A Level Art & Design
The creative industries are now Britain’s greatest export.

There are currently over 1.9 million people working in the creative industries. By 2016 the government expects this figure to skyrocket, with an additional 1.3 million new jobs in the private sector alone.’

‘Our creative industries are still the envy of the world and are possibly the last area where we can still genuinely claim to be undisputed market leaders.’

(The Guardian Newspaper, May 2014)

Why study this subject at A-Level?

The skills developed during the A Level course will equip students for careers in the creative industries including film, theatre design, architecture, animation, advertising, game design, photography, 3D digital modelling, interior design, animatronics, special effects, fashion and graphics to name but a few. But it also provides a sound background for other less obvious careers, where the ability to think differently and creatively gives our students the edge on the competition.

Summary of the course

Students should possess a genuine interest in the subject and must also be well-motivated critical thinkers. They must be prepared to look beyond the obvious! For the duration of the course they will explore and develop ideas, whilst experimenting with a wide range of materials and working methods, including digital photography, video and installation, alongside other more traditional art practices. The ability to think critically and analyse is actively encouraged through the study of artists, craftspeople and designers as well as regular group critiques.

The A level course builds upon the skills developed at GCSE level, and candidates will ideally have achieved a minimum of a B grade. The course follows the AQA Art and Design (Fine Art) specification. Students will be given the opportunity to contextualise what they are doing in lessons with gallery visits. Our previous visits have included a residential trip to London and the Venice Biennale, the world’s biggest international Contemporary Art fair.

In the second year of the course our students complete a Personal Investigation, a unit of coursework in which they explore an aspect of artmaking they have chosen to investigate in more depth.

The unit consists of both practical artwork and a written component. We encourage students to investigate an area that will help support their university applications or other chosen career paths.

How is the qualification assessed?

Component 1 – Coursework – Personal Investigation

  • 60% of the total A Level marks (96 marks)

Candidates are required to develop personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by a written element of no less than 1000 words and no more than 3000 words, leading to a finished piece or pieces. Candidates should be selective when deciding what to submit for this unit. All the work produced for this unit will be marked as a whole. It is set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA by a visit to the centre. Visits will normally take place in June.

Component 2 – Externally set assignment

  • Preparatory period + supervised time 15 hours
  • 40% of the total A Level marks (96 marks)
  • A2 Externally Set Assignment

Candidates select one of eight starting points. The externally-set assignment period will last from 1 February until the deadline for receipt of marks. Candidates should produce preparatory work and a finished piece or pieces. Candidates should be selective when deciding what to submit for this unit. Towards the end of this period candidates complete 15 hours of unaided, supervised time, the first 3 hours of which should be consecutive. Work produced during the examination period, including that produced during the 15 hours, will be marked as a whole. It is set by AQA, marked by the centre and moderated by AQA by a visit to the centre. Visits will normally take place in June.

Art and Design A level

Entry Requirements

Applicants will require at least a Grade B in GCSE Art & Design.
If you do not achieve this grade then you will need to convince the Faculty Leader or equivalent teacher of your suitability for the course.

2017 Specification

AQA Art and Design – 7241-7201

Component 1 (60%)

60% Course Work

Component 2

Preparatory period plus supervised time 15 hours

Water Colour Painting
Art and Design A level Painting