A Level

closeup of a camera lense

Availability & Details

Photography, A-Level AF-PHOTAL-D(0000)000

Alton Campus

Type of study
A Levels, Full Time

Academic Year 2021-22 (2 years)

Examination board

Apply Now

How to apply

Contact us


If you want to discover the thrill of expressing yourself through still images, exploring traditional skills and being creative with digital technology, come and be inspired by our enthusiastic staff. Lessons take place in our specialist photographic department with its superb darkroom, three fully professional standard studios and computer suite with Adobe Creative Cloud software.

You’ll be encouraged to explore and engage in different ideas and practices, developing the person behind the camera and producing work that reflects you and the changing world we live in. Visits to galleries and exhibitions are encouraged on this course and each year there is the opportunity to travel overseas to experience a different culture to enhance your studies.

You should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4.

A grade 4 or higher in a creative or technical subject at GCSE is preferable, but we will consider you if you have a keen interest in photography and we would expect to see evidence of this when requested.

At HSDC Alton on the Photography A Level course, you will study:

  • Traditional darkroom techniques, which will enable you to fully appreciate how photography has evolved into the 21st century.  It will be a hands-on practical history lesson!
  • How to think about visual communication and how imagery is used to communicate an idea or viewpoint of an individual.
  • Research into a variety of worldwide photographic artists, to help and influence your own creative image-making.
  • Digital workflow & editing as an extension of the darkroom using Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • A personal investigation in Year 2 of this course, exploring artists, photographers and technique to gain an in-depth practical understanding of the process you apply within your photographic practice, supported by a related written study.
  • Independently and be encouraged to take responsibility for directing much of your own practical projects and research work. 

Lessons activities are wide-ranging and stimulating from theory-based to practical exploration. You will develop your own ideas by researching other artists and be encouraged to examine the world around you visually. You will work through a variety of techniques and learn to work with appropriate media, materials and processes. Photography students are expected to annotate work, to express personal and creative ideas and produce final outcomes using a range of approaches and methods from the darkroom to digital.

60% personal investigation, 40% externally set task.
Externally set task includes a 15 hour controlled element.

Photographic consumables: £20 per project (approximately).

Optional trips from £20 each.

You’re here to learn and you want to learn, and the lecturers make it fun. You don’t have to come to college but you want to come to college.

Natalie Thorpe, A Level student

My experience at the College was great, it’s very different to school, and I think it’s a good step to going to university. The support was amazing, I loved all of my teachers, they helped me through everything. The College is friendly and you will succeed.

Heidi Adamson Brattland, A Level student

College has been the best two years of my education. All my teachers were great and amazing, and I think they were the most helpful they could have been.

Megan Capaldi-Tallon, A Level student