A Level: Art and Design

Course title: Advanced GCE in Art and Design: Art, Craft and Design

Exam board: AQA

Subject specific entry criteria: Grade 7 in GCSE Art and Design.

Course overview

Year 12 – Coursework Portfolio

Year 12 provides students with an exciting and purposeful opportunity to explore a range of fundamental Art, Craft and Design skills and techniques.

The first part of the course will focus on expanding, evolving and refining skills, techniques and creativity through the creation of portfolio work. Conceptual themes will act as anchors, and allow exploration and critical thinking both theoretically and practically. Students will gain valuable experience in a range of media, processes and techniques within Art, Design and Photography. This collection of work will enable students to investigate new media and methods as well as practise with a variety of scale. Students will delve deeper into the context behind Art and artists and broaden their knowledge and interest in the subject, learning to independently explore directions within their own work.


Year 12/13 Component 1: Personal Investigation

For this unit students are required to independently explore Art, Craft and Design, choosing their own personal starting point. This truly is a personal investigation and will allow students to express themselves conceptually and creatively. It is an ambitious and major project in which students explore their Art through research, ideas and exploration. The Personal Investigation includes a written essay of between 1000 and 3000 words.


Year 13: Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

From an early release paper, students have the opportunity to select a theme / topic to explore. Students are provided an initial planning and preparation period in which they should demonstrate the ability to record, plan and develop ideas based around their theme. The assignment ends with students developing a final response / work in exam condition (15 hours).

Assessment overview

Component 1: Personal Investigation

  • (Assessment in June Year 13)
  • 60% of A Level
  • Out of 96 marks


Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

  • (Assessment in June Year 13)
  • Preparation Period from Feb + 15 hours supervised time
  • 40% of A Level
  • Out of 96 Marks
Future progression

Art combines well with other creative A Level subjects, and is an essential requirement for Art and Design courses at Art Colleges and Universities. There are many opportunities in our design conscious world for careers using skills students will develop.

Many students who wish to continue their Art and Design education complete a year-long Foundation Diploma. This gives them the opportunity to explore a range of different disciplines such as painting, sculpture, graphics, animation and fashion before deciding on the most suitable degree course to develop their skills even further. Alternatively, some students decide to go straight onto a creative degree following the development of a portfolio of work demonstrating their best skills and ideas. There are numerous Art and Design degrees on offer, and during your A Level course we will ensure that students find out what is out there through Open Days, visits from ex-students, a UCAS Design your Future fair and through personal experience.

The competition for places on the best degree courses is fierce. Students will submit a personal statement and an online portfolio prior to the offer of an interview. To give themselves the best chance of success students need to demonstrate that they are forward thinking, passionate, committed and highly skilled.

Potential careers

Within a £100billion sector there are many creative employment prospects. Here are a few:

  • Fine Artist
  • Architect
  • Sculptor
  • Ceramicist
  • Fashion Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Photographer
  • Interior Designer
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Animator/Digital Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Games Designer
  • Set Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • TV/Radio/Broadcast production
  • Museums/Libraries/Art Curation
How to succeed in Art and Design

You will:

  • have excellent and refined artistic skills and a commitment to developing these skills further
  • have an ability to research, refine and engage with creative work to develop a project independently and thoroughly
  • have a genuine interest in current exhibitions and artist practice
  • be able to develop ideas and connect with current practice.