Leeds East Academy


Year 9 Options Process - Photography


Are you creative and imaginative? Do you enjoy exploring ideas and looking at things in different ways? If so, you should consider a course in photography. You will enjoy developing your understanding of the visual world, learning practical skills and responding to ideas and issues in ways that are personal to you.

Photography is about looking, learning, thinking and communicating ideas. It inspires creative thinkers. Photography means ‘drawing with light’ and that is what photographers do when they take a picture. Many photographers have explored various techniques to create images that make a personal statement about things that have interested or concerned them. The most exciting aspect of photography is that you are capturing the world as you see it.

Course Details

Students will learn and develop the use of DSLR cameras and alternative methods on mobile phones. They will explore computer editing to prepare and introduce them to programs that are used in the world of work.

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below.

  • 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
  • photographic installation
  • moving image (video, film, animation)
  • Students have previously studied themes of drawing with light, disguise, architecture, light and dark, urban and rural and materials.

At GCSE, learners will have:

  • 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.
  • skills in drawing using various methods

Progression beyond GCSE

You can continue your Photography studies at AS and A-level, where the same titles are available. You’ll also be able to choose some areas of study to specialise within art and design.

To continue further with Photography, some possible degree options are:

  • Animation
  • Commercial
  • photography
  • Creative and editorial photography
  • Digital media
  • Fashion photography
  • Film and television
  • Film and visual culture
  • Forensic photography
  • Graphics with photography
  • Medical photography
  • Visual communication

Where will the course take you?

Studying a photography at A level and university will give you all sorts of exciting career opportunities, including:

  • Commercial photographer
  • Fashion photographer
  • Filmmaker
  • Fine art photographer
  • Forensic photographer
  • Industrial photographer
  • Medical photographer
  • Nature photographer
  • Photographic illustrator
  • Photographic technician
  • Teacher
  • Photojournalist
  • Picture editor
  • Researcher
  • Social photographer
  • Sports photographer

Course structure and assessment

We offer this GCSE through AQA. The GCSE consists of Component 1 and Component 2. Below is more information about both components.

  • Component 1 Portfolio: produce a sustained project and a selection of further work that represents the course of study. This is worth 60% of your overall marks.
  • Component 2 Externally set assignment: there’s a separate externally set task paper for each title. It features seven tasks and you have to complete one of them. You get preparation time, plus ten hours of supervised time. This is worth 40% of your total marks.

Grading for all artwork is based on the quality of students work and students are marked out of 96 for each component. The 96 marks are built up by students working towards four assessment objectives. Using AQA marking matrix and all students are assessed on having minimal, some, moderate, consistent and exceptional ability.

Student work

Further information