What is photography?

The Photography syllabus encourages students to actively engage with the creative processes of Photography and helps them to become reflective thinkers with enquiring minds who are independent learners in their study of Photography. The course develops their creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring, creating and producing their images and products. Students become confident in taking risks, learning from their experiences through exploring the camera and its possibilities They build a critical understanding through their chosen area(s) of study, using personal interpretation, considered selection of sources and independent judgements to undertake an active investigation process.

What will I study?

The Photography GCSE aims to allow students to develop and refine their own ideas, supported by an understanding of their context and

what has informed them. Students work through purposeful engagement to build their own body of work. They also look at other artists to develop knowledge and understanding of Photography in historical and contemporary contexts and in societies and cultures appropriate to their chosen area(s) of study. As they progress they develop through the course of study, an awareness of the different work practices and roles of the creative and cultural industries in terms of Photography and show an understanding of the purpose, intentions and functions of Photography. They also learn to acknowledge their influences through creating a portfolio and a bibliography of books, journals and websites used.

What will I gain from studying photography?

You will gain a very good idea about your own artistic abilities and interests and will be encouraged to express yourself in a variety of ways. You will be helped to build up your skills and will be allowed to define your own projects and approaches with your tutor acting as a critical supporter and guide. You will also learn about other artistic journeys and recognise how different photographers developed in the past.

How is it to be assessed?


Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Portfolio 60% Portfolio
2 Externally set task 40% External Exam: 10 hours


Exam Board: OCR

What do I need?

You need an interest in Photography and some basic artistic skills. You will be taught how to develop these skills and how to display your work but it is useful to feel confident in the practice of Photography if you are going to make sustained progress. A decent SLR digital camera and a basic awareness of its use is essential.

All students studying the GCSE programme are required to have an English language level of IELTS 5.0 or equivalent.


Is Photography harder than other subjects?

No. However producing each piece of Photography can be a slow and intensive process so it can take up more time than other subjects.


Do I need my own equipment or software?

Students will need to bring their own laptop and camera. The laptop should be capable of running the Adobe suite, which will be installed by the college when you start the course.