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Fine Art A Level at Cirencester College

Course description

The focus of the first term is to prepare you for developing your own personal project. Throughout the course will develop the ability to respond creatively to a variety of visual stimuli. You will research extensively, gathering material which will include drawings, photographs and notes to provide you with a rich source of inspiration for your fine art work. Throughout this time, you will be introduced to an exciting range of materials, techniques and processes including an exploration of traditional and contemporary drawing methods, lino, mono printing, mono-silk screen, etching, collagraphy, painting, mixed media and assemblage. You will complete a series of short projects to enable you to practise your new skills further and develop individual approaches.
On completion of your personal coursework project you will start to consider themes and starting points for your personal Investigation in year 2. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore and develop further a personal direction within your creative work. Simultaneously you will study in greater depth the work of chosen artists whose work relates to your own practice. The work you produce will contribute towards 60% of your final mark and will provide a substantial portfolio for Art Foundation, degree course and employment interviews.  On completion of the Personal Investigation, you will begin work on the Externally Set Assignment. During the 10-week preparatory period you will receive guidance and support from your lecturers as you research and explore personal responses to your chosen stimulus and develop ideas for your final work which will be completed under controlled conditions. The Externally Set Assignment contributes towards 40% of your final mark.

The Externally Set Assignment contributes towards 40% of your final mark.
Throughout the course you will be able to take part in visits to galleries and exhibitions in order to gain a greater understanding of historical developments, cultural traditions, contemporary practice and contemporary practice helping you to develop critical judgment. Recent visits have included the Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Opportunities to travel to Paris, Barcelona and the Venice Biennale have also been offered.


A level Fine Art is delivered over two academic years, (five and a half terms).

At the start of the course you will be given and introduction to a diverse range of materials, techniques and processes and given the opportunity to explore and develop new skills. The aim of this is to prepare you for a personal coursework project which will allow you to explore a theme or subject matter which is of personal interest to you. The project will integrate critical, practical and theoretical work and will run from December through to the end of April.
During the summer term you will prepare for your Personal Investigation. This is a substantial self-directed coursework project which will be your main focus during the second year of the course.
The second year
The Personal Investigation (60%). From September until February you will be working on your Personal Investigation. This is a self- directed major project designed to allow you to work to your strengths and build on your skills and particular areas of interest. You will begin with in-depth research into a theme of your choice. From this you will be expected to develop a variety of personal responses and to complete 2 or more high quality, finished pieces. In addition, you will be required to complete an extended written and illustrated critical and contextual study of the work of other fine artists whose work has a relevance to your own practice, (minimum 1000 words). This will give you the opportunity to place your practical work within a historical and/or contemporary context and to demonstrate that you have made pertinent and critical connections to artists working within the same or related fields or genres as yourself.
The Externally Set Assignment (40%). Following the completion of your Personal Investigation in February, you will begin work on the Externally Set Assignment. This consists of a range of visual and written starting points that are prepared by the examining body. You will choose one of these and begin your 10-week preparatory period leading to the development of a resolved final work produced in 15 hours (normally three days), under controlled conditions in the studio.

Both the Personal Investigation and the Externally Set Assignment are internally assessed and externally moderated.

Future opportunities

There is a wide range of careers that are related to this course. It is ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in:
• Fine Artist
• Printmaker
• Illustrator
• Further or Higher Education Lecturer
• Curator
• Museum/Gallery Exhibitions Officer
• Community Artist
• Arts Administrator
• Art Critic
• Art Therapist
• Commercial Art Gallery Manager
• Postgraduate Study
Many of our students pursue Higher Education after completing the course, studying on Art Foundation courses and Art and Design at Degree level. If you have a specific career in mind check entry requirements carefully before choosing courses.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 January 2017
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