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Art and Design: Fine Art A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

The Art Faculty at Ashbourne College offers a diverse range of Art and Design subjects, and are amongst the most exciting, innovative and creative in the college. The Faculty is committed to preparing students for both vocational and commercial careers and views Art and Design as being absolutely central and vital to the intellectual and visual growth and development of society as a whole. Art is everywhere you look, to the buildings we live and work in to the clothes we wear and the crockery we eat from. Students’ get the opportunity to study a variety of disciplines, including Fine Art, Graphic Design, Textiles, Photography – fusing together the complimentary balance of research and practice. Tutors introduce students to a broad range of intellectual and practical techniques and processes which help to stimulate and develop visual sensitivity and understanding, as well as an individual approach to the formulation and personal expression of their ideas and interests. All tutors within the Faculty work together to encourage their students to experiment with media, develop and refine their ideas and to push their own boundaries.

The faculty is housed in new and spacious premises and is able to provide students with a sophisticated level of physical resources and equipment relevant to their individual artistic leanings and needs.

A study of Fine Art is the basis for a number of Art and Design careers. Students of Fine Art and Design will develop their artistic imaginations and they will start to look at life in a more visual way. The course equips students with the practical tools to put their visual ideas into practice. There is a particular emphasis on drawing skills but students are introduced to a range of materials and media. Anyone who wishes to pursue any Art related career needs the practical techniques taught and developed on this course.


Course content

There are four units; two at AS and two at A2.

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of fine art media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies. They will explore images, artefacts and resources relating to Fine Art from recent times. Students will appreciate how ideas, feeling and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts, they will study historical and contemporary developments and contexts and different styles and genres and begin to understand how images and artefacts relate to the social, environmental and cultural contexts and to the time and place in which they were created.

Students will work in one or more areas related to Fine Art such as those listed below:

  • Painting and drawing
  • Mixed media, including collage and assemblage
  • Sculpture
  • Land Art Installation
  • Printmaking, monoprinting, linoprinting and intaglio relief
  • Film, television, animation, video, photography, lens-based and light-based media and new media

Fine Art students are also offered workshops in Sculpture and Printmaking, though those are not qualifications but extensions of skills.

Students will be expected to develop and later demonstrate skills from a variety of the following:


Appreciation of different approaches to recording images, such as observation, analysis, expression and imagination. Understanding of the conventions of figurative/representational and abstract/non-representational imagery or genres, Appreciation of different ways of working, such as using underpainting, glazing, wash and impasto; modeling, carving, casting, constructing, assembling and welding etching, engraving, drypoint, mono printing, lino printing, screen printing, photo silkscreen and lithography Understanding of pictorial space, composition, rhythm, scale and structure Appreciation of colour, tone, texture, shape and form.

Students will work on developing their understanding, technique and ideas over the course of the two years. They will be producing work for their final portfolios throughout the two-year course and will need to keep on top of their workload if they are to be successful.

Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.

Students wishing to study Art related subjects may need to produce a portfolio of related work, which they are prepared to discuss with the Art Department.


Unit 1:

AS unit 1 is portfolio of work set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 2:

AS unit 2 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in supervised conditions over 5 hours and will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 3:

A2 unit 3 is a personal investigation supported by written element of 1000-3000 words, set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 4:

A2 unit 4 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in timed conditions over 15 hours. Work produced will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Future opportunities

Many of our students are preparing for a career in Art and go on to prestigious Art Colleges at Higher Education or Foundation course level but many others combine Art with A Levels in English Literature, Humanities or even Sciences. Art courses are not confined to Fine Art. Students can pursue courses and careers in Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Public Art, Jewellery Making, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Surface Design, Architecture, Photography, Advertising and Animation. Art A Level can provide a gateway into a structured commercial career. The natural progression route is to the one-year Foundation Course in Art and Design, but many students apply and are accepted at leading B.A. Degree Courses both within and outside of London.

Further information

Students wishing to study Art related subjects may need to produce a portfolio of related work, which they are prepared to discuss with the Art Department. Art A level requires students to produce a large quantity of work and is usually an unsuitable course for completion within one year.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 November 2016

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