Years 10 and 11 GCSE

Photography is an ever growing means of documenting our world. With the introduction of camera phones, we have more amateur photographers than ever before and every aspect of life can be captured and shared in an instance. On the GCSE course, you will learn about what makes a fantastic photograph. You will also explore the work of world famous photographers of fashion, landscape, fine art, journalism, portraiture and products. You will learn how to use a digital camera and how to set up a successful shoot. Work will be recorded in a ‘digital sketchbook’ and cameras will be available to borrow from school.

Specification Content

Students will learn through a range of projects designed to teach specific skills. Understanding of camera settings such as aperture, shutters speed, ISO and white balance will be taught. The use of Photoshop and creative hand-made techniques will also be learnt.

Awarding Body


Coursework accounts for 60% of your final grade, the remaining 40% is derived from a final practical exam.

Unit 1: Personal Portfolio. This coursework unit will be made up of work chosen from Project One and Project Two.
Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment. This is the culmination of the course and is the chance for you to ‘Show off’ what you have learned. You will be given a broad based starting point and then receive approximately twelve weeks to gather, research, develop shoots and ideas and carry out experimentation. You will make your final piece within a ten hour period over two days in your photography classroom.

Topics covered

Broad themes will be set by your classroom teacher for your coursework units. For your exam unit, the exam board will set an equally broad theme for you to interpret.

Recommended revision guides / course resources
GCSE bitesize,  art section.
Tate Galleries online – glossary section
Saatchi online
Moma online