Project Description

English Language
English Literature
Level 2 Additional Mathematics
Welsh Baccalaureate
Business & Technology
Computer Science
Art & Design
Graphic Communication

GCSE Art and Design – Photography

Exam board: WJEC
Exam code: 3656QS

This qualification is defined as the practice of creating durable static or moving images by recording
light with light-sensitive materials such as photographic film or digitally by means of an image
Students undertaking the photography title are required to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and
understanding set out in the introduction to Section 2 through areas of study relevant to their
chosen title.
Areas of study include:
  • Documentary photography
  • Photo-journalism
  • Studio photography
  • Location photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Installation
  • Moving image: film, video and animation. Work is not limited to one area of study


Students must demonstrate the ability to work creatively with processes and techniques appropriate
to the chosen area study such as: photograms; pinhole cameras; film (chemical) processes; digital
processes; time-lapse photography; stop-frame animation; installation; film; video; animation;
photomontage; digital manipulation of images. Outcomes can be screen or print-based, comprise
still or moving images.
In order to provide sufficient opportunities for research into contemporary practice, students can
explore practitioners working in such areas as advertising, photojournalism, fashion, wildlife,
industrial and technical photography, high street photography studios and film, television and video.
As part of their studies for Photography students should aim to present clear evidence of addressing
the assessment objectives, as in the following examples.


  • Develop ideas that are informed by investigative, contextual and cultural studies of historical and contemporary photography and lens-based imagery in their own and other societies and other sources, for example in the work of photojournalists and filmmakers.
  • Explore a wide variety of work produced by photographers, filmmakers and video artists and understand the differences in their methods, approaches, purposes and intentions, such as ethical considerations.
  • Provide evidence of analytical skills and critical and contextual understanding by appraising, comparing and contrasting the work of relevant photographers, filmmakers and video artists and other historical and contextual sources and use this to inform their own work.Increase awareness of the wide variety of photography, lens and light-based processes and outcomes and the differences between these, including how different genres are applied andadapted to meet particular needs.
  • Refine and reflect upon work as it progresses by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with an appropriate photographic media and processes, other media and combinations of media, with controlled use of lighting, shutter speed, aperture, lenses, filters and, where appropriate, the purposeful manipulation of digital software. Exercise skilful and safe application of these to maximise creative potential and produce quality outcomes.
  • Explore a stimulating and rich variety of resources to initiate and develop innovative ideas. Pay due regard to line, tone, colour, shape, texture and other visual elements and, where appropriate, use drawing to explore and communicate ideas.
  • Provide evidence of appropriate depth and breadth of study of photography and other lens based media. Employ sensitive control, for example in refining digital and/or chemical processes, composition, or use of lighting.
  • Show discrimination in reviewing ideas as work develops. Establish a clear working relationship between working methods and outcomes by documenting significant steps so that final outcomes do not emerge without evidence of the creative process.
  • Gather, select, organise and communicate information that is relevant to their personal interests as a consequence of careful research and analysis of a stimulating and rich variety of resources.
  • Record ideas, first-hand observations, insights and judgments by photography and any other suitable means, such as sketches, diagrams, story boards, layouts and written notes that are relevant to personal intentions.
  • Critically reflect on work as it progresses in order to effectively review what has been learned, acquire deeper understanding and to clarify purposes and meanings.
  • Present personal, imaginative final outcomes, together with selective evidence of thinking and production processes, that effectively realise the student’s stated intentions or a design brief and demonstrate critical understanding of visual and, where appropriate, other forms of communication. For example, students could reinterpret still life paintings from the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ in the 17th century by setting up 21st century equivalents in the studio paying particular attention to the formal elements.
  • Make explicit connections, where appropriate, between the different elements of the submission, including contextual, practical and written responses, presenting work that is meaningful, well-informed and in a sequence that can be easily followed and results in quality outcomes.
  • Consider different presentational formats and select the most appropriate for the submission. Due regard should be given to the purpose of the work and how it might engage the interest of an audience or potential clients. For example, students could produce a slide show (with accompanying text) documenting images of neglected parts of the local environment as the start of a community improvement campaign.


This is a Linear qualification –
all exams are to be taken at the end of the course.
The qualification is made up of two assessed units.
Unit 1: Portfolio (internally set, internally assessed and externally moderated)
Unit 2: Assignment; this consists of two parts (Externally set)
Part 1: Preparatory study period
Part 2: 10 hour period of sustained focus work.

Exam Access Arrangements

Exam access arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment.
For example, readers, scribes and Braille question papers. In this way, Awarding Bodies will comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.

We can arrange exam access arrangements and assess you with our special assessor.  The deadline for application to the exam board is the February of the year the learner sits exams.

To find out more about exam access arrangements  click here


We offer a range of study options, we are flexible, offer tutor support, and interest-free payment plans make it easy to shape learning around your life.

We are registered with Estyn, our aims to give each student a complete education in which they achieve their academic potential and grow as an individual. As well as studying with us, you can sit your exams with us too.

The regular GCSE courses commence in September and an intake in January, these courses are designed to be taught in a classroom environment / online and follow a structured curriculum with a fixed schedule of classes, assessments and exams.

Distance Learning online courses can be started at any time throughout the year, and students can work at their own pace and in their own time.

You’ll sit the same GCSE exams at the same time as all the other students in the UK, and you’ll receive the same results, transcript and qualification. Your GCSE course will be accepted by colleges, universities and employers worldwide.

You can study GCSE courses through a range of study options; our blended learning which consists of online live classes and in person teaching in class, Online live classes only or Distant learning course.

IGCSE qualifications are ideal for those wanting to study for national qualifications by distance learning. Without all the administrative problems that encumber GCSE course work.

We offer a range of IGCSE Courses; see our Distance learning course page.

Choosing a tier isn’t always easy, particularly for languages, we can help you make a decision. Nobody is a better judge of a student’s ability than their teacher. Regular assessments and mock exams are a key part of our decision making.

If you are studying a distance learning course, we can assess you through the year through a range of assessments.

  • We offer subject support tutorials every month
  • 1:1 support from your subject tutor, online or by email
  • 24/7 access to the your online learning platform
  • Interactive online learning broken down into easy-to-follow units
  • Practice tests and mock exams marked by your tutor
  • Friendly student services team, so you’re never more than a message or phone call away from a helping hand

Of course, you can study this course part time, making sure you have said in your enrolment.

GCSE’s are usually a two year course, studying this in one year – would be an intensive course.
You may be able to complete this in one year as an intensive course, you need to show a strong understanding of the subject.

We offer GCSEs – part time in the evenings to adult learners.

We offer interest-free payment plans, you can pay monthly, termly or annually.

Choose the subject you would like to study, add to courses, complete our application form and you can choose to pay online.

If you’d like to set up an interest-free payment plan, get in touch with our Student Advisors on 01792 535 000.

If you have any disabilities which you think might affect your studies or assessments, please let us know before you enrol so we can advise you on whether reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs.

GCSE Specification Art and Design
Download Specification
Exam Fees Included
Course specification


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or call us on 01792 535000 and speak to our experienced Student Adviser.

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