Why choose Photography?

Photography is an excellent subject to study at Hills Road and it will develop your creativity in many ways. We are part of a friendly Art & Design department and are committed to helping you to gain a more informed understanding and appreciation of both the photographic art form and the world around you. We will help and support you to develop your imaginative, experimental and expressive powers and your intellectual, analytic and technical skills. 

We have a wide range of technical resources including a photographic darkroom, professional digital cameras, and a computer suite with editing programs such as Photoshop. There is a well-equipped photographic studio using flash and tungsten lighting. There are regular visits to galleries including the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and Somerset House. We also run a practical field trip abroad; this year’s A2 visit was to Istanbul. Photography provides an excellent foundation for you if you are considering further education or a career in the arts and it develops valuable skills that have direct relevance to many aspects of employment and everyday life. We support you in preparing your portfolio for application to art foundation and degree courses. Although Photography can be combined with most subjects, taking it alongside Art & Design, Art History or Media Studies makes it an ideal choice for students considering a career in some form of visual communication, such as commercial photography, photojournalism, editorial photography, advertising and travel or wildlife photography. You could also work in the advertising industry as an art director or in graphic design.

The AS course consists of two practical projects, a research project and an externally set assignment. Designed to help support and develop your skills and creativity, the course covers the following:

  • 35mm black and white photography
  • Technical understanding of chemical and digital processes
  • Black and white printing
  • Digital image enhancement and manipulation.
  • Experimental techniques – camera, darkroom and studio.
  • Exploration of photography on a contextual level, with emphasis on image analysis to enrich and inform practical work
The A2 course consists of three practical projects involving developing a sketchbook and an in depth essay connected to the first project followed by an externally set assignment. The course will cover the following:

  • Alternate processes
  • Advanced camera and darkroom techniques
  • Advanced studio techniques
  • Colour printing

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in English Language or Literature.

Awarding Body


Units of Study

AS Level

Photography - Unit 1

Coursework portfolio.

Photography - Unit 2

Exam assignment.

A2 Level

Photography - Unit 3

Personal investigation.

Photography - Unit 4

Exam assignment.