Art & Design (AQA)

Artists and designers have a huge impact on the way people think, feel and live. Whilst studying this course you will have the opportunity to work and develop skills in a multi-disciplinary way, exploring the connections between areas of art, craft and design and gaining knowledge of the scope and variety of disciplines and approaches. With the emphasis on exploration and experimentation, students will use a wide variety of materials and processes including drawing, painting, print making, mixed-media, sculpture, photography and textiles, building on existing strengths and artistic ability. Creativity is key in all that we do and critical reference to artists and designers underpins and enriches all of the students’ work.

Previous students who studied Art & Design went on to Foundation Art Courses and to degrees in Graphic Design, Film Making, Printing, Fashion, Textiles, 3D and 2D Art & Design.


A Level

Component 1 – Skills Development Workshops and Personal Investigation

During the first three terms of this two-year linear course, you will take part in workshops and develop your skills in observational drawing using a variety of media (e.g. graphite, biro, ink, painting, textiles, sculpture and a range of printing and photography techniques). If you have a preference for 3D, there is also the opportunity to explore this medium. You will critically analyse your work and others’ to help inspire your projects. You will have the opportunity to take part in enriching your projects through visiting galleries and exhibitions.

From June of Year 12 you will begin your personal investigation extending your own development workshops, on a theme of your choice. You will also create a written element between 1500-3000 words to accompany your personal investigation portfolio.


Internally assessed and externally moderated in May/ June of Year 13. 60% of total A Level qualification.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment

From February of Year 13, you will undertake a shorter project, but this theme will be set by the examination board.


Internally assessed and externally moderated in May/ June of Year 13. 40% of total A Level qualification.

Minimum Entry Requirements: Five GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, including Grade 5 in GCSE Art, Photography or Design Technology or be able to demonstrate a serious commitment to the Visual Arts through a portfolio submission.

Updated September 2023