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Art & Design A Level at Nelson Thomlinson School

Course description

  • Art in the Sixth Form is an extension of methods and practices developed at GCSE. We offer a general, broad-based course in the belief that flexibility and breadth of experience are important.
  • Projects can involve painting, drawing, 3D work, photography, graphics, textiles or any combination of these. Students are advised to keep a broad base and specialise if they wish later, although those with a strength in particular areas can opt to build a course around this.
  • The AS Level in Year 12 can be taken on its own or as a preliminary step to progressing to the full A Level in Year 13.
  • Projects will have a framework of teacher input, technical guidance and working methods, but will encourage students to identify, analyse and explore their own ideas.
  • Contextual studies of artists and aspects of Art History will be integrated into the course along with annual gallery visits.
  • Coursework units are not fixed in terms of content and will change from year to year. 
  • Controlled tests are produced in response to ‘starting points’ set by the exam board

Entry requirements

At least a Grade C in GCSE Art and Design.

Student Attributes:

  • Interest, commitment and willingness to take creative risks.
  • A competence in drawing is required but the willingness to interact with materials and processes is even more important.
  • Independent, creative thinkers who are passionate about their own ideas and developing ambitious and personal work. 



Component 1: A personal investigation in which students develop a response to a theme or idea representing 60% of the A-Level marks. The investigation is supported by a 1,000 – 3,000 word study.

Component 2: An externally set assignment representing 40% of the marks at A Level. This will consist of a 15-hour exam preceded by three months’ preparation.

Future opportunities

Students wishing to pursue a course in Art and Design, or design-related areas, usually take a Foundation Course before applying for degree courses. However, it is possible to go straight to degree level from Sixth Form. There are a wide variety of courses to specialise in, for example Illustration, Photography and Architecture.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson Thomlinson School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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