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Why study Photography?

Alongside the sixthform prospectus pages here, take a look at Fortsimere Art Department’s own website to find out more about what goes on and view student’s work.

This is a creative photography course with an emphasis on photography as an art form, focusing on lens-based and digital-media. The camera will be used as a tool to develop visual and thought processes as well as creative and critical abilities. Such skills are in high demand within the Creative Industries, which according to the Department for Media, Culture & the Arts (DMCA) are a “significant contributor to the UK economy - accounting for 7.9% of GDP, and growing significantly faster.”

The department has excellent facilities with a large dark room with 13 enlargers for monochrome work, a photographic studio area and backdrop, in addition to a suite of 11 Apple iMac computers suitable for intensive image and audio visual editing. We encourage all forms of experimentation from traditional darkroom printing to video editing and animation. To see further evidence of the work produced by students, please visit our online gallery at: and audio visual work at:

What will I study?

Students will undergo a programme of study to equip them with the technical skills and control of the photographic medium in order to be able to realise their creative intentions. Critical awareness and appreciation will also play a major part in the course.

In the initial stages at AS, students will be introduced to the basic principles of photography through a Foundation Skills stage, before working on independent projects set by the department known as the Coursework Unit. Finally, an 8-10 week project will be set by the examination board that culminates in a timed examination when students must produce a personal outcome and this is known as the Examination Unit.

AS Photography Units

Unit 1 (Coursework 60%)

1.1: Foundation Skills Stage
1.2: Portraiture
1.3: The Environment

Unit 2 (Examination 40%)

Externally Set Assignment

A2 Photography Units

Unit 3 (Coursework 60%)

3.1: Personal Study: A written and illustrated study into an area of Photography.
3.2: Personal Portfolio: A portfolio of practical work based on a brief

Unit 4 (Examination 40%)

Externally Set Assignment

Students are assessed according to Edexcel’s assessment criteria, which measures the way a student develops, experiments, records and realizes their ideas.

How will I study?

Students will be involved in practical, creative, technical, historical, critical and theoretical activities. Students will be required to work independently and co-operatively, and to be well-organised. Some work will be studio-based. However, a willingness to venture widely in pursuit of photography is an important quality to have on the course. We expect students to take advantage of the many exhibitions on display in London. We also offer a regular study visit abroad, run an open-studio after-school session and provide opportunities for gallery and museum visits.

What do I need to start the course?

An enthusiasm for the subject and a determination to generate ideas and work beyond the basic course requirements is essential. If you are considering studying both Fine Art and Photography, please be aware that the coursework requirements (60%) of both subjects require a great deal of independent work outside of the classroom and high level of organisational ability.

To join the course, you are required to have a digital camera with manual speed and aperture-priority modes. We recommend the Fuji FinePix range for a reasonable price bracket, whereas the Canon EOS and Nikon D-series create mid-range DSLR cameras with detachable lenses. The department supplies manual SLR Film Cameras for black & white photography, which can be loaned out.