Art provides students with the practical and conceptual skills, materials and tools to go on highly rewarding and creative personal journeys. Teaching students to think and act critically and creatively is central to the department’s aims. In the process, students also acquire transferable skills that can be carried over to other subject areas as well as into their lives beyond college.


This is a two-unit specification, with the both units undertaken in the second year. The course requires students to develop their ability to show a range of skills. These include:

  • independence of mind in developing their own ideas
  • an interest and enthusiasm for art and design
  • The experience of working with a range of media, including traditional and new media and technologies
  • an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art and design practice.

One of the units is an externally set task, which accounts for 50% of the qualification.

This course is particularly suitable for students who wish to study Art and Design or related subjects at a higher level or who wish to pursue a career in the Arts.

How is the course assessed?

We have very high expectations within the department, and in 2016 100% of candidates achieved A*- B grade. We encourage students to set their sights high and meet their aspirations.

The course is linear with four individual projects.  The last one will be set by the examination board, with a concluding 15hour examination in the summer term.

Only the marks for the last two projects will count towards the A-level grade, with the exam project accounting for 40% and the Personal Project

Year 1:

In the first year, students develop a series of work through technical workshops in response to a theme given by their tutor. This unit is internally assessed.

For their second project, students will mirror the second year students, choosing a title from an examination paper to develop, concluding in a 10hour exam. This unit is also internally assessed and will determine in students can continue into the second year.

Year 2:

Personal Project, starting in the September to January. Students to create a portfolio of work on a theme of their choosing. This must be supported by a written study of 1000-3000 words.

Externally set assignment, starting in February to May. Students to develop a body of work that is in response to one of the titles given by the Examination Board.

Why should I study Art & Design, and what skills will it develop?

The study of Art offers opportunities to use your creativity to express yourself. During the course, you will develop your own understanding of the creative processes. You will hone your ability to observe and to think, to solve problems and to communicate in a visual way. It will enable you to work independently and to make your own discoveries by exploring ideas, other artists’ work and different materials and techniques. Fine art gives you the skills and knowledge to create personal and imaginative work. If you have an adventurous, creative and enquiring mind and are excited by shaping and determining the visual world around you, there are a  vast range of career opportunities waiting for you, such as Architecture, Product design, Graphic Design, Game design etc.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

A high grade at GCSE Art would be an excellent asset but not essential. Above all, you should have an interest in creating and understanding Art and the determination to develop that interest.

Communication is integral to the study of A-Level Art, with students also expected to show refined skills in their chosen medium.

Other key skills are IT, Photography, problem solving and development of ideas.

How is this course useful?

Art & Design is an excellent choice at A-Level for students who wish to undertake further studies in art, architecture and design at degree level.

Many students go on to study Architecture with recent places at Bath, UCL, Manchester and Edinburgh. Others have gone on to study Fine Art at Ruskin School (Oxford Uni), Design at Goldsmiths and Art Foundation at Central St. Martins.

Exam Board / Code

AQA / 7202

Head of Department: Mr Barry Morgan