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This course enables you to develop your analytical skills and further your understanding of visual language, through the study of contemporary and historical practice. You will develop your knowledge of a range of materials, techniques and processes in a personal and creative way.  You will have the opportunity to explore traditional and experimental media including painting, sculpture, printmaking and digital processes including photography and film making.

Exam board:


Essential Entry Requirements:

Standard Sixth Form requirements

Preferred Entry Requirements:

Grade 5 or above in an Art-related subject at GCSE

Pre-Course Material:

This is available here.


Component 1: Personal Investigation

Candidates should produce two elements:

  • A portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to a thematic idea or starting point set by the centre or the candidate.
  • An Illustrated Contextual Study; a related study of continuous prose with a guided minimum of 1000 words.

This component is internally assessed and externally moderated.
120 marks  

60% of total A Level

Component 2: Externally set task
Candidates select one starting point from an early release paper. This will be issued on 1st February and candidates will choose from a number of themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli.

Candidates will have up to 15 hours supervised time in which to independently realise their response(s).

This component is internally assessed and externally moderated.

80 marks 

40% of total A Level

Extra-Curricular Activities

The course is supported by visits to galleries and visits from practitioners to enhance understanding of historical and contemporary practice. The art studios are also regularly used at lunchtimes and after school for workshops and personal study sessions.

Additional Costs

Students will need to bear in mind the overall cost of printing and materials throughout the course as work should be appropriately presented for assessment.