A Level Art and Design

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Art and Design A Level
Code AR
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Discover what it means to be a creative and imaginative visual artist.

This course presents you with exciting and challenging opportunities to learn much more about what it means to be a creative and imaginative visual artist, and to grow in this way throughout the course. We welcome the great variety of experiences and different backgrounds students bring to their learning in this area.

Our course is designed to build on the skills and enthusiasm you bring. We will help you acquire new skills, broaden your knowledge, and support you to develop the confidence you need to achieve your full potential in this rich and exciting subject area.

Original ideas, experimentation and risk-taking are encouraged. All the staff are practising artists and have a wide range of specialist interests and expertise; you will have one main teacher. There is flexibility for you to try a variety of methods of working, and the staff operate as a team to share knowledge and to support you.

“Join us! A level Art at Hills has just the perfect balance of independence and support to really let your creativity thrive; wonderful teachers and a wonderful course.” RAFAELLA, Art & Design student


The focus of our course involves two main areas:
  • generating visual ideas from direct personal experience using drawing and photography
  • encouraging experiments inspired by the methods and approaches of other artists
Year 12
  • Across the first term, we provide an induction programme. This work involves teacher-led presentations, lively group discussion, image analysis and it is also linked in with practical work to assist with the development of your own creative skills and ideas. 
  • Practical work - drawing and personal project methods 
    You will explore a variety of practical approaches to drawing, both in techniques and subject matter, e.g. landscape, architecture, the figure etc. We also explore the working methods for personal projects that will best support your progress on the A level course. 
  • Technical workshops and individual project work 
    At half term, we ask students to develop their individual project research. This can be based on any area of art and design; the selection of artists who you admire and are inspired by at this point is a key part of this work. We also introduce students to a range of working methods and materials which can be used to develop project work. 
  • Completion of a project 
    This period involves taking your ideas further through experiments with media, processes and imagery. You can build on your favourite ways of working or explore new approaches at this time. The aim is to complete a substantial main piece as an end to a lively and rich set of project work. 
  • Exam preparation. 
    The exam preparation work and the main pieces are assessed together as a single set of work. 
Year 13
  • The Summer term teaching begins after study leave in June. This year develops the level of challenge and depth required to create stronger personal work. In addition, students create a research project called the Related Study, choosing particular artists or an area of work to investigate. You will use this to inform the development of your own practical work during the second year of the course. 

How will it be delivered?

Assessment for the qualification is taken in Year 13. 

  • 60% of A level: Personal investigation - practical exploration of an individual theme accompanied ​by a research essay.
  • 40% of A level: Externally set task - fresh project developed from a choice of theme options.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 6 or Merit in Art/Design (or similar subject title).

Minimum Entry Admissions Score applies

Your next steps...

Students may go on to study a variety of courses such as Art Foundation, which leads on to specialist art degrees (e.g. Fine Art or Graphic Design); direct entry to an Architecture degree is also a popular option after Hills Road.

The Art and Design A level also supports successful applications to a very wide range of further study at degree level, for example, we have future scientists, engineers, historians, actors and mathematicians studying on the art courses. Students can build on their developing knowledge about visual culture and strong independent research skills, and apply their imaginative and creative abilities in many other areas of study.

For many students, Art and Design at Hills Road is part of a broad programme of study which supports their progression to top higher education destinations.