Whether you aspire to be a professional artist or designer, or you simply enjoy being creative, A level Art could be for you. A level Art & Design will develop your skills to interpret and convey your ideas and feelings using visual imagery. It will develop your imaginative and creative powers alongside your experimental, analytical and documenting skills. Your knowledge and understanding of artistic styles will inspire and inform the progression of your own work. You will be given opportunities to explore a diverse range of materials and techniques such as painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, printmaking, textiles, photography, digital work, animation and video installation. Many of our Art students go on to Art Foundation followed by related degrees, working within fine art, textiles, fashion, photography, graphic design, illustration or interior design.

In addition to practical skills Art and Design will give you a range of other invaluable skills, such as understanding how to communicate concepts both visually and verbally which are important elements in most aspects of higher education, industry and wider society. So whether you go on to study Art Foundation followed by an arts degree, or if you are opting for Art as a sixth form subject before specialising in another area at degree level, Art & Design will provide you with a creative outlet, developing transferable skills which are relevant to numerous areas of study and industry; from creative thinking, problem solving and visual literacy to independent research and presentation skills.

Course structure

Throughout most of the first year of the course you will produce artwork based on a wide range of themes and starting points.  You will be given freedom of choice to develop your work in your own direction and you will gain knowledge and experience in a wide range of media including painting and drawing, 3D and clay work, mixed media, digital work, printing and textile influences.  There will be a gallery visit during the course to study the work of others and to use this inspiration to feed in to your own developments.

Personal Investigation (60% of A Level mark)

This is the assessed unit of work of the A level.  You will build on your skills gained in your portfolio, working in greater depth on a sustained project on a theme of your choice.

Externally Set Assignment (40% of A Level mark)

You will begin your exam at the beginning of February in your second year.  You select a theme and have approximately 10 weeks to undertake research, gathering of information, drawing, researching artists, etc.  You will then be given 15 hours under exam conditions to produce a conclusion (final piece).

Topic areas covered

  • Recording through observation drawing in a range of materials. Photography, painting, mixed media, printing, collage, pyrography, digital art, batik, fabric manipulation, clay work sculpture, casting
  • Exploring ideas through experimentation
  • Sketchbook presentation methods

Level: A level

Board: AQA

Head of department:
Mrs H O’Hara

Mrs H O’Hara (lead teacher)
Mrs B Filer