Skip to content ↓

Welcome to Photography GCSE

A warm welcome from the creative Art Department at The Westgate School. The GCSE Photography course encourages the exploration of photography as an artistic medium. It combines well with more traditional subjects, providing an outlet for creativity, and capturing moments. This course will make students a great creative thinker and they will be able to construct their photographic images so that they contain high visual appeal.

Take one look at our modern day environment: images surround us. A huge amount of communication and understanding is done through pictures. The world is visual and it is more convenient and commercialised than ever!

Photography is an exciting medium, all about looking, thinking and communicating ideas.

A GCSE in photography will involve producing images using light-sensitive materials such as photographic film or digital methods of development and production to create static or moving images. Students will complete a portfolio which can be chosen from a range of topics including location photography, studio photography, experimental imagery, installation, documentary photography, photo-journalism, film or animation and portraiture.

Students will have 3 lessons per week over the duration of the two years and the course is made up of 60% coursework and 40% final exam.

The exam is a practical based exam.

The specification can be viewed here:

Student Testimonials 

I enjoy photography because I can be creative with all the elements that go into it. it Is also easy to understand and comprehend what I need to do in terms of work, overall is easy to wrap my head around and is quite enjoyable, Laaiba R.

In my experience, Photography  has given me the chance to think outside the box and create amazing photographs I never knew I could take. But don't think photography is just about taking pictures, there will be days where you will have to write about your photographs and plan how you will take them, it does take a bit of patience but that's what gives you the higher grade. The teachers are helpful and nice too, Agne K.

I enjoy how every time we take pictures, we always have something new to do or somewhere new to go, Julia K-K.


Do I need to buy my own camera? 

No, and any homework can be achieved using a phone or on the computer. The advantages of having your own camera is that you can continue developing some of the technical work at home.  

I've never used an SLR camera before, can I still pick GCSE Photography? 

You will be taught how to use a SLR camera and during lessons you will be using a SLR camera. 

Will I have to do many photoshoots in my own time? 

There is an expectation, like all subjects, where you will need to complete work at home. At some points of the course, you will want to take photos during the weekends, this may be because you are going to a specific location or taking photos of the family.  

Do I need to be good at drawing?  

Photography students use sketching as a tool to create wireframe drawings and plan images they might want to photograph. You do not have to be ‘brilliant at drawing’ in order to do this, the focus is on planning the shots you want to take not the quality of your drawing. 

Do I need to know how to use the computer for editing? 

You will be doing your work on computer. Most of your planning, annotation and evaluations are done on Powerpoint. These are normally printed off and placed into an A3 folder. You will be using editing software to develop your photographs. We use Photoshop and photopea. When you are not on your photoshoots, you will be on the compute 

What careers focus on Photography? 

• Commercial photographer • Fashion photographer • Filmmaker • Fine art photographer • Forensic photographer • Industrial photographer • Medical photographer • Nature photographer • Photographic illustrator • Photographic technician • Teacher • Photojournalist • Picture editor • Researcher • Social photographer  • Sports photographer• Animation • Commercial photography • Creative and editorial photography • Digital media • Fashion photography • Film and television• Film and visual culture • Forensic photography • Graphics with photography • Medical photography • Visual communication 

For further information please contact:

Mrs Swift   Curriculum Leader of Art

Ms Mistry Teacher of Photography