If you are attracted by the creativity and expressive aspects of photography then this course is for you. With the chance to learn digital photography techniques in our dedicated studio, you will be able to create a portfolio of stunning images.

Explore our students work

Explore our online portfolio to discover some of the incredible work created by Sir John Deane’s students. You can also find important information about equipment needed fro the course.

We also have a popular Instagram page, showcasing all things art and design at Sir John Deane’s! Click on the link below or search @sjdartanddesign


This is an exciting, stimulating subject that encourages creative self-expression. Photography at Sir John Deane鈥檚 is about students and tutors working together in a supportive and dynamic atmosphere.

You will learn about different technical aspects of photography including lighting, depth of field, lenses, and instruction in Photoshop. You will be expected to learn how to present your images using a variety of sources for inspiration including the environment, still life and figure/portrait. You will focus on digital photography and manipulation rather than traditional darkroom practice and wet media. Digital portfolios are created using PowerPoint presentations combined with a full set of Inkjet prints for all final work.

Students will have access to PCs with Photoshop and there are a selection of DSLR cameras, lenses and tripods which we loan out. We do rely on students generally having their own kit to back this up.

Students are taken to galleries in the area as well as on location days. Study trips abroad are also offered and in recent years students have visited Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and New York.

Some students have worked with local businesses and organisation, such as the Weaver Hall Museum. Our photographers are also regularly given the opportunity to record student at the College. You will also be encouraged to actively seek your own venues and locations for image making. Visiting professional photographers are often used to inspire slideshow talks.

A proportion of our students go on to study Photography as a degree subject or a related area such as film and media. Others will use the A level to apply for a foundation course in general Art and Design.听 Photography careers include photo-journalism, fine art photography, wedding and occasions, forensics and medical, marine and sport as well as industrial and editorial. Photography is also a valued A level for access to a huge variety of other creative industries, including fashion, 3D design and interior design to name a few.

Coursework Portfolio (four months) 鈥 60% of marks

Externally Set Assignment (eight weeks) 鈥 40% of marks


Coursework Portfolio
A portfolio of visual photographic ideas based on a theme set by the students themselves. Students work through a process of ideas development and a sense of journey from first ideas to final shoots. All work will be supported by analysis and research as well as planning and reviews. Students create a written essay of 1,000-3,000 words based on their journey throughout the process.

Externally Set Assignment
Students select from a number of themes given by the exam board; to research and develop creative photography processes and outcomes, while demonstrating a visual journey from the starting point. All work is practical and there is no written examination

Students should begin to look at the work of other photographers and artists both on the internet and in gallery spaces around the north west and, if possible, London. As a course, art history is a clear requirement and we will be asking students to have an appreciation of a variety of approaches. Students may also begin to put together photographs either with a phone camera or DSLR which follow a simple project rather than simply recording anything and everything they see.


Although some cameras are available to borrow on a night or weekend basis, it is preferable for students to have their own DSLR if possible. We use Nikons at the College and would suggest students use the same so that our lenses can be borrowed. Students will also need a large mobile hard drive to store their work on. Though not a necessity, a good tripod and an off camera flash gun are desirable.

A portable hard drive to store and edit your images from is crucial for the photography course. Most of the students use a听.听The Hard drive should be formatted to work on both PC’s and Mac’s (FAT 32).

A portable hard drive听听allows student to save and edit their work in photography. The student will also back up their work via the Onedrive (cloud storage)听which is free for the students to use on the course.

While studying photography at Sir John Deane鈥檚 you鈥檒l be using a听Digital SingleLens Reflex camera (DSLR)听for your photography projects.听


Sandisk SD听16 or 32 GB听Cards听x听2听Please buy from somewhere that is a reputable supplier, Amazon,听etc听as there are lots of fakes floating around on ebay.

听At the time of writing September 2021,听16 GB Sandisk cards are 拢5.49 each.

础听small听permanent marker听pen听to write your name onthe听SD听cards.


We have cameras and other equipment to take out on loan from college for those students who don鈥檛 have their own DSLRs, so please don鈥檛 worry you will be given a camera if needed.

DO NOT buy Canon DSLR 4000D or 2000D, 250DSL3听or any camera听without a hot shoe central pin, it will be听no use for working with flash or studio lighting.See link here….

It鈥檚 best to buy a camera secondhand from a supplier such as听

The Nikon 3200 with an 18-55mm lens is a good option鈥

The lens鈥

We have no听relationship听with any camera supplier, but there are plenty of entry level听second hand/nearly new听DSLRS鈥檚 on听the market听from camera exchanges and private sellers, we use听Nikon DSLRS at the college,D3300, D3400and D35000听and have a range of听Nikon听lenses the students can take out on loan.

鈥淢irrorless鈥 cameras are also听fine,听but they need to have听easily听accessible, usable听manual听controls听(we only shoot manual).听Please听ask before purchasing one of these.


The advantage of a student having their own camera is they get to know the controls more quickly, when the controls and settings are second nature they can start to work more intuitively.

I feel it is often better to purchase a 2nd hand camera as most of the money will be recouped if you decide to sell the camera and lens at a later date.

Please don鈥檛 buy a camera on the recommendation of a salesperson, if you are unsure what to purchase please email:

Study Level

A Level

Exam Board


Contact Details

Mr S Davies

Head of Department