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Art and Design A Level at John Henry Newman Catholic College

Course description

The A-Level course is a natural progression from GCSE, with each year comprising of two units; a portfolio of work set by the teacher, and a starting point set by the exam board. You will learn a range of new skills, as well as developing ones already learnt during GCSE. You will also be given more freedom to guide your projects towards your own personal interests and ambitions.


You will be expected to work independently both in the classroom and at home, and will need to keep on top of a heavy workload, however this is a practical subject so has very little written work included in the course, with the exception of the written assignment set during the A-Level year.

Course content

What will I learn?


The course encourages you to look at other artists and designers, learning how to analyse and critique them appropriately and apply their techniques and ideas to your own work.Art history and contextual studies are an important part of the course. You will also learn a range of new skills in areas such as photography; fine art, textiles, ceramics and printmaking. You will also develop skills in designing and problem solving, as well as applying yourself to create informed, interesting and high quality artworks in a range of medias.

Entry requirements

Students will be at a significant advantage if they have studied Art and Design at GCSE, however students will be considered on the submission of a portfolio showcasing their drawing ability and love for the subject. You must be motivated and willing to work outside of lessons, as well have a genuine interest in the arts.


How will I be assessed?

Through the course you will receive regular written formative feedback to homework and coursework tasks, as well as group and 1:1 tutorials.

The end of year assessments are set out as follows:



Component 1 - The Portfolio

  • No time limit
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of AS





  • Preparatory period + 10 hours supervised time
  • 96 marks
  • 40% of AS





Component 1 - Personal Investigation

  • No time limit
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of A-level

Non-exam assessment (NEA) set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA during a visit to the centre. Visits will normally take place in June.


Component 2 - Externally Set Assignment

  • Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time
  • 96 marks
  • 40% of A-level


Each component is marked out of a total of 96 marks. As the assessment objectives are equally weighted in each of the components, there is a maximum of 24 marks for each of the assessment objectives. The marks, out of 24, for each assessment objective must be added together to produce the total mark out of 96.

Future opportunities

Art can lead to many further courses or jobs in the industry, including:


Graphic Design

Fine Art


Interior Designing



Concept Design

Theatre Stage Set Design

Gallery Curation


The usual route for art students is to go on to study a National Diploma in Foundation studies in Art, before moving onto a degree.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 19 November 2018
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