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Art and Design AS/A-Level at Ravens Wood School

Course description

An A level in Art and Design will provide you with a wealth of opportunity for developing your personal responses to ideas, observations and experiences in practical, critical and contextual forms. The department offers three endorsements: Fine Art, Graphic Design (Graphic Communication) and Photography. You may choose to study one or more subjects within the department.

The courses on offer are creative and experimental. You will need to have a passion for your subject and must be prepared to explore your own creativity in new and exciting ways. Key skills the courses look to develop include:

  • independence of mind in developing your own ideas
  • an interest and enthusiasm for art and design
  • the experience of working with a range of media, including traditional and new media and technologies
  • an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art and design practice

Successful students of Art and Design will develop excellent time-management skills and will demonstrate to future employers and universities that they can multi-task and problem-solve as independent practitioners. You are expected to approach assignments with a professional and motivated attitude in order to support your own progress and that of your peers. A positive group dynamic is essential in these subjects and the participation of each individual will be important.

Course content

In Fine Art you will explore the key areas of drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking and will push your understanding of these traditional media in new and experimental ways. In Photography you will develop your ability to use photography as an art form, manipulating images both digitally and in the darkroom. In Graphic Design you will explore typography, design and illustration in digital and non-digital formats to develop your ability to express conceptual ideas in a visual way, working with setbriefs.

During both years, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of theoretical issues and Art History. You will need to write analytically about your own work and that of other artists and artefacts in order to demonstrate your understanding of key issues. In Year 13 this takes the form of a Personal Investigation, during which you will research and evaluate a theme of your choosing in a formal essay

Entry requirements

B or above in either Art or Photography. If GCSE Art or Photography not studied then interview with portfolio.


The full A level course is split in to four units: two AS units are completed in Year 12 and the additional two in Year 13 complete the A level. In each year, one unit is coursework-based. In these units you will explore and experiment with concepts and techniques, taking inspiration from a variety of starting points. You will refine your skills and develop your understanding of the Arts. The second unit in each year is an externally set assignment. During the completion of this project, you will apply and extend your skills in response to a theme set by the examination board (AQA) to work towards a final piece.

Further information

The department is equipped with two darkrooms, a Mac and PC suites and four studios. Each member of the department is a specialist art practitioner. Between us we have a varied range of knowledge and professional experience to share with our students.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ravens Wood School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 or 2 years