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Art and Design

A Level Art and Design is a two year course which provides candidates with a range of opportunities to develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures in practical, critical and contextual forms. This experience lays a foundation for further study of Art and Design or related subjects in Higher Education. It is suitable for you if you want to develop your interest and enjoyment of art and design.

Subject content

Art and Design encompasses a wide range of techniques and processes with a particular emphasis on drawing. Candidates are required to enrol to one of the following specialisms:

  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Communication

Learning methods

In the first year of study, both Fine Art and Graphic Communication students study a skills-based foundation year preparing them for the first major project (Personal Investigation), worth 60% of the total A level mark. The Personal Investigation begins towards the end of the first year of study and continues up until January of the second year to give each candidate the time needed to create individual, ambitious work with an in-depth exploration of the personal theme.

This project is then followed by an externally set assignment worth 40% of the total A Level mark and encompasses a 15-hour formal exam at the end of the project.

For full details of the AQA course specifications please visit Art & Design on AQA.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE Grade 4/C or above in Art and Design (Fine Art or Graphics) or Graphic Design (Graphics only)

Equipment/additional costs

Fine Art: Students pay a £35 studio fee at the start of the first term. This provides a basic personal art kit and general materials for the year. More specialist materials are available at extra cost.

Graphics: Students pay a £20 studio fee at the start of the first term. This provides a basic personal art kit and general materials for the year. More specialist materials are available at extra cost.

Assessment

You will be assessed via portfolio work, assignments and examinations.

Progression opportunities

You can progress to higher education to study a variety of art-related courses such as fine art, graphics, and advertising. The portfolio of practical work produced on this course will also be useful for interviews for employment and further study. Potential career routes include: fine art, graphic design, animation, illustration, product design, media, marketing and advertising.

Meet the A Level expert

Richard Kitson

Richard is a practising artist with experience of exhibiting, working in art galleries and with arts professionals including curators and fellow artists. He is a Fine Art graduate of the University of Leeds and has been teaching for four years after gaining his PGCE from the University of Huddersfield.

Richard said, “Studying Art and Design will teach you how to be a creative practitioner and develop your creative thinking skills. This will extend your experience from GCSE and introduce new techniques whilst giving you the freedom to express your own ideas in a variety of different artistic disciplines.”

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