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Fine Art A Level at South Downs College

Course description

A level 2D Art is suitable for those with a strong interest in the subject and also provides a sound starting point for anyone considering a career in art and design.

The course provides exciting opportunities to develop creative and practical skills while exploring a wide variety of themes and visual ideas.

If you are inspired by the world around you or are attracted by the idea of using art to express views on social or political issues or you enjoy exploring visual ideas through experimentation and research, then this is the course for you.

Course content

Throughout the two years you will develop your skills through a range of workshops including; drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media.

You will be required to research, analyse and evaluate the work of artists and develop your own responses.

During the AS year subjects such as landscape, the built environment, the human figure and still life are offered as starting points for practical assignments together with more abstract or conceptual themes.

On the course visits are organised to museums, galleries and other places of interest to help you to develop your understanding of historical and contemporary developments in art.

It is expected that you will spend five hours per week on independent study for this course.

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.


The A level consists of two components of coursework which are internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 1 Personal Investigation (60% of qualification)

The Personal Investigation consists of two parts:

1.  A major in-depth critical, practical and theoretical project in which you investigate a theme or subject matter that has personal significance. You are required to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates creativity and practical skill. Critical and contextual studies together with other evidence of development will also be presented for assessment.

2.  An extended written element (minimum of 1000 words) which relates to practical work.

 Component 2    Externally Set Assignment (40% of qualification)

This component consists of two parts:

1.  Preparatory Study Period.

After a starting point is selected you produce preparatory work in response to set assignment materials. You will produce critical, practical and theoretical work and supporting studies which will inform resolved ideas.

2.  Timed Examination

A supervised timed period of 15 hours to resolve preparatory ideas and complete outcome/s.

Future opportunities

AS students wishing to continue their studies into a second year are given a bridging assignment at the end of their course which introduces the higher A2 level programme of study.

The A2 course gives students the opportunity to explore personal interests in art in more depth, developing and extending their AS study whilst considering new themes and approaches.

Students wishing to continue their art and design studies beyond A2 level would normally progress on to a one-year Pre-Degree Foundation course in Art & Design with a view to applying for a specialist degree. AS and A2 Art & Design courses are recognised nationally as academic qualifications for university entrance.


Further information

2D Art is one of five separate AS/A2 pathways in Art & Design available at South Downs College.

The four other options are:

  • Graphic Communication
  • Textiles
  • Combined Arts
  • Photography.

It is recommended that only those students who are seriously considering a career in art and design should study more than one of these options.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Downs College directly.

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

Key information