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Art A Level

Course Overview

A Level Art & Design allows you to progress an exciting and extensive range of creative and technical skills. It prepares you for a range of courses, but particularly those that demand problem solving skills and technical dexterity.

Over the two-year course, you will be introduced to a range of working methods and materials which can be used to develop project work. You will also be introduced to a range of artists and movements to further your contextual understanding. Following the workshops, we ask students to start developing individual projects. This period involves taking your ideas further through observational drawing, research and experiments with media processes and imagery. You can build on your favourite ways of working or explore new approaches at this time.

You will also complete a range of substantial main pieces in response to the lively and rich set of project work in your sketchbook. This project will form the Personal Investigation and will be accompanied by a 3000-word research essay.

In February of your second year, you will receive an exam paper that contains a range of stimuli to begin a second practical project. This will build towards an outcome that will be completed under timed conditions (15 hours).


Course Components

Year 1 Components

  • The Formal Elements
  • Self-directed Personal Investigation

Year 2 Components

  • Self-directed Personal Investigation
  • Personal Study
  • Externally Set Assignment

Key Info

Minimum Entry Requirements

Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including: 

  • GCSE Grade 6 in Art & Design
  • A set task if Art not studied at GCSE


  • 60% Coursework
  • 40% Exam (Externally Set Assignment)
  • Exam Board: Edexcel


Subject Lead

Mr D Beattie

Why Choose this Course?

The creative industries in the UK and further afield are thriving and an A Level in Art & Design has transferable skills that are valued in many professions. This course is suitable to those who have a passion for creative exploration and developing an aesthetic appreciation of the wider world of art from many times and cultures. Art A Level also allows for self-expression and an opportunity to personalise your work, developing your own unique style and vision.

Skills You Gain

Art students develop a diverse range of practical skills alongside an ability to evaluate and interpret the work of others. Increasingly, students are also developing new media technology as a chosen media to work in.
A strong Art training can also develop highly valuable transferable skills, including creative ideas development, problem-solving, contextual interpretation, and visual communication, as well as organisational, presentation, and team-working skills.

After Northgate

Many of our students continue a foundation course and then follow degrees and careers in a wide range of areas. These include careers in the Visual Arts, Architecture, Art History, Museum and Gallery work, Curating, Illustration, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Website Design, Games Design, Animation, Set Design, Film and Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture and Events Management.

"If you are considering a career in the creative industries Art at A Level is a must. If not, it is a useful means of developing creative skills for future challenges which will be relevant in any workplace."

Contact Us

Northgate Sixth Form,
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123