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Visual Arts IB Standard Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

Studying IB Visual Arts gives you the opportunity to develop and express your creativity using a wide range of different media. The course will be equally suitable for the student wishing to go on to study art further at university and for the student who wants to keep a creative element to their overall profile. There is a big emphasis on individual work and on studying traditions of visual arts from across the world.

Course content

You will start your course with the opportunity to work in a huge variety of media, from photography to sculpture, and from painting and drawing to textiles. This will equip you to choose your media for your projects later in the course. We will also study the history and context of visual art across the world, enriching your understanding of how your personal creativity fits into the 'bigger picture'.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

IB students take three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level.For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths. Further information about entry requirements can be found on p.73 of the prospectus or on the website (addlink to website).Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action & Service.

If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas (link to Additional Information, 6 Bac International Baccalaureate Diploma). You also need to choose one from each of the subject option blocks. The blocks can be found here .

A paper copy of the prospectus and subject options blocks can be obtained by phoning the Sixth Form Administrator on 01223 712600 .


There is no final exam in this course. Your final mark is made up of a final exhibition extracts from the investigation workbooks you put together over the course. You can choose two assessment routes, which play to your strengths and interests:

Option A:

Studio Work (60% of final grade). You put together an exhibition of samples of your work over the course, and this is externally marked by a visiting examiner.

Investigation workbooks (40% of final grade). Extracts from the investigation notebooks you have created over t he course are marked by your teacher and moderated by the IB Organisation.

Option B:

Investigation workbooks (60% of final grade). A visiting examiner assesses your investigation notebooks. This will include an interview with you.

Studio Work (40% of final grade). Your teacher assesses a sample of your studio work over the course. This mark is moderated by the IB Organisation.

Future opportunities

IB Visual Arts will be an excellent preparation for further study in Art. Most students wishing to take their artistic studies further will spend a year after their sixth form studies, following an Art Foundation Course at an FE college or art school. They can then go on to study such subjects as Fine Art, Photography or Fashion. Some students who have built up a particularly impressive portfolio during their sixth form may go straight onto university from school.


Studying Visual Arts is not just for the student wishing to study Art further. The development of creative thinking and an excellent design sense will help students in many careers, from the media to advertising, from retail to management. In addition, universities and employers often value breadth highly, as a sign of a well-rounded person. But perhaps most importantly, the study of art will develop your skills and your creativity, an experience which will enrich your life whatever you choose to go on to do.

Further information

How will I study?

There will be a big emphasis on independent work, and you will be encouraged to make your own creative choices. To support you in this, you will work closely with your teachers in seminars and 1-2-1 discussions, and will follow an introductory programme which will introduce you to a variety of media and approaches. Seminars will take place in our brand new, purpose-built Arts block. We hope to work with visiting artists and local university art students, so that you will be introduced to as many different approaches as possible. You will encouraged to look at everything with an artistic eye, and art students tend to find themselves carrying a sketchbook or camera everywhere, so that they can record ideas whenever inspiration strikes.


What extra-curricular activities will there be?

Cambridge is a marvellous centre to study art, with of museums, galleries and plenty of local artists displaying their work. We will arrange regular visits to these local sites, but also venture further afield. Trips to London galleries are planned, and we hope to run a foreign residential trip. In addition, we will build up links with schools across the globe, to share ideas across cultural boundaries.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 16 October 2017
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