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Course Code: NFAPO011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Capture the beauty of the world through the lens of a camera with our A Level Photography course. 

This inspiring program combines technical skill with artistic vision, allowing students to explore the principles of photography while developing their own unique style. From darkroom techniques to digital image manipulation, students learn to master a variety of photographic processes and tools. Through practical assignments, creative projects, and critical feedback, students develop the skills to create compelling images that convey emotion, tell stories and provoke thought.

A career based on skills in photography can take you into many sectors from media and fashion editorial to commercial advertising and photo journalism.

This course will introduce you to practical studio, darkroom and on-location photographic processes in addition to theoretical aspects of Photography as well as encouraging you to explore a variety of techniques and processes in a highly personal and meaningful way. You will perfect your skills and techniques in film and digital photography including composition, editing, image manipulation, colouring, processing, and visual effects. You will also learn how to operate in a business environment and lay the foundations for a potentially lucrative career.

The college boasts state-of-the-art facilities to help you learn including a cutting-edge studio with high-glider lighting system, darkrooms and an Apple Mac suite. You will make use of the studio and darkroom facilities and enjoy a wide variety of learning experiences such as lectures, guest speakers, workshops, trips, active learning and personal research.

There will be opportunities to participate in trips to collect research and images. To achieve the best grades in the subject you will own your own digital camera, enabling you to work outside college. A DSLR is preferable; if you have a compact or bridge camera, you may need to arrange occasional camera loan from the college. A film camera is also recommended along with a tripod.

In addition to examples of your creative work, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. This should ideally include English Language and maths as well as a creative subject, however we actively encourage interested learners to apply and attend an informal interview to allow us to find out more about you, your career aspirations, predicted grades and creative ability.

Year 1 is based on a series of mini projects designed to introduce new skills and approaches on a wide range of themes. The year will end with a more sustained project aimed at preparing you for year 2 assessments.

In Year 2 you will produce:

1. Personal Investigation and related study (60% of A Level final grade). A practical project supported by a related study of 1,000 words minimum. You will be encouraged to undertake a range of research in support of your chosen theme. This should include museum or gallery visits.

2. Externally Set Assignment (40% of A Level grade) where you will choose from a variety of starting points, culminating in a 15 hour controlled practical test.

The two components combined are internally marked and externally moderated. Your final A Level grade is awarded based on the quality of research, experimental studies and final pieces evidenced in these modules.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Amber Banks-Brumby, Subject Leader, by emailing:

Follow the course on Instagram: nulc_photography_a level

A Level Photography is a respected qualification for University entry or a career in the creative industries. Successful completion of the course is an excellent basis for progression to Higher Education or our own 1 year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Past students have gone on to study on courses including BA Honours in Photojournalism, Fashion Photography, Marine Photography, Fine Art and Forensic Photography in addition to degrees in Humanities and Science.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group, please contact Charlotte Robertson on 01782 254141 or email

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here