Art and Design A Level

Course Content

‘There is a strong instinct in me to draw and describe the things I love…a sort of instinct, like that of eating and drinking.’ (John Ruskin).  Art and Design is a mode of expression and communication, concerned with visual perception and aesthetic experience. It forms a language alongside those used by literary, mathematical, or scientific subjects. Most of the work for this course is studio based: through practical and contextual studies you will develop practical and theoretical understanding of materials, processes, resources and technologies, and understanding of continuity and change in different genres, styles and traditions. The course nurtures creative and intellectual skills for imaginative growth and is an excellent complement to many other areas of study; teaching you to be analytical, solve problems creatively and grow in cultural awareness.

The GCE two year course consists of Components 1 and 2 and minimum 1000 word Personal Study

Component 1: Personal Investigation (60% of the qualification).  This component incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work and a personal study of a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose. These elements should be integrally connected. Students generate practical work, ideas and research from primary and contextual sources. They experiment with media and processes based on ideas developed from their own starting points, and develop and refine their ideas to produce practical outcomes. These are presented with supporting studies to explain their work.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of the total qualification).  This component incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 15 hour period of sustained focus.  The Externally Set Assignment represents the culmination of the GCE qualification allowing students to draw together all the knowledge, understanding and skills developed throughout. The paper gives one broad-based thematic starting point. The delivery of this unit is planned with teacher guidance during the preparatory period, encouraging independence in the development of ideas, intentions and response.


All student work will be assessed against Assessment Objectives which are equally weighted in this qualification. Assessment is based on Components 1 and 2 and minimum 1000 word Personal Study with a 15 hour end of course exam.


To be accepted onto the course you will need at least a Grade 6 at GCSE in Art. The course demands a willingness to contribute to lessons, experiment and take risks; an ability to sustain investigations; and a desire to develop visual skills, creativity and imagination. It is expected that you have some experience of using art materials and processes, together with some knowledge of contemporary and historical art and design. You will be set independent learning tasks every week and will also be expected to visit galleries, museums, workshops and studios. Most importantly, you should have a commitment to, and love for, the subject!

Examination Board: Edexcel.   Course Number: Art and Design – 3510.   Subject Code: Fine Art – 9FA0