Art A Level

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing

What will you be working towards?

Code Ar01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3


“The main purpose of any course in art and design is to develop your ability to appreciate the visual world and respond in a personal and imaginative way"

You should have an understanding of the basic elements of art – colour, tone, form etc. and also some understanding of the place of art and design in the world – its history and its purpose. Above all, you should have an interest in creating and understanding art and the determination to develop that interest. 


How will I learn?

The main purpose of any course in Art and Design is to develop your ability to appreciate the visual world and in turn to respond to it in a personal and creative way.

The skills you explore will be varied. Among them you will develop a working knowledge of materials, practices and technology within art and learn the skills to interpret and convey your ideas and feelings using art and design. You will improve your imaginative and creative powers and your experimental, analytical and documenting skills. You will also develop a specialist vocabulary and the knowledge and understanding of the place of art, craft and design in history and in contemporary society.

What will I learn?

The exploration of theme and how that is communicated developing your own artistic talent.

How will it be delivered?

GCE Advanced Level Art and Design is made up of 2 units:

Unit 1 Coursework – 60% of the A Level

This is a structured project taking students up to their exam. Beginning with an exploration of a theme, students will take part in workshops to broaden and develop their base of skills.

This work consists of two elements:

Practical work and A personal study.

Students will pursue their own creative and visual themed ideas with guidance from tutors. Practical work should arise from students’ current interests and experiences in Art and Design. They must support their own work with examples of research from the world of Art and Photography. The presentation of this study can take many forms. Students will be expected to compose their own study question and write their own project proposal with support. Practical work needs to be approached prolifically with a separate written document developed alongside it. The presentation of this study can take many forms. This may be:

A presentation on CD or DVD with text

A collection of images produced by the student with a written text

A study in a book form which may include images produced by the student

Unit 2 Externally Set Assignment – 40% of the A Level

Students will be given a theme to work on in the spring term from which to create preparatory studies. This research will culminate with an eight hour timed exam. The theme is set externally by the exam board.

How can I develop my full range of skills by doing this course?

As well as covering the advanced level study of Art, this course will enable you to develop some Key Skills that will be essential to you whatever you go on to do afterwards. The Key Skills you can develop during this course are:


The Key Skill of communication is integral to the study of A-Level Art and Design will be assessed as specified in the mark scheme. This involves, amongst other skills, the ability to:

Summarise the information found in many different types of sources – e.g. books, paintings, museums, galleries, the Internet.

Use accurate and relevant information and research as a starting point for personal practical investigations.

Make sure that written work is legible and that its meaning is clear.

Choose suitable images to illustrate your ideas clearly.

Analyse & discuss your own and others work in group situations.

Present your ideas and the development of your investigations to an audience visually and verbally.

Entry requirements

The best foundation for success in A-Level Art is a good grade at GCSE. However, this isn’t the only requirement. If you have an aptitude for the subject, if you are creative and enjoy drawing and painting, you should have the basic skills to succeed. However, A Level Art is not an easy option and you should be prepared to work hard at developing your abilities.

Your next steps...

Students who wish to undertake further studies in art and design, usually at art college or further education. At present, most students wishing to take art or design further will go on to do a one year ‘Foundation’ course at an art college or college of further education before applying for degree courses in more specialist areas of art and design.

Students who are looking to take up careers for which an art background is relevant. These might include advertising, publishing, architecture, museums, theatre or art gallery work, fashion, textiles and free lance work. The list is endless!

Students who have an interest in and aptitude for the subject, but who do not intend to take the subject beyond the A level qualification.