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A Level Art and Design Photography at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

Course description

  •  To develop intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers.
  •  To develop investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.
  •  To develop an understanding of the interrelationships between Art & Design and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate.
  •  To develop an understanding of Art & Design in contemporary society and in other times and cultures.

Course content

Unit 1: Coursework Portfolio
60% of AS
Students produce a collection of material which exemplifies work carried out during the AS course. This will include at least one extended project based on an idea, theme or issue which demonstrates the student’s ability to sustain work from an initial starting point to a realisation and includes evidence of their ability to research, develop ideas and link their work in a meaningful way to related critical/contextual materials. Other work may be based on drawing/painting/printmaking/three dimensional workshops, life drawing classes, gallery visits, European study tours, for example.

Unit 2: Externally-set assignment
40% of AS
At the beginning of January, students will choose one of five questions as a starting point for this unit. Following a period of initial research, students will undertake five hours of unaided, supervised time which will be devoted to the development of ideas (the emphasis of this unit). Work will continue until May when a final piece(s) will have been completed.

Unit 1: Personal Investigation
60% of A Level
This is a practical unit with written elements in which students are expected to develop a personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. Written material will be between 1000 and 3000 words of continuous prose.

Unit 2: Externally-set assignment
40% of A Level
At the beginning of January students will choose one of eight questions to be used as a starting point. Towards the end of the examination period (usually end of April, beginning of May) students will complete 15 hours of unaided and supervised time in which they complete a final piece/pieces.

Entry requirements

The best foundation for success in this course is a good grade at GCSE along with a genuine interest in the subject and a willingness to work hard at developing your abilities. You should be prepared to immerse yourself in the subject, visiting galleries and keeping up to date with contemporary practise, whilst taking the opportunity to develop personal responses to a wide variety of starting points.


As with the GCSE, all work is exhibited, then internally examined and externally moderated. There are four, equally weighted, assessment objectives which cover recording, analysing and evaluating, investigating, developing, exploring and interpreting, and realising intentions.

Future opportunities

This course is not only relevant to those who wish to pursue a career in Fine Art. Other careers in which an Art & Design background is very relevant will include design (including graphic, interior, fashion and textile design), architecture (where most courses ask for a portfolio of art work), advertising, publishing, marketing, the media, museum, gallery or theatre work. You will develop your imaginative and creative powers and with your experimental, analytical and documenting skills, you will be encouraged to think laterally when problem solving and you will be challenged to think beyond the obvious – all valuable transferable skills.
NB Students who have studied Art at A level go on to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, law, engineering, for example, with Art recognised as a subject which nurtures the creative, analytical and investigative skills required for all these professions. Please visit the Art Centre and the Sixth Form Studios to see work in progress.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford directly.

Last updated date: 01 May 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years