What is this subject about?

The Fine Art A Level will enable you to develop exciting and innovative visual responses to the observed world. You will be taught to develop essential skills that will help you to challenge your own perceptions and investigate different cultures, art history and other influences. This course will enable you to develop varied ideas using unexpected approaches. Students who study this course go on to a range of different art and design degree courses and Art Foundation. Fine Art A Level will build your confidence and open up many different creative pathways for you to explore.

What will I study in the first year?

Drawing in fine art forms the basis of the development process, from conception to final outcomes. You will be encouraged to explore processes with traditional and non traditional media and will work in 2D and 3D. Your sketchbooks will be filled with sustained and focused investigations as you explore the formal elements- line, tone, colour, composition, shape and texture. Contextual understanding is paramount. This will be developed through the individual and class study of art history though museums trips, contemporary art shows, architecture, literature and music, in addition to exploring nature and the man-made world through self devised visual research.

What will I study in the second year?

The skills you have learned in the first year provide a starting point for your second year. These skills will enable you, with guidance, to pursue your own individual creative and visual ideas. You will choose your own starting points for coursework and by analysing and refining your work, you will produce ambitious, challenging and thoughtful outcomes.

In addition to your practical portfolio work you will also complete a written and illustrated related study of between one thousand and three thousand words.

How is the course assessed?

Coursework – 60% (the art essay is worth 20% of coursework and 12% of the overall grade).
15 hour practical timed examination – 40%

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

You will need to have good drawing skills, a genuine interest in art and a real love for experimenting with new ways of working. We also want you to really enjoy looking at the work of other artists and questioning why they made their work in a particular way.

Students who have not studied Art at GCSE can still achieve great success on this course. You will need to talk to the Art department and complete some creative tasks that you will present to the team at enrolment. Enrolment will be at their discretion.


What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

Many of our students progress directly to degree courses in a wide range of subjects including, Jewellery Design, Architecture, Art History, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Computer Game Design as well as Fine Art degrees. Applications to London Art schools for Art Foundation courses are also popular.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need to achieve a 4 grade in Art at GCSE.

Extra Support

What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

The department offers optional life drawing evening classes for first and second year students. Gallery visits are also organised for all students across both years. At the end of the year we celebrate student achievement with a large exhibition and have a prize giving evening.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

A Level Art will equip you with broad transferable creative skills. This makes the course ideal to study alongside Photography, Fashion, 3D Design or Graphic Communication. Students who combine A Level Art with more academic subjects have found it to be a real asset to their programme as it promotes lateral and inventive thinking.

What is the difference between A Level Art and BTEC Art and Design?

A Level Art is a FINE ART course. Essentially this means that unlike the BTEC course you will do no design work. You are not set themed projects or given briefs to work to. On the Fine Art course emphasis is placed on developing visual language skills to a very high level.