Course Overview 

The course is essentially concerned with the traditional media of painting, drawing, ceramic, textile, printing and mixed media exploration. However, in keeping with developments in contemporary art practice, you are encouraged to explore a range of media and experimental approaches including digital technology to facilitate an engagement with more ‘cutting edge’ methods of visual expression. This is likely to involve a study and exploration of more innovative conceptual approaches to visual communication common to the expanded field of art practice today. This will also incorporate an emphasis on the value of drawing to record the creative process interpreted through a wide range of media.

The overall aim of the course is therefore to encourage an adventurous and enquiring approach to art and design which is informed and developed through an in-depth study of both historical and contemporary art practice.

In turn this should enable you to embrace and explore a range of ideas in your work of both a personal and an objective/analytical nature and, in so doing, harness a meaningful appreciation of visual culture.

Examination Board:


Entry Requirements:

Grade 4 in Art GCSE. It may be possible to study Art without GCSE however you will be required to share examples of your work and this will be assessed. You must have the required qualifications for the advanced pathway.

Course Level:

A Level – Level 3

Assessment Objectives

Assessment Year 12: foundation skills portfolio

The course will start similar to a foundation course and allow you to develop and reflect on the core elements within art, you will explore a variety of art mediums such as painting, drawing, ceramic, textile, printing and mixed media, you will then choose two mini projects in a specialism of your choice until December. From December the course is comprised of one internally assessed component, the ‘Personal Creative Enquiry’; this component requires you to keep a working journal/ portfolio which can be defined as a combination of a sketch-pad and a diary comprising of drawings, paintings, photographs, written notes documenting ideas and other visual research materials on your personal topic. The progression of your work at all stages will be nurtured and stimulated by an organised extra-curricular enrichment programme to include both gallery and practical workshop visits.

Year one of this two course will consist of:

This is an internally assessed unit that will support the work undertaken in year 13, in which you will generate and develop ideas through drawing, painting, photography, and other disciplines such as ceramics. You will also research artists and their work and experiment with media and processes before producing a personal final outcome based on themes negotiated between yourself and staff. Students can select from the following themes: ‘Collect, Select, Arrange’; ‘Natural Formations’; Ephemeral; Obsessions; Reflection; Ethereal; mundane; juxtaposition; Taped, Tied and Bound; transition; looking through; society today; altered state; it’s in the detail, and narrative.

What skills will I develop?

Organisational skills
Critical thinking
Research skills
Ability to justify your choices

How will I be assessed?


Year 13 Component 1 Personal Creative Enquiry 60% of A Level This is an internally assessed unit in which you continue to build upon and develop the ideas pursued during Year 12 through drawing, painting and other disciplines such as ceramics, textiles or print. You should also research both historical and contemporary artists and their work and experiment with media and processes, before producing a personal final outcome based on themes negotiated between yourself and staff. In addition this component demands evidence of written communication showing research and understanding of an Artist or related Art Movement in the form of a 1000 words (minimum) of continuous prose which could take the form of an illustrated essay.

A Level Component 2 Externally Set Assignment: 40% of A Level You will be required to select a single question from a set paper. You will have an extended period between February and April during Year 13 to prepare, research and develop a personal response culminating in a 15 hour practical examination set over several days.

Is there anything else I should know?

Art can mix very well with subjects such as Design & Technology and humanities subjects such as History and Religious Studies which deal with moral and social issues and encourage you to explore personal attitudes.

Progression Routes

Former students have gone on to a wide range of careers within art and design, including: international artist, surface pattern designer, interior designer, costume and set designer, animator, art historian and gallery curator, freelance designer, and studio manager.