Art & Design A Level

Head of Department
Miss J Gear

Why choose the subject?
A-level Art and Design lays excellent foundations for a career in the creative industries, although the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and the observational skills learnt through this subject are considered valuable in a whole spectrum of professions. There are many art-related career paths that Art A-level can ultimately lead to, although even for those students focusing on more scientific subjects, Art can provide a welcome and useful contrast that equips them with a complementary set of skills.

Who is eligible?
Students who have completed GCSE Art and Design; it is essential that you achieve a grade 6 or above and a minimum of 6 in English Language to enable written work in sketchbooks and the related study component to be completed.

Qualification Type: A Level (2 year) only

Specification: Year 2023/2025 Advanced Level Award Examination Board: OCR

The first year of the A-level course focuses on developing your skills and experimenting, helping you to achieve your potential at A-level in year 13.

At the beginning of the first year, there is a lot of time for experimenting and expanding your knowledge of art. This is guided by your teacher which makes it a nice and easy transition from the GCSE course and allows you to try different methods and media that you may not originally think to try.

After this, you go on to do your own personal project based on the Cornwall trip to Penzance and St Ives. This allows you to be more independent with the type of work you choose to do, along with some guidance which is very helpful and necessary to help you progress further.

A-level coursework, the ‘Personal Investigation’ starts in the summer term of year 12 and continues until January of year 13. This project is very independent as you are able to choose (with some guidance) the theme which it focuses on. The work that you would have done in year 12 highly prepares you for this through all the experimenting and development of your skills.

Personal Investigation
Element 1: Practical Portfolio Students develop a personal response based on a particular project or theme, (practical but with supporting contextual research), which is sustained from February/March of Year 12 to the following February of Year 13. Work should include sketchbooks, observational studies, research on artists, exploration of ideas, techniques and media, final piece and evaluations.

Element 2: Related study (minimum 1000 words.)
Written and illustrated.
60% of total A level mark
NEA: Internally set and marked, externally moderated. 120 marks.

Externally set Task from 1st February
Work submitted: Sketchbooks, observational and preparatory studies, development of ideas, exploration of media, final piece and evaluations. 15 hours (plus approximately 10 week preparatory period) 40% of total A level mark NEA: Externally set, internally marked, externally moderated. 80 marks

This course is commonly studied with:

As an A-Level subject, Art and Design complements several other A-Level courses, including Design Technology, Media, Drama and Textiles.

Future Careers:
A level Art and Design offers you the chance to develop your skills and creative ideas, and increase your confidence in self-expression and visual literacy. It provides a solid foundation for the following career opportunities: Television, Film, Architecture, Interior Design, Illustration, Advertising, Publishing, Photography, Theatre and Expressive Arts, Fashion, Graphic Design, Art Education and Therapy, Art Galleries and Museums, Conservation of art works, Arts’ Administration, Web Design, Computer Animation as well as professional artist or sculptor.