A Level

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.

Type of study
Examination board

Availability & Details

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

Alton Campus
Academic Year 2020-21 (2 years)
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Students 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 students with a keen interest in photography and 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 hr controlled element.

Purchase of photographic consumables : approx. £20 per project.

Optional trips from £20 each.

How to apply

Contact us

I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student

The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook

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