Important Information


Main Reception will close from 12:45 on Thursday 11 July. Main Reception will be open from 9am to 3pm only from Monday 12 August until Wednesday 28 August. Normal college Reception opening hours will commence at 8am on Thursday 29 August. The college site will be open, except on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August, however, most staff will be unavailable. If you need to contact a Department by email, please take a look at our Contact Us page.

Photography A Level

Qualification: GCE A Level in Art & Design (Photography)
Exam Board & Specification Code: AQA; 7246; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: No specific course entry requirement
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Study Programmes at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: Practical projects supported by written work
Course charge: A charge of £190 applies to contribute towards the cost of materials used during the 2 years of this course, bursaries and payment plans are available. You are given a generous allocation of colour printer credits per component of work and once you have used them you top them up at your own expense.
BHASVIC Department: Visual Arts

Head of Department, Sally Richardson

What will I study?

Welcome to the Visual Arts Department at BHASVIC. Photography is one of four subjects we offer at A-level.  

The first year of Photography is all about discovery. We want to get to know you as quickly as possible. Initial projects are designed to encourage dialogue, a sense of play and promote curiosity. Digital and darkroom photography, studio lighting, composition, Photoshop and manual manipulation will be explored. Having spent a year discovering yourselves as practising photographers, much of our transition work at the end of the first-year centres around you defining your artistic selves.  

In the second year you are encouraged to develop your own visual language, style and ultimately become an expert in the area you have chosen to study. A longer personal body of work gives time for this refinement and focus. 

You will be taught in large, light and well-equipped studios by teachers who value you as a Photographer. They will work closely with you to form supportive relationships that help guide your artistic endeavours. Many of these teachers are practising Photographers themselves. We have a fantastic team of six technicians who are also there to assist your technical needs. 

Enrichment opportunities include trips, live briefs, applying to become one of our assistant curators or events assistants and a program of talks by Photographers.  

Is this course right for me?

Are you interested in looking at the world around you? Are you open minded and prepared to make mistakes? Do you have a genuine passion and interest in the Visual Arts? Are you ready for a new challenge in exploring new ways of recording and building an authentic artistic voice. This practical course will help you to build a portfolio of work in which written analysis and research will underpin and support the skills you develop.

Frequently asked questions

It is fantastic if you have your own digital SLR, or film camera but please don’t worry if you don’t. We have a series of both types of camera that you can loan from us. If you do want to buy your own camera, we would recommend you purchase a Nikon, as this is what we use at BHASVIC, and you will be able to borrow specific lenses and other equipment that will also fit your own camera.

Yes, but it centres around your practical work and research. It also includes annotations on your development of ideas, processes and techniques. We study photographers to inform your practice and you will need to write about their work. You will write a couple of essays in the first year and a more extended piece of writing in the second year.

We teach you Photography through digital and traditional analogue mediums. Within the first year you will work in the darkroom learning darkrooms techniques as well as working on the PC with image editing software (Photoshop) so you can edit and manipulate your photography. Once you have learnt both the essential skills you can choose which ever techniques you enjoy best and suit your ideas and concepts. In the second year, you will  master and refine your digital and darkroom skills.

There is no formal written paper for the photography course. You will complete an ‘exam project’ where the exam board gives you a choice of themes. It has a timed element in order to create a final piece at the end. 

No. A few students have GCSE Photography but we teach the subject from scratch for both digital and traditional film-based photography.

Where next?

Studying Photography will enhance your creative, social and cultural understanding as well as develop your specialist technical knowledge. Students will undertake work to complete a portfolio on an ongoing basis with support from our experienced staff. Progression from this course can be directly to university, employment or to a Photography Foundation course. We have a supportive and structured Visual Arts career progression programme to help you with your next steps. Students progress to careers in the creative industries such as fashion, medical illustration, photography, photo journalism, commercial photography, photo editing, film/animation, television, media and advertising. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include Creative Skillset, Prospects, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.

Photography Employability and Enterprise at BHASVIC Photography Higher Education at BHASVIC
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