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Art & Design (Fine Art) AS & A Level at Presdales School

Course description

Alongside the practical expertise you’ll develop in your studies, you will also learn transferable skills valued in both higher education and the world of work.

  • Analytical
  • Creative problems solving
  • Working independently
  • Research methods
  • Understanding how context shapes meaning
  • How to communicate effectively

The analytical and creative problem solving elements of the course will support you in a range of subjects from history, English, business or film studies through to biology, chemistry, physics and maths. Fine art also teaches you how to learn from your experiences and work independently - skills valued by employers and higher education institutions alike.

Course content

The AQA A Level course in Fine Art lasts two years. It consists of two units:

Component 1 – Personal investigation 60% of total A Level mark. Students conduct a personal investigation based on an idea, issue or theme supported by written material. This will include written and practical elements.

Component 2 – Externally set assignment 40% of total A Level mark. Students select a starting point from eight questions set by AQA and preparatory work will take place between February and May. Students undertake 15 hours of unaided/supervised time.

Entry requirements

Students are required to have an A grade at GCSE in Art and Design in order to join the A Level course.


Both courses require students to participate actively in their course of study, recognising and developing their own strengths and sustaining their own lines of enquiry. Students are expected to complete independent research, record, photograph, experiment, evaluate and modify ideas to extend thinking and inform their own artwork. All work presented for assessment must show coverage of each of the four Assessment Objectives. There will be two assessments each year. Each component is externally moderated in June.

Future opportunities

Once you have built up a good portfolio of work you will be ready to develop your art studies further. Many students go on to do a one year foundation course at Art College. Students then make a selection as to which degree course (BA) they would like to follow. After a degree course they can take up jobs in a wide range of areas, from architecture to furniture design and from jewellery design to photography. If you have any concerns or questions about the course please look on the examination board website – – or contact a member of the Art Department.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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Key information


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    • Presdales is a five-form entry all-ability school which became an Academy on 1st April 2012, for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. Boys are welcomed into the Sixth Form. Founded as Ware Grammar School for Girls in 1906 on the Amwell House site, it moved to its present site at Presdales in 1964. Since 1975 – when the school’s intake was enlarged – we have accepted girls from a wide area of Hertfordshire.

      The school was rated ‘outstanding’ at all four inspections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Language College status was granted by the DfES in 1995 and, on the strength of the school’s high performance overall, Music College status with English as an accompanying strand was awarded in 2006, followed by Mathematics & Computing College status with a Gifted & Talented focus in 2008.