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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE


GCSE Course Outline

"The camera is my tool. Through it I give a reason to everything around me." - Andre Kertesz

What is Photography?

The GCSE Photography course requires the development of practical skills, both technical and aesthetic. Students are both practitioners and critics, developing the analytical skills and understanding of Photography in a range of contexts. There is a focus on photography practice and the integration of theory, knowledge and understanding to reach a personal response to project briefs.

The coursework unit is a combination of photography research, supporting studies and developmental work leading to one or more outcomes in a variety of resolutions. All four assessment objectives must be covered within the coursework component.

Students create a journal which contains evidence of idea development, reference to the work of others, showing understanding of meanings, contexts and their decision making skills, using an appropriate visual and written form.

First-hand experience and critical awareness of photography are encouraged via visits.

What Skills Will Students Develop When Studying GCSE Photography?

PHOTOGRAPHY GCSE - Course Overview

Component 1 Personal Portfolio

Internally set and marked, externally moderated.

60% of GCSE Exam

Final assessment is in May/June 2019

Personal Portfolio

  • Students create a personal portfolio of work based on a given theme that demonstrates knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Students must work within the following titles: Photography.
  • Students undertaking the above title must create work associated with the area of study for that title.
  • Allows students opportunities to develop and explore ideas, research primary and contextual sources.
  • Experiment with media, materials, techniques and processes
  • Develop critical analysis skills and assimilate ideas.
  • Present personal response(s) to theme(s) set by the centre.

Component 2

Externally set, internally marked and externally moderated.

10 hour exam

40% of GCSE Exam

Final assessment is in May/June 2019

Externally Set Assignment

  • Externally set broad-based thematic starting point released in January 2019.
  • A centre-devised preparatory study period followed by a 10-hour sustained focus period in which students create personal response(s).
  • Students' work must comprise:
    - Preparatory studies
    - Personal response(s).
    - Internally assessed and externally moderated.

Structure of the Course
This course will be taught for 3x1 hour lessons per week. Homework will be set weekly and deadlines must be adhered to. Research and first-hand experience of works of photography is essential.

Introductory Reading
On Digital Photography, Stephen Johnson O'Reilly Media, Inc, 2006
ISBN 0-596-52370-X 306
20th Century Photography, Ludwig Köln, Taschen 2005
The Photography Book - An introduction to 500 photographers from the mid-19th century to today, Ian Jeffrey Phaidon 1997
ISBN 0714844888

Introductory summer work
Visit a photography exhibition and choose a photograph, write a short review expressing your opinions about the photograph. Make a series of 20 plus photographs taking inspiration from the image.