A level Art and Design

Course overview

Art and Design allows pupils to develop their visual awareness and understanding through the development of technical skills and the creative exploration of ideas, materials and concepts. It offers pupils opportunities to think, communicate and express themselves using a visual language, using both traditional and digital media and processes to create personal and imaginative responses. Pupils develop their knowledge and independent research skills, responding critically to the work and ideas of other artists, allowing them to communicate, question and explore ideas and perceptions of the world around them.

The Lower Sixth offers pupils the freedom to develop and explore their practical skills through a series of short, open-ended experimental workshops, based on developing a visual language and the enjoyment of process and making. They will also produce an extended project based on an area of personal interest.


Lower Sixth:

  • The Visual Elements
  • Process and Printmaking
  • Personal Project

Upper Sixth Examination:

  • Component 1: Personal Investigation supported by 3,000 word essay (60%)
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment ( 40%)


  • Work produced is must fulfil the requirements of the four Assessment Objectives:
  • Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language. 

Exam Board


Entry Criteria

Grade 6 or above in GCSE Art or DT.

An enthusiasm for the visual arts, independence, resilience, an ability to draw, curiosity and imagination. The ability to think critically and analyse.

For American Program pupils: two years of studio art maintaining at least a B+ average; ability to work independently.

Career Pathways

  • Game Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Marketing and Media
  • Architecture
  • Publishing
  • Art History
  • Conservation
  • Film and Digital Media
  • Photography