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Fine Art A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

The AS course starts with a range of varied and challenging workshops which develop key skills and knowledge fundamental to the world of Art and Design. The course gradually builds around each student, to meet your creative interests and needs.

We begin the year with varied approaches to observation and drawing through which your visual understanding will improve. During a series of workshops you will explore a range of two-dimensional materials and approaches, such as tone, mark making, ink, mixed media, colour and painting. The workshops are structured to encourage personal confidence in your own preferences and interests. You will explore how a range of modern and historic artists have communicated ideas through their imagery and techniques.

Your sketchbook documents your evolving skills and knowledge along with new artistic terms and ideas, which you will record through your own style of note taking. By the end of the first year you will have developed a body of coursework which explores personal ideas through to a final outcome.

The A2 Fine Art course builds on your learning in the AS Fine Art year. There is one personally negotiated, more focused coursework project and one exam project. Experimental drawing practical workshops are held throughout the year, encouraging you to take risks and work in new and different ways. 

As well as being creative, there is a small written element. The A2 year is supported by group presentations, strengthening your analytical skills through both discussion and written work, preparing you well for Higher Education. Towards the end of the A2 course you are given eight weeks lecture time to prepare for a 15 hour exam. The preparation time forms a personal project responding to a chosen exam theme; the 15 hour exam time is used to create a final piece which resolves this project.

Course content

Component 1: Personal Investigation Coursework (AS)

Internally Assessed

100% of AS Level

The Personal Creative Enquiry consists of an extended, exploratory project/portfolio and outcome/s based on themes and subject matter which are personal and meaningful to the learner. The Enquiry must integrate critical, practical and theoretical work.

Component 1: Personal Investigation (A2)

Internally Assessed

60% of A Level

The Personal Investigation consists of a major in-depth, practical, critical and theoretical investigative project/theme-based portfolio. Learners will be required to carry out an extended critical and contextual analysis (1000 word minimum requirement).

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

Internally Assessed

40% of A Level

Learners will be required to independently develop a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli. Learners will develop their response during a preparatory study period culminating in a 15 hour sustained focus study.

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is five GCSEs at grade C with a grade B or higher GCSE in an Art based course.

A keen interest in traditional and experimental observational drawing skills to indulge your creativity and describe and record is absolutely necessary.


The Art Department is friendly, supportive, ambitious and hardworking. Achievement in this subject relies heavily on your attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.

  1. You will be encouraged to try a broad range of approaches, which you will then refine into ways of working which suit your individual interests, acquiring and developing specialist skills in your chosen discipline.
  2. Independent work is fundamental to the course at least 50% of all work assessed should have happened outside the classroom.
  3. Homework is set weekly. Initially it is set by lecturers and will be tightly specified and closely linked to class workshops; it will be monitored regularly. As the course develops you will be required to set your own homework/independent work based on agreed learning needs.
  4. Your ongoing work will be assessed in lessons through focused 1:1 discussion. Sketchbook work will be assessed regularly for reflective, thoughtful, analytical critical evaluation and annotation. Emphasis is upon the development towards a final piece, through observation and technical, aesthetic and conceptual refinement.
  5. You will also be assessed against how your research of art, craft, design, media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures improves your own understanding and practice.
  6. Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to these during your lessons.

Future opportunities

A qualification in Fine Art is highly valued by many universities and employers alike. As a ‘Classical’ ‘creative’ subject it is applicable to almost any progression in Art and Design. It is also an excellent subject to complement many courses, such as Architecture, Interior Architecture, History of Art, Film, Prosthetics and Theatrical Makeup, Art Therapy and Education.

Further information

Independent practice will be supported through PowerPoints, worksheets and other guides available through our Moodle course. We also provide further support through focused boards on Pinterest. College trips to visit museums and galleries will be offered and we encourage our students to visit galleries both locally and nationally to support their work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

Key information