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Art and Design

Exam Board Specification: AQA / EDEXCEL

How the course is assessed: 

Component 1 - Personal Investigation

  • No time limit
  • 60% of A-level

Component 2 – Externally set assignment

  • Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time
  • 40% of A-level

Description of course

The A-level Art and Design course is designed to introduce students to a variety of experiences exploring a range of media, processes and techniques.  Great emphasis is put upon developing the creative and expressive content of students own artwork as the course proceeds. An integral part of the course is to explore and learn from the art traditions, styles and skills of contemporary and historical artists and art movements

For Component 2, students respond to a stimulus, provided by the exam board, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints. For both components students are expected to explore an in-depth journey of ideas in response to their chosen brief/topic, which leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Regular extra-curricular visits are organised to galleries, museums and cultural places of interest. These first hand experiences enrich student’s cultural knowledge and enable them to gain first hand source material to inform and develop their projects.

Higher education, future careers and progression routes

An Art & Design A-level will support the development of the creative, analytical, and evaluation skills necessary for success in a broad range of careers.  

There is a huge range of Art and Design pathways in Higher Education ranging from textiles, fashion, Graphics, computer animation, sculpture, jewellery design, Architecture, as well as traditional fine art courses.

Some students opt to study either one or two art related subjects because they have already made a decision that their future will be within the field of Art & Design. Many students also choose an Art related subject to support their university applications, demonstrating independent and creative skills which is desired by a wide range of university courses.

Art related courses give you invaluable problem solving skills that can be transferred to other subject areas. Students who are creative in their thinking are able to approach a task in a multitude of ways, experimenting and exploring until they reach an informed outcome. Art teaches you to think with an open mind, find alternatives and tackle any situation with real creativity.

Students from the Southern Consortium who choose career paths in Art and Design regularly achieve places on courses at major institutions such as University of the Arts (Chelsea, Central St Martins and London College of Communication), Kingston and Edinburgh. These students have pursued degree pathways in Art, Fashion, Graphics and Architecture. Over the last few years many of our students have achieved success in obtaining their first choice universities for courses in Art, Design photography and architecture.

2017 Examination success rates:

Pass rate: 100%
A*-B grades: 73%
A*-C grades: 100%

Entry Criteria:

Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE grade 4 or higher in English Language, grade 4 or higher in Maths (point score of 44.5 or higher).

To study A Level Art and Design, students are also required to have a GCSE grade B or equivalent in an Art or design related subject or a grade 5 in English Language if no GCSE.

Additional information:


The Southern Consortium is extremely fortunate to have a fantastic partnership with UAL. Our students not only have opportunities to broaden their skills and knowledge of Art and Design through workshops delivered by university tutors but they are also provided with valuable information, support and advice about higher education and possible courses/career routes.

Our students are extremely fortunate to be involved in the following activities and events:

  • Creative pathway workshops delivered by lectures and student ambassadors from UAL.
  • Life drawing workshops delivered by practising artists/lecturers from UAL.
  • Autumn and spring workshops where students experience specialist areas of the creative arts, which include, graphic communication, animation, photography and film. Students get to work with specialist tutors at degree level and experience being a student in the heart of London, at the prestigious Art and Design colleges.
  • Mock interviews in preparation for university
  • Portfolio Advice
  • General higher education advice

Ask a question:

Name: Ms S. Clements
Current school: 
Dagenham Park