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Why study Art?

Art is appropriate for those who wish to have an introduction to professional practice in a creative and visual world and those who are interested in culture and the history of ideas. A Level Art is about looking, understanding and expressing ideas. The most important indicator of suitability is those with the ability to make intelligent, well-observed drawings and in-depth, perceptive articulation about artwork. The disciplines that can be explored on the A Level course are painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, photography and moving image.

Entry requirements

6 in GCSE Art. In exceptional circumstances, a portfolio of artwork may be submitted for consideration.

Course Outline

The A Level is a two-year course. In the first year, pupils develop a body of artwork and an extended essay, which together are worth 60% of the awarded marks. The remaining 40% of the marks are awarded in the final year of the course, where pupils take an exam project. The exam project requires pupils to produce a body of artwork which communicates a theme set by the examination board (Edexcel).

To achieve the marks awarded pupils must:

  • Use their own ideas to generate starting points
  • Understand how the works of other artists relate to ethical, political social and historical contexts
  • Undertake sustained visual experiments by way of developing and refining artwork
  • Develop visual language to communicate ideas and be open to working with new media
  • Demonstrate skilful use of the formal elements: line, tone, colour, shape, form and structure
  • Record evidence of progress made in on–going critical and analytical review
  • Respond in an individual and personal way to a theme, stimulus or concept
  • Make connections between investigations and creative intentions
  • Realise intentions by producing and presenting unique outcomes

Course Delivery

This course is designed to support young artists. Aims and objectives of the Art A Level course are to develop:

  • intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities
  • investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement
  • independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating the pupils’ own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal outcomes
  • an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art, craft and design
  • knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and, where appropriate, links to the creative industries
  • knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures
  • an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

A degree in the visual arts provides pupils with a wide range of transferable skills. Critical think-ing, problem-solving and an understanding of aesthetics are increasingly valuable tools in the workplace…the UK’s creative industries contribute almost £90bn net to GDP; it accounts for one in 11 jobs, a rate rising more quickly than all other parts of the economy. These jobs are also among the least likely to be lost to automation.

Many of our commercial companies are shining examples of ingenuity and entrepreneurship. The link between culture and tech and science is strong and growing. Our publicly supported arts are largely very well run, deploying scant resources with great skill.


“…the future of the country depends on having creative innovative people; we need this sort of creativity and ability to respond to change. We are moving to an age where the visual becomes ever more important and everyone needs to be skilled in understanding the visual. Just as they need to be trained in maths and literacy, they need to be trained in sound, film, and the visual arts and so on.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England

The most popular and recommended pathway into a career in the visual arts is an Art Foundation Course. There are two benefits to doing an Art Foundation before degree level study. Firstly it provides pupils with time to consider what artistic road to take. In addition, an Art Foundation course will give them the best chance at competing for a degree course. They will have the chance to hone a portfolio which is significantly more advanced.

Pupils wishing to further their art education will be supported in their Higher Education path-ways, in the application, portfolio and interview process.

Contact for further information

Miss L H Randell, Head of Art