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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 Fine Art or related subjects in Higher Education. It is suitable for you if you want to develop your interest in and enjoyment of art.

Subject content

Art and Design encompasses a wide range of techniques and processes with a particular emphasis on drawing. All students will undertake academic drawing tuition, including life drawing, in order to develop key skills before developing their own ideas and specialisms. Students can also explore painting, print, 3D, photography and digital processes.

This course is an award of EDEXCEL. You can see the course specifications by downloading the A Level Art and Design Specifications booklet.

Learning methods

In the first year students study a skills-based foundation course 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 and continues up until the end of January of the second year to give each candidate the time needed to create individual, ambitious work with an in-depth exploration of a 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.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE Grade 5 or above in Art and Design (Fine Art or Art and Design and submission of a digital portfolio covering a range of media. We will contact you to request your portfolio after you have applied).

Equipment/additional costs

Students pay a 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.


The course is 60% coursework. Students will be required to submit completed projects on set deadlines for assessment. Some assessments will be carried out in one-to-one discussions with your tutor to check progress before final submissions of completed coursework. The 15-hour exam at the end of the Externally Set Assignment is marked as part of the whole project and is worth 40% of your final grade.

Progression opportunities

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

Meet the A Level expert

Megan Baker

Megan is a graduate of the Leeds Arts University and Sheffield Hallam University having received a BA (Hons) in Art and Design and a Masters degree in Metalwork Design.

Megan is a practising multi-disciplinary artist whose work focuses mainly on 3D and sculptural pieces and has exhibited throughout the country. She also has a background in curation and art retail and is keen on developing employability skills through teaching Art and Design.

Megan said: “I believe that a sense of community and support is integral to arts education and it should help to build a student’s confidence in all aspects of life.”

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