A level Art is a 2 year course. The revised GCE Art and Design specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students who wish to obtain a full A level qualification must complete all four units over the two year period. A body of work is produced with more focus on written evaluations and a higher level of personal research and involvement into the work of others and connections with the work of other artists and designers. The course is comprised of four units: two at AS level and two at A2 level. These are listed below:

AS 1: Coursework Portfolio

As 2: Externally Set Assignment

A2 1: Personal Investigation

A2 2: Externally Set Assignment

Course Aims as outlined on the CCEA Website:

Students should be encouraged to develop:

  • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers;
  • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement;
  • Independence of mind in relation to developing their ideas while refining their own intentions and personal outcomes;
  • An interest in, enthusiasm for, and enjoyment of art, craft and design;
  • Their observation and recording from primary sources;
  • The experience of working with a broad range of media, including traditional and new media and technologies;
  • An understanding of the interrelationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate;
  • experience of working within relevant and real frameworks and, where appropriate, make links to careers in the creative industries;
  • Knowledge, understanding and application of art, craft, design and media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures; and
  • An awareness of different roles, functions and audiences and consumers of art, craft and design practice.

Course Description:

This course:

  • Builds on the experiences gained by candidates who completed GCSE Art and Design
  • Develops the candidates interest and enthusiasm for art, craft and design
  • Promotes a more focused Art and Design experience relating to each candidates personal preferences
  • Allows the candidates to gain knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and media in contemporary and past cultures
  • Includes a dissertation which enables candidates to explore areas of the subject which are of particular interest to them
  • Allows Candidates to gain experience in working in a broad range of media including traditional and new media and technologies
  • Provides a solid foundation for study at a higher level in a variety of Art and Design areas and careers.
  • Encourages candidates to gain an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design practice; and develop and enhance their creative, intellectual and artistic abilities.

The content of part AS 1 of the 4 units is set out below as an example from the CEA website:

Unit AS 1: Coursework Portfolio

This unit should be based around themes and subject matter developed from personal starting points. The purpose of this unit is to provide an opportunity for the student to freely demonstrate and communicate artistic interests, visual curiosity, creativity and personal skills in art, craft and design. The final presentation should reflect the student’s enjoyment and broad learning experience of art and design at this level. This unit, should consist of a purposeful selection of work by the student which reflects ability and personal achievements in relation to the assessment objectives for this subject. It should include evidence of observations from primary sources and work in a range of media as advised by the teacher. A final outcome from one area of art, craft or design must be included in the selection of work. This unit may contribute to a portfolio for presentation at interview for other courses or employment. It could also form a strong foundation for further study and development at A2.

Additional Information

AS – All AS candidates must present 2D and 3D pieces in their units of work. The externally set assignment will provide opportunity for outcomes in Fine Art or Design.

A2 - Candidates will have the choice of a dissertation topic which must be relevant to the pupils’ area of studies in Module A2 1. This assignment unit will require 45 – 50 hours study time. Preparation time for externally set assignment is approximately 12 weeks. Realisation time is 12 hours.