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KS4 Photography


Key Stage 4 Course Information Page

Course Name : GCSE Photography (AQA)

What is the qualification?

One full GCSE awarded at grades 9 – 1

What will I be doing on the course? How will it be structured?

This course allows you to explore and experiment with a wide range of photographic techniques and digital media. You will be given two coursework project themes over the two years for which you will have to produce a portfolio and final piece. During the course you will be shown how to use digital cameras, different lens settings, studio lighting, the darkroom and computer software including Photoshop. You will then be able to choose which method or combination of methods you use to produce your final pieces. All of the work you produce for these projects will be submitted in a coursework portfolio which equates to 60% of your overall mark. In addition to this portfolio, you are also given a selection of questions/ themes that have been written by the examination board. You will have a set number of weeks to produce a portfolio based on your chosen question/ theme and then a ten hour examination during which you will have to make the final piece. The examination unit will make up the other 40% of your overall grade.


The table below indicates the school terms in which the assessments will take place:

 Autumn TermSpring TermSummer Term
Year 10 Project 1 deadline, to be assessed as part of Unit 1
Year 11Project 2 deadline, to be assessed as part of Unit1Examination paper (Unit 2) preparatory period plus 10 hour examination time

What skills do I need to develop to be successful at this course?

You need to be extremely creative and the more ideas you have the better. You also need to be willing to try using techniques and media that you find more challenging or are unfamiliar with. We will teach you how to improve your photographic skills during lessons but you may be required to come after school to practise using the darkroom. You will be taught how to use digital cameras and Photoshop software on the PCs. This is something that you will need to become confident using by practising. You need to be able to manage your time well because photography can be time consuming and requires careful planning. You need to be able

to research artists and designers using the internet, books and by going to exhibitions. You will also have to develop an analytical writing style and be able to show that you think carefully about imagery rather than take it at face value.

What could I use this qualification for?

This qualification will allow you to go on and study an art based course at Post 16. It will also help you enhance your research skills, analytical skills, independent and creative thinking skills and time management skills – all of which are very useful whatever courses you go on to study. Careers in photography include: fashion photographer, wedding photographer, teacher, graphic designer, forensic photographer and many more.