Skip to content ↓

Art and Design - Photography and Creative Digital Media






Art and Design Photography and Creative Digital Media Miss Adams AQA A level

Course Entry Requirements

Students must complete a short practical project during the summer.  A GCSE in Photography grade 5 or above is useful but not essential.  If you have not studied GCSE Photography, then a minimum grade 4 GCSE in Maths and English is required and a portfolio of creative work is required. This can be evidence of Photography or other mediums or work from Art, Textiles, Design and Technology.  All applicants will be asked to attend a guidance meeting with one of the Photography teachers to discuss the summer project and portfolio and their suitability for the course.

Course Overview

It is a dynamic and well recognised qualification that compliments all other A level courses.  It is a fantastic platform for creativity and can lead you into a wide variety of future opportunities and career paths, such as the creative industries, apprenticeships and university courses.

The course follows the AQA A level linear syllabus and is a Photography, lens and light based media endorsement.  The creative world is rapidly moving in the direction of Creative Digital Media and this course harnesses the creative possibilities of Digital Technology.  You will be using both traditional and modern processes to record and manipulate still and moving images (e.g. photographs, digitally manipulated photographs or imagery, Gifs, video and animation).

You will learn how to develop your technical and creative skills, exploring exciting and adventurous ideas.  You can choose to explore and combine a wide variety of digital processes, skills and techniques.  You are able choose the final direction of your work and the format with which you present it.  You can personalise and extend projects to suit your interests and skills or to suit your future plans, as long as it is based around a digitally captured image (photograph or video), for example, you could create a show reel to demonstrate your directing/acting/dance skills for auditions, design a website to promote your special effects makeup skills or create and design a book/poster/album cover to show case your photographic, illustrative and editing skills.  You can combine other skills/media with your digitally captured imagery, such as art, graphics, media, textiles, website design, illustration, film, video, animation etc.

Course Content

During the course you will:

  • develop a strong knowledge of the working functions of Digital Media, such as cameras (analogue, digital, video and film) and software such as Photoshop, Premier Pro and Illustrator;
  • creatively explore a wide variety of genre, such as portraiture, surrealism, advertising/editorial/fashion, abstraction, street photography, experimental photography (light painting/long exposure) and many more.  Producing your own personal responses to the stimulus;
  • develop advanced digital editing and digital image manipulation skills;
  • develop your visual literacy skills through investigation and analysis of different types of photographic/film/video imagery; this will take the form of your own work based around photographic/video/animation;
  • develop your imaginative and creative skills, learning different ways to express your ideas and realise your intentions;
  • participate in workshops for a variety of topics, from studio portraiture, traditional film photography/chemical process, to stop motion animation/video;
  • visit exhibitions and participate in location shoots in a variety of locations outside of school.



    Component 1: Personal Investigation

    Component 1 is about developing skills, knowledge and understanding of different Digital Media.  You will spend time experimenting and exploring different processes and techniques based around your creative skills and ideas.  You will work on multiple themes that are designed to guide you through the process of creating a successful project building and building your confidence to work independently.  Towards the end of Year 12 you will undertake a final project, where you can produce a project based on an area of personal investigation linked to your preferred genre/processes/ medium/skills/concepts.  In support of your practical work for your personal investigation, you will explore and discuss an area of interest further.  This will be undertaken in the form of an illustrated essay (approx. 1000 words).

    Weighting: 60% of total A level.

    Component 2: The Exam Project

    In the latter part of Year 13 you will be given a choice of 8 themes (from the exam board), picking one as your starting point for an independent project (with guidance from your teacher).  Students will complete 15 hours of supervised time at the end of the exam period to produce a “final piece”, presenting your work in a creative and relevant way.  You will have 10 weeks preparation time and 15 hours supervised exam.

    Weighting: 40% of total A level.


    Universities in London and around the country offer exciting and varied photography courses suited to individual students’ needs, such as fashion, documentary, advertising and more fine art based. Students have progressed to study at University of the Arts, London, Thames Valley University, Brighton, Southampton, Reading and University of Wales, Newport amongst others.

    Progression and Careers

    Freelance Photographer, Commercial Photographer, Fashion Photographer, Stock Photographer, Photo Journalist, Advertising, Marketing, Graphic Design, Digital Retoucher, Animation, Film, Director, Cinematographer, Television and Media, Website design, Illustration, Digital Artist, Moving Image Artist (Gif).

    Exam Board


    Contact Name

    For further information, please see Miss J Adams – Course Leader.