting lecturers who are highly regarded professionals to come in and share their experiences.

You will study this course alongside 2 or 3 other A Levels and you will be able to select your chosen subjects when you apply online.

The course is experimental and practical in approach and is designed to build on your existing skills.

Topics include:

  • History of photography (equipment, materials, photographers and photographic movements)
  • General photographic theory
  • Darkroom skills for black and white photography
  • Digital photography
  • Using Photoshop
  • Photographic contextual studies

This course develops your artistic ability and technical photography skills and blends well with A Level study in Art and Design, Media and/or Film Studies as well as English Literature or Language. A range of creative university and career choices are on offer to you with an A Level in Photography.

You can view the fantastic works of our Media, Photography & Performance students on our showcase website run by our media faculty team.

View showcase

How to apply for this course

Apply now to study an A Level Programme in 2024/25

You will select your individual subjects when you complete the application.

Want to find out more first?

Get in touch by hitting the button below and filling out our enquiry form.

Download a guide Browse careers Get in touch
Location Date
25 Stoney Street

Start: Monday 2nd September 2024

Course code: C000450 / Q000513


OCR A Level Photography


2 years

Level Level 3
Entry requirements
  • To study 3 A Levels you’ll need at least 5 GCSE’s at grades 9-4 including GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above
  • To study 4 A Levels you’ll need at least 6 GCSE’s at grades 9-7 including GCSE English and Maths at grade 7 or above
  • One of your GCSEs must be a grade 7 or above in GCSE Art and Design, Textiles, Graphic Design or Photography

Applicants without a creative GCSE will be required to submit a portfolio of 12–15 photographic images - details will be given after application stage. It doesn't matter if you haven't studied photography before, what matters is that you're a creative, imaginative person.

The programme of study is for 2 years, and you will be expected to be achieving a minimum of grade D in all subject assessments by the end of year 1 to progress to your 2nd year.

Applicants with predicted GCSE grades 1 or 2 points below the entry requirement for an A Level:

If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements for either 1 or 2 of your chosen A Level subject choices, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer. We advise that you think about a second choice of course as a back-up plan. You can meet with us for a supportive, friendly and impartial discussion to look at other courses that Nottingham College has to offer. For more information contact High Pavement Sixth Form admissions by telephone on 0115 9100 100 or email at

Applicants who choose 4 subjects but only have the entry requirements to study 3:

If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements to study 4 A Level subjects, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer for all 4. At your ‘Get Ready for College’ day you will undertake tasters in your subjects and at this point you can discuss your options with subject staff at the event, to help you finalise your subject choices. Final A Level choices however will be made at enrolment in August when your GCSE results are confirmed.

Teaching & assessment

You’ll undertake a combination of coursework and a practical controlled assignment.

  • Practical workshops and 2 creative coursework projects
  • A major practical coursework assignment, an in depth study of your selected aspect of photography or set of artists and a creative controlled assignment.
  • End of year exhibition

Higher education: a good subject to support a future in photography, art, architecture, design, film fashion, journalism, media, marketing and related areas.

Employment: Photojournalist, food photographer, fashion photographer, wedding or portrait photographer, photographic artist, forensic or military photographer, art or photography teacher, designer, social media marketing. The valuable creative thinking skills you have picked up can be applied to a wide range of jobs.

Additional information

You’ll need your own digital camera. This would ideally a DSLR such as Canon or Nikon, or a compact system camera or bridge camera. It needs to have at least 18 Mega Pixels.

Students aged 16-18 don't have to pay tuition fees.

If you are aged 19 or over you may still be eligible for funding. Check out our Financial Help pages to find out more!

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss National, please visit our EU Settled Status scheme page for more information.