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Fine Art A Level

Fine art is the expression of ideas and concepts through visual language. We offer the opportunity for developing your skills and techniques in a range of specialist techniques including access to our printmaking facilities, ceramics and 3D modelling workshops.

You will be encouraged to express your own ideas through personal exploration of media. Our experienced staff will support your personal work with guidance on contextual research and understanding. Coursework is based on creative enquiry into themes that will extend into your own personal proposals. Students who follow the Fine Art endorsement are expected to explain the development of their work through written reflection and evaluation in their fine art sketchbook work.

During the Fine Art A Level programme, students will produce a personal portfolio of work suitable for interview for university and higher level study in Fine Art.

Please note that only one specialist endorsed option in Art and Design can be taken in an A Level study programme. Fine Art is offered as a specialist endorsed option and the syllabus title for this course is: Art and Design – Fine Art A Level.


A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme. At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.


Exam Board: Eduqas



Search your university and career options if you study Fine Art A Level

  • What will I study and learn?

    Fine art begins with an induction course which teaches core observational drawing techniques.

    As part of the course, you will learn to draw and paint using a wide range of professional, coloured and textured materials; you will experiment and work in a variety of creative disciplines. Your skills will develop to high standards through regular practice, including weekly homework. Projects are based on design briefs, involving research from direct observation, including the human figure, which often follows visits to museums and galleries. Teaching includes group work and an individual demonstration of practical techniques.

    You will develop analytical, experimental and documenting skills, a specialist vocabulary and knowledge and understanding of the place of art and design in history and contemporary society. The main purpose of art, craft and design education is to develop your ability to appreciate the visual world and to encourage and promote:

    • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive development
    • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement
    • An awareness of the interrelationships between art, craft and design
    • Knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in contemporary society and other times and cultures (i.e. contextual relationships)

    There will be opportunities to experiment with a wide variety of techniques, including 3D processes and printmaking or textiles. You will also be encouraged to explore the work of contemporary artists working today, and to keep abreast of new forms of art and new ways of working, particularly in terms of how these can be related to your own work.

    Learners will experience a broad range of interlinking creative skills, discover their own approach and are encouraged to specialise within a range of creative disciplines. The first year will focus on exploration of materials, tecniques and processes of a broad range of creative art, craft and design skills. The second year offers the opportunity for learners to choose a specialist discipline and develop a consistent idea as a primer for pre-degree Art Foundation or degree-level creative courses.

    Specialist areas can include:

    • Painting
    • Drawing
    • Textiles
    • 3D design
    • Sculpture
    • Illustration
    • Printmaking

    With an emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach, this course would suit all students interested in a career in the creative and visual arts. Students will learn about visual culture from diverse sources, including artists, art movements, designers, films, social and cultural history, fashion, philosophy, philanthropy and anthropology, and incorporate themes into making imaginative and personal responses. There are also opportunities to get involved with competitions and live briefs which provide a vocational springboard from which every student can flourish. 

  • How is the course assessed?

    A Level Fine Art is based on a portfolio of work which is marked internally and an exam which is marked externally.

    • 60% coursework
    • 40% exam
  • What courses would combine well with this course?

    There are many A Levels which would combine well with this course. However, you will only be able to select one specialist endorsed subject in Art and Design as part of your A Level programme. If you have already made a specialist career decision in art and design you should consider the full-time Level 3 courses.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    You should have a creative mind, a willingness to learn and the ability to take on new ideas. You should also be keen to experiment with new techniques, have good creative skills and be motivated to explore art at a highly personal level.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum Requirements - average point score of 5 including GCSE English Language and Art at grade 5 plus a strong portfolio.


    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points).

    From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).


    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    There are many careers in art, craft and design. Most require further study at art school or university, usually via a one-year diagnostic Art and Design (Pre BA) Level 3 Foundation Diploma course.

    Careers in art and design include advertising, marketing, product design, model-making, film, TV and theatre design, animation, website design, special effects, digital photography, architecture, publishing, the media and teaching. With knowledge of a foreign language, it is also possible to work abroad.

    Success, as in most careers, requires determination and dedication and a career in art and design can be highly rewarding. Also, the study of art and design can help you to develop transferable skills, such as working in groups and problem-solving, which are of crucial importance in any profession.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    A studio fee of £120 (for the entire two year course) is payable for specialist materials and resources you will use on the course. There will also be occasional visits to museums and galleries that is included in the studio fee.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.


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