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Art and Design - Design A Level at Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College

Course description

Everything you see around you has been designed, from a ball-point pen to a building, from a cup you drink out of, to the menu you read at a restaurant. To be a designer allows you to create products and produce work, which addresses the problems of a design brief.


If you enjoy designing and making, then this course gives you the opportunity to express yourself using a variety of different materials and methods.  You will have the chance to discover yourself as a designer and work out whether you prefer 2D or 3D methods.  3D students will make models, maquettes and objects using clay, wood, paper, plaster, card, fabric and metal; 2D students will work using traditional hand-rendering as well as computer aided design. Design is a very ‘hands-on’ practical course and can be extremely rewarding.  You may even decide that a career in design is for you.


You should have a keen interest in design generally and enjoy making and designing products. You will be introduced to both traditional ways of working, as well as challenging experimental approaches. You should enjoy visiting art and design galleries, to look at both historical as well as contemporary design work.

Course content

In the first year of the A level course you will creatively explore a range of design disciplines. In the first instance you will be introduced to the design process and you will produce work through small exercises and design briefs. You will have the opportunity to explore 2-dimensional as well as 3-dimensional design processes before specialising in your chosen area of design.

On the course you will study design and designers from the contemporary as well as historical periods.  You will have access to our modern well-resourced Applegarth studios and traditional design workshop; and you will also have access to computer aided design programs.

In the A2 year you will develop your skills further by producing more in-depth and ambitious work. Over the duration of the course you will be challenged with design problems and learn how to address these to produce sophisticated design solutions.

Entry requirements

You need to have met the standard college entry requirements of five GCSEs grade C or above.

You should have a GCSE A* - C in Art and Design or Design Technology based subject.

It is also preferable for you to have a GCSE grade C or above in English as you will have to write an essay in your second year.

If you don’t have a GCSE at grade C or above in a relevant subject, please do not be put off, come and talk to us.


All your work will be assessed by your subject tutor. At different times during the course you will be asked to hand in your work so that your progress can be monitored. You will receive feedback from your tutor, advising you on what to do to improve your grade. At the end on each topic you will submit your work for final assessment.

The course is made up of 2 components. Component 1 (60%) is the coursework component and here you will submit a sketchbook or digital portfolio and present final pieces for assessment.

In the second year you will study Component 2 (40%), which is the externally set assignment, so you are given an exam paper with different projects to choose from. Following an initial period of preparation time in lessons, you will have a timed exam to complete a final piece. There is no revision as all the work is practical.

Financial information

Art and Design can be an expensive subject to study. At Prior Pursglove College you will be given lots of materials free of charge.

Depending on the art and design course you take these studio items include materials such as charcoal and pastels, paint, paper, card, clay, wood, plaster, photographic chemicals, sewing threads, calico, silk, batik wax, fabric dyes and inks.

We ask students to contribute £20 towards the cost of materials as you begin your course in September; this enables us to cover some of the costs of the materials we supply to you. If you are enrolled on 2 or more art based subjects the cost will be capped at £30 per year.

You will also have free access to SLR and digital cameras, computers, sewing machines, darkroom equipment and printing facilities.

Future opportunities

3D Design students’ progress onto a wide variety of degree courses and careers include areas such as product design, interior design, theatre design, transport design, furniture design, industrial design and architecture (which often also requires Mathematics and Physics).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 03 January 2017
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