Art & Design


Course Duration: 2 years Course Level: A Level
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Why study Art and Design?

There are essentially three types of Art student:

  • Students who study Art and Design as an additional qualification
  • Students who study Art and Design as a means of continuing onto further/higher education
  • Students who study Art and Design just for the love of the subject.

These categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they define the motivation of the student. However, the majority of Art and Design students basically want to study a practical, ‘hands-on’ course that is engaging, imaginative and creative.

What does the A Level Art and Design: Fine Art course consist of?

Year One

Unit 1: The Human Condition: a portrait project (examining art as process vs art as narrative).

Unit 2: A contextual search for a theme for the Personal Study (acting as an additional extended project).

Year Two

Unit 3: The Personal Study (a written dissertation / essay on a focused theme).

Unit 4: The Externally Set Assignment / Exam.

The units develop a deeper appreciation of art practice through contextual studies- placing work in a theoretical socio-political framework while researching artists and art movements. It also develops a more sophisticated understanding of media processes and techniques- increasing skills in drawing, painting and printing (but this could include photography, sculpture and installation).

How is this course assessed?

We use the AQA exam board. There are four Assessment Objectives, each one is equally weighted and must be addressed equally

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources (RESEARCH)
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes (EXPERIMENTATION)
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses (RECORDING/REFINING)
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language (PERSONAL RESPONSE).

Students use the extended projects to produce a portfolio of work combined with the Personal Study to address each Assessment Objectives equally (60% of overall grade) and finally they complete the Externally Set Assignment / Exam (40% of the overall grade).

What might this course lead on to?

  • Careers in Art related fields- display, theatre design (prop design and SFX make-up), gallery work (curation, conservation and sales)
  • Careers in Art- Illustration, Advertising, Teaching and Professional Artist
  • Progression to Art College / University (Foundation, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and PHD level qualifications).
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