Art and Design

We offer a dedicated Art and Design A Level course that is delivered as a multidisciplinary approach, offering studies in a combination of skills-based areas. This allows each student to present a comprehensive art portfolio that would be favourably viewed by university admissions centres.


Course Overview

In A Level Art and Design you will produce practical and critical/contextual work across one or more areas of study. The examination board’s title for the qualification is Art and Design (Fine Art), but it is a broad-based qualification which may include all the areas of mixed-media, sculpture, painting, ceramics, installation, printmaking, moving image (video, film, animation) and photography, as well as drawing. It develops the critical skill base for a wide range of further study, including graphic design and fashion.


Over the two-year course, you will be expected to demonstrate skills in the context of your chosen area(s). In addition, you will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:

  • Appreciation of different approaches to recording images, such as observation, analysis, expression and imagination
  • Awareness of intended audience or purpose for your chosen area(s)
  • Understanding of the conventions of figurative/representational and abstract/non-representational imagery or genres
  • Appreciation of different ways of working, such as, using underpainting, modelling, carving, constructing, etching and engraving
  • Understanding of pictorial space, composition, rhythm, scale and structure
  • Appreciation of colour, line, tone, texture, shape and form.


Assessment of Fine Art A Level is split into two components –

Component 1 Personal investigation (60% weighting)

You will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists, designers, photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work.

Component 2 Externally set assignment (40% weighting)

You will respond to a stimulus, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of your ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Special Features

Visits to museums and galleries are an integral part of an Art and Design education. We make regular visits to many of the excellent collections, both locally and nationally. In Cambridge these include the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard, and in London the National Gallery, British Museum, and Tate. Highlights of recent years have been the field trips to major cultural centres – Florence, Marrakech, Rome, New York and Istanbul.



A Level Art and Design is very favourably regarded for progression onto any visual arts courses at university level and prepares you well for many wider creative and design courses. Often the first step for visual arts is onto a Foundation Studies course at art college or university which builds on the Art and design A Level with further intensive study of a wide range of disciplines, enabling you to make an informed decision as to what you want to specialise in at degree level. This might be in fine art, graphic design, photography, computer assisted design, fashion and textiles, or film and television. The creative industries sector is one of the largest and most important employers in the UK and abroad, providing a huge variety of opportunities for creative individuals. A Level Art and Design also makes an ideal combination with mathematics and physics for students wishing to study architecture at degree level and beyond.

Last year, A Level Art students progressed onto a wide range of degree programmes including –

University Degree
Barcelona University Fashion and Marketing
Leeds College of Art Graphic Design
Leeds College of Art Illustration
Norwich University of Arts Fine Art
Westminster University Fine Art Mixed Media

Exam Board