Why study Art at A Level?

The course is directed at all those with a genuine interest, aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject regardless of their future intentions and aspirations.

Are you a creative and original thinker who enjoys independent research? Do you relish the opportunity for hands-on experimentation with materials as a means to visually communicating your ideas? If so, then this is the subject for you. If you are intending to study art and/or design at a higher level, and/or are hoping to enter a career where an art and design background would be relevant or useful, this course must be considered essential to achieving such goals.

With a view to careers, other than Fine Art, the following fields stem from the study of art and design:

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fashion and Textiles, Interior Design, Printing, Photography, Media Studies, Graphic Design, Theatre Design, Product Design and Teaching, while industries of all descriptions are becoming increasingly interested in employing people with creative skills and imagination.

What will I learn?

The Edexcel A level Art & Design specification encourages an adventurous and enquiring approach.

The Fine Art endorsement will enable you to explore and develop skills in an exciting range of two and three dimensional media within your study either as freestanding or related experiences.

Work produced will aim to demonstrate skilful use of the formal elements, advanced creative skills and give visual form to individual thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas.

The course aims to develop: Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers.

  • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills.
  • Aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.
  • Knowledge and understanding of art and design in contemporary society and in other times and cultures.

The studio based courses are regularly enhanced and enriched by exhibitions, masterclasses and trips.

Throughout the course you will be required to keep work journals for each unit. The work journal can be defined as a combination of sketchbook and time-based record which contains evidence of the development of your ideas and should show your understanding of meanings, contexts and your ability to make skilled judgements, using appropriate visual/verbal form. The work journal is a vital tool in supporting and stimulating the artistic process and has a major role in the production of preparatory work. Such study is essential in meeting the assessment objectives of the course at all stages.

How am I assessed?

The two year course is divided into 2 assessable units:

Component 1: Personal Investigation (60%) Incorporates 3 major elements: supporting studies, practical work and a personal study:

  • Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points.
  • The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum of 1000 words continuous, written prose. It comprises 12% of the total qualification.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40%) Incorporates 2 major elements: preparatory studies and the 15-hour period of sustained focus.

  • Preparatory studies will comprise a portfolio of practical and written development work based on the theme and suggested starting points provided in the ESA paper which is released on Feb 1st of the second year of the course.
  • During the 15 hour period of sustained focus under exam conditions, students will produce final outcomes extending from their preparatory studies. Pearson Edexcel Art & Design Specification.

Caroline Evans Head of Art