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A Level Art & Design

A Level Art & Design is an exciting and unique option. It requires engagement with aesthetic and intellectual concepts through the use of traditional and/or digital media, materials, techniques and processes. Students are able to express their own ideas and make choices based on their own artistic preferences, whilst continuing to develop technical skills and create intellectual challenges.

Art & Design may be created to communicate ideas and messages about the observed world, the qualities of materials, perceptions or preconceptions. It can also be used to explore personal and cultural identity, society and other relevant topics. Art & Design allows us to consider and reflect on our place in the world, both as individuals and collectively.

Students will develop the skills to interpret and convey their ideas and feelings using art, craft, design and written analysis. Artist research and connecting your findings to your work is mandatory. You will also develop your understanding of the place of art, craft and design in history and contemporary society.

In Art & Design, students are able to work across the following disciplines:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • 3D Media: Sculpture, Installation and Construction (incl. architecture)
  • Digital Media (incl. film and animation)


Throughout the course, students produce a portfolio to document their personal investigations, which will consist of their sketchbooks and artworks outside the sketchbook. Students have unlimited access to the department and the key stage 5 dedicated art room, including their own studio space in year 13.

As part of the course, students have to write a formal essay (personal study) to show critical understanding in relation to their practical portfolio. All coursework produced will be based around themes and subject matter developed from personal starting points. Students will experiment with media and processes, develop and refine their ideas and present personal outcomes. At the end of the course, students will complete an externally set assignment, which involves preparatory work and concludes in a 15-hour exam. This work must be produced unaided and under controlled examination conditions. Students should plan the best use of the 15 hours to complete all final outcome(s) within this time.

It is expected that students will develop as independent artists and designers and will
visit museums and galleries, artist talks and workshops. We will support you by taking you on several trips to exhibitions, artist's talks and workshops, in and out of London. In 2022 we took all art and photography students on a 4-day trip to Berlin. We also have links with UAL portfolio advisers who come in to hold workshops and other subject specialists to provide advice.

An A-Level in Art & Design enables students to have access to a wide range of art and design foundation courses as well as undergraduate courses in art, architecture, design and other creative subjects. This will, in turn, enable students to take up a career in the creative industries, one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in the UK today.