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Art and Design: Fine Art A level at Harris Academy Merton

Course description

Fine Art covers a broad and developing area of Art study that includes painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, installation, performance and conceptual art and aspects of print-making, photography and film.  It utilises traditional, new and emerging media and processes and involves expressive use of a particularly wide range of materials, techniques and skills.

Course content

AS level

Component 1 Personal Creative Enquiry

100% coursework internally assessed and externally moderated.

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 themes will be independently selected and may include the human condition, landscape and environment or still life as starting points.  The Enquiry will integrate critical, practical and theoretical work.  The learner will be required to select, evaluate and present work for assessment.  Submissions will be assessed through the use of the assessment objectives.  Work will be determined by the learner and teacher, assessed by the teacher and externally moderated.


A level 

Component 1: Personal Investigation:

(60 % of A Level), entirely coursework, internally assessed and externally moderated

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).  Critical contextual understanding may be demonstrated through written, visual, oral or other appropriate forms.

All work will be selected, evaluated and presented for assessment by candidates.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

(40% of A level), leading to an examination of 15 hours

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.  To be externally set.

All work will be selected, evaluated and presented for assessment by the candidates.  Critical contextual understanding should be demonstrated through written, visual, oral or other appropriate forms.

Entry requirements

Standard Sixth Form Entry Requirements:

  • To study 4 A levels: must have average GCSE points score of 52+
  • To study 3 A levels: must have 7 A* - C grades in full course GCSE subjects
  • To study 3 A levels/vocational combination: must have 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or Merit or above in Vocational subjects
  • To study vocational level 3 subjects: 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or equivalent, with at least a merit/C/4 grade in a relevant vocational qualification or GCSE
  • Extended writing A level subject students will need a combination of at least grades 4 and 5 in English Language and English Literature

Subject specific requirements:

Students require a grade B or above in Art and Design GCSE, and at least a C grade in English GCSE.  Students maybe invited in for interview with a portfolio of artwork.


AS level Personal Creative Enquiry and A level Personal Investigation are each 100% coursework, internally assessed and externally moderated in the form of a display of student’s visual outcomes and sketchbooks/preparatory studies.

These components are assessed using 4 Assessment Objectives:

  • A01 Contextual Understanding; Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • A02 Creative Making; Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • A03 Reflective Recording; Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
  • A04 Personal Presentation.  Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

25% of the total component marks are awarded for each assessment objective.

Future opportunities

Students who study Fine Art continue into a career in a number of different disciplines within the creative industries.  Many students progress on to Foundation courses and degrees in Art and Design at London Art schools.  Many students further progress on to a career as a Fine Artist, Illustrator, Photographer, Graphic Designer, Fashion/Textile Designer, Architect, Gallery Curator, and Film-Maker.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Academy Merton directly.

Last updated date: 09 December 2016
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