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A Level Fine Art

A Level Fine Art

Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take the risks - Mark Rothko

Exam Board


Why should I study Fine Art?

Fine Art is a stimulating and demanding course designed for those who have an interest in the visual arts, giving them the opportunity to explore and develop their creativity. The course encourages learning across diverse disciplines. It is anticipated that in year one, students will develop practical skills in all specialist areas including fine art, print, textiles, photography and ceramics.

This course integrates practical, critical and theoretical study. It allows you to express yourself creatively through a variety of media and techniques.

Our friendly and experienced staff will help you tailor the course to suit your individual strengths. We provide you with excellent facilities including fine art studios, a Mac Suite with up to date software, a photography studio, a 3D workshop and textiles workroom. After a broad start to the course, you can then choose to specialise in a main subject area.

This course delivers a real mix of academic and practical learning which will help you to develop transferable skills and prepare you well for a wide range of careers, whether that be within the creative arts or further afield.

What will I study?

You will study art from an academic viewpoint, responding to the world around you and taking your ideas into visual outcomes. These visual outcomes will be highly skilled and hold meaning to both yourself, the producer, and the viewer, due to the rigorous development and refinement of the visual journey.

You will be introduced to a broad range of materials, techniques and processes within a variety of specialist art areas, including drawing, printmaking, working in non-resistant materials, digital and traditional photography, textiles, surface pattern, computers in art, time-based media and contextual studies.

The main taught content of the lessons will be split between:

  • Contextual studies, to enable you to deconstruct pieces of art work and have an in-depth understanding of their technical construction.
  • Skill development across a range of disciplines through workshops and tutorial lessons.
  • Periodic constructively critical reviews of your personal investigation.

You will also be encouraged to use the studio in your own time, affording you the opportunity to build on skills learnt during the taught sessions.

There will be opportunities for you to take part in emersion days with professional artists, attend museums, take part in nationally acclaimed competitions and visit universities to take part in Art and Design workshops.

How is A Level Fine Art assessed?

You will complete a personal investigation worth 60% of your final grade. This involves a major in-depth, critical, practical, and theoretical investigative project; your development process will be recorded in your portfolio, and a final outcome, or outcomes, will be based on themes and subject matter that have personal significance to you. You will also complete an extended written element of at least 1000 words, which may contain images and texts.

You will also complete an externally set assessment worth 40%, which involves a preparatory study period followed by a 15-hour period of sustained focus work.

What can I study with Fine Art?

The course provides secure foundations for progression to art and design-based degree courses, such as fine art, illustration, architecture, interior design and fashion design. It is a strong, well established and respected subject that provides transferrable skills which will cross over to any profession or degree course. Employers and university admissions tutors alike look for the skills that studying art and design provides, such as independent learning, creativity and working to deadlines.

Where does a qualification in Fine Art lead?

The course provides secure foundations for progression onto and computing related degree course: previous students have gained places to study software development, computer game design, computer security, artificial intelligence and computer science. It also forms a strong basis for becoming an IT professional network manager or a career in mathematics, science or business.

Minimum subject requirements

Grade 6 in art.

If you have not taken an art and design qualification in year 11, don’t worry. We can assess your creative ability and material understanding at interview; please have a portfolio of your work ready to bring with you

DACA Fine Art Alumni

Name: Hannah

High School: St. Bede’s R.C. High School

Subjects: Fine art, maths, physics and EPQ

Went on to study Architecture at Manchester University

“Having not studied art before sixth form I didn’t quite know what to expect, but the knowledge, skills, and freedom that the subject and the teachers gave me not only allowed me to achieve what I never thought was possible, but it is also now helping me as I begin my architecture degree.”