A Level Art & Design

“Art & Design is a 2 year linear course that consists of two components, a personal investigation and an externally set assignment which is a personal response to a chosen question set by AQA.”


A Level

Awarding Body


Course Specification

Who to contact for more information about this course

Queries should be directed to Ms Verrall

Years taught

Year 12 and Year 13

What is the course structure?

Art & Design is a 2 year linear course that consists of two components, a personal investigation and an externally set assignment which is a personal response to a chosen question set by AQA.

What will I study?

Art, Craft and Design introduces learners to a wide range of art materials, techniques and processes. The course promotes the idea of independent thought and learners are expected to pursue and explore investigations into areas of their own interests in response to a given theme. Learners are encouraged to work in many more practices than they were at GCSE including but not limited to, advanced painting techniques, plaster works, animation, photography and installation pieces.


You will be expected to demonstrate an overarching knowledge, understanding and skills from the following areas of study:


  • Fine art: drawing, painting, mixed-media, sculpture, ceramics, installation, printmaking, moving image (video, film, animation) and photography

  • Graphic communication: interactive media (including web, app and game design), illustration, communication graphics, multimedia, motion graphics, design for film and television

  • Textile design: fashion design, fashion textiles, costume design, digital textiles, printed and/or dyed fabrics and materials, domestic textiles, wallpaper, interior design, constructed textiles, art textiles and installed textiles

  • Three-dimensional design: ceramics, sculpture, exhibition design, design for theatre, television and film, interior design, product design, environmental design, architectural design, jewellery/body ornament and 3D digital design

  • Photography: portraiture, landscape photography, still-life photography, documentary photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, experimental imagery, multimedia, photographic installation and moving image (video, film, animation)


Component 1: Personal investigation

Learners are required to conduct an investigation, into an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the learner and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. The investigation should be a coherent, in-depth study that demonstrates the learner's ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation. The investigation must show clear development from initial intentions to the final outcome or outcomes. It must include evidence of the learner's ability to research and develop ideas and relate their work in meaningful ways to relevant critical/contextual materials. The investigation must be informed by an aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists, photographers, designers or craftspeople. Learner's work must be supported by written material to confirm understanding of creative decisions.


Component 2: Externally set assignment

Personal response to a question set by AQA. Each question paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Learner are required to select one. Learners will have a Preparatory period following receipt of the paper. Learners should consider the starting points and select one. Preparatory work should be presented in any suitable format, such as mounted sheets, design sheets, sketchbooks, workbooks, journals, models and maquettes. Following the preparatory period, learners must complete 15 hours of unaided, supervised time. The course emphasis is on learning by doing and allows learners to develop their creativity and independent thought. Due to the personal aspect of the course learners, are expected to be self-motivated and carry out work outside of lessons.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed firstly by subject teachers; this is then moderated by an external examiner at the end of the academic year.

Personal investigation: 60%
Externally set assignment: 40%

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