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A Level Art

A level Art is suitable for those with a strong interest in the subject and also provides a sound starting point for anyone considering a career in art and design. The course provides exciting opportunities to develop creative and practical skills while exploring a wide variety of themes and visual ideas. If you are inspired by the world around you or are attracted by the idea of using art to express views on social or political issues or you enjoy exploring visual ideas through experimentation and research, then this is the course for you.

Entry Requirements

You must meet the College entry requirements for an A level course of a minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics. This must include English Language and Art and Design at grade C or above or an equivalent qualification at Merit or Distinction grade. You are required to present a portfolio of art work at the interview stage that demonstrates your ability in this subject.

Course Content

Throughout the two years you will develop your skills through a range of workshops including; drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media. You will be required to research, analyse and evaluate the work of artists and develop your own responses. During the first year subjects such as landscape, the built environment, the human figure and still life are offered as starting points for practical assignments together with more abstract or conceptual themes. On the course visits are organised to museums, galleries and other places of interest to help you to develop your understanding of historical and contemporary developments in art. It is expected that you will spend five hours per week on independent study for this course.

The A level consists of two components of coursework which are internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 1 Personal Investigation (60% of qualification)

The Personal Investigation consists of two parts:

1.  A major in-depth critical, practical and theoretical project in which you investigate a theme or subject matter that has personal significance. You are required to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates creativity and practical skill. Critical and contextual studies together with other evidence of development will also be presented for assessment.

2.  An extended written element (minimum of 1000 words) which relates to practical work.

 Component 2    Externally Set Assignment (40% of qualification)

This component consists of two parts:

1.  Preparatory Study Period.

After a starting point is selected you produce preparatory work in response to set assignment materials. You will produce critical, practical and theoretical work and supporting studies which will inform resolved ideas.

2.  Timed Examination

A supervised timed period of 15 hours to resolve preparatory ideas and complete outcome/s.

How will I be taught?

A Level art is a project based course. Assignments address different themes, ideas and art processes and are presented in the form of a written brief that sets out the timescale of the project, aims and objectives and a clear guide of what is required. Practical, studio based work is supported by lectures, demonstrations and visits. Classes are held in purpose built studios with facilities for both traditional and digital practices.

How will I be assessed?

Work is assessed according to grading criteria set down by the examining board (AQA). All work is assessed within College and is subject to moderation by an External Moderator appointed by the examining board.

Will I need any extra equipment?

You will be issued with an art pack at the beginning of your course. Additional materials and equipment can be purchased from the College Art Shop. Your lecturers will provide more detailed information about materials and equipment required at the beginning of your course. You will also be provided with key textbooks which will help you with your studies. Our large well-equipped Learning Resources Centre offers a wide range of books and periodicals for research together with access to IT facilities. All students will be expected to take advantage of opportunities to visit galleries and museums on college organised trips. Approximately two visits are organised per year, each visit will cost approximately £15.

What qualifications will I get?

Good A level passes in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

The course gives students the opportunity to explore personal interests in art in more depth, developing and extending their study whilst considering new themes and approaches.

Students wishing to continue their art and design studies beyond the first year would normally progress on to Pre-Degree Foundation course in Art & Design with a view to applying for a specialist degree. A level Art & Design courses are recognised nationally as academic qualifications for university entrance.

Course Information

This is one of five separate A Level pathways in Art & Design available at South Downs College. The four other options are: Graphic Communication, Textiles and Photography. It is recommended that only those students who are seriously considering a career in art and design should study more than one of these options.

If you are aged 19 or over on 31st August in the year you start your course you should contact Admissions as fees may apply for this course. Where fees apply you may be entitled to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan.

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Further Information


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