A Level Ceramics

“You will be introduced to a variety of Ceramic experiences that explore a range of three-dimensional processes and techniques with particular focus on how to make craft ceramics including slab building, coiling and throwing.”


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?

Ceramics is a 2 year linear course which 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?

You will be introduced to a variety of Ceramic experiences that explore a range of three-dimensional processes and techniques with particular focus on how to make craft ceramics including slab building, coiling and throwing. All 3D work is supported by sketchbook and other 2D work looking at the work of other artists/craftsmen. You will explore the use of drawing and painting for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. You will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This will be integral to the investigating and making process.


You will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:


  • An appreciation of solid, void, form, shape, texture, colour, decoration, surface treatment, scale, proportion, structure, rhythm and movement

  • An awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of three-dimensional design

  • An awareness of the relationship between three-dimensional design and urban, rural or other settings

  • An appreciation of the relationship of form and function and, where applicable, the ability to respond to a concept, work to a brief, theme or topic, or answer a need in the chosen area(s) of three-dimensional design

  • The safe use of a variety of appropriate tools and equipment

  • An understanding of working methods, such as model-making, constructing and assembling


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. Learners 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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