AS/A level specification | Edexcel


Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies.

Areas of Study

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • portraiture
  • landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment)
  • still life photography (working from objects or from the natural world)
  • documentary photography, photojournalism
  • fashion photography
  • experimental imagery
  • multimedia

Students will be expected to demonstrate skills, as defined in Overarching knowledge, understanding and skills, in the context of their chosen area(s) of Photography.

Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:

  • the ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the context of Photography
  • awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of Photography
  • the ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea, or work to a brief or answer a need in Photography
  • appreciation of viewpoint, composition, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed and movement
  • appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting for work in their chosen area(s) of Photography

understanding of techniques related to the production of photographic images and, where appropriate, presentation and layout.

The course structure

Component 1 Personal investigation

This component is weighted 60% of the total qualification

Students are required to conduct a practical investigation, into an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. The investigation should be a coherent, in-depth study that demonstrates the student’s ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation. The investigation must show clear development from initial intentions to the final outcome or outcomes. It must include evidence of the student’s ability to research and develop ideas and relate their work in meaningful ways to relevant critical/contextual materials.

The written material must:

  • be a coherent and logically structured extended response of between 1000 and 3000 words of continuous prose.
  • include specialist vocabulary appropriate to the subject matter
  • include a bibliography that, identifies contextual references from sources such as: books, journals, websites, through studies of others’ work made during a residency, or on a site, museum or gallery visit
  • be legible with accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar so that meaning is clear.

Component 2 Externally set assignment

This component is weighted 40% of the total qualification.

Separate question papers will be provided for each title. Each question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one. Students will be provided with examination papers on 1 February, or as soon as possible after that date.

Preparatory will be presented in sketchbooks. In the 15 hours exam students must produce a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes, informed by their preparatory work.






To be successful on the course, you will need to have an interest in photography and in the world around you and be able to work independently and with enthusiasm. You should also enjoy visiting galleries and exhibitions




Follow us on Instagram, and see some of the amazing photographs our students have taken.

To access the pinterest account click on this link.

For more information contact: Mrs K Smith