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Art and Design (Fine Art): A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 4 or above in GCSE Art and Design.

Success, creativity and a range of techniques

Our department offers an exciting, broad, and diverse A-level experience. Our students can work on canvas, create large scale prints, etchings and paintings, explore mixed media, photography and film and use fabric and sewing in their work, coupled with the opportunity to make large scale sculpture and installation there are really very few avenues we won’t explore!

These diverse opportunities and our incredibly well established and knowledgeable staff mean that our students do well, succeed and often go on to study a creative environment. Our staff have expertise in fine art, ceramics, sculpture, installation art, textiles, jewellery design and photography.

We aim to give students the opportunity to undertake workshops and experiment with wider ranges of materials, techniques and processes at the beginning of the course–which the students have commented makes them more confident in their own creative processes and more willing to take risks with their own aesthetic.


The course

Workshops and short term projects (Year 12):

This first year is structured very much like that of an Art Foundation course at college. You are exposed an incredible amount of materials, techniques and processes to help you discover how you would like to work and how to develop your own ideas and projects. Life drawing sessions and sketch crawls get you out of the classroom and broadening your horizons. The first year is designed to build confidence and a sound skills base with which to develop your own ideas

Personal investigation

A personal project that explores, in great detail, a topic, question or theme of your choosing and is accompanied by a 1000+ word essay. This is component 1 and makes up 60% of your grade

Externally set exam project

This starts in February and runs until early May, providing 40% of your grade. Students respond to an externally set question paper, choosing one of the questions and producing work in relation to this starting point.


Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • Visits to the Sheffield Hallam University degree show
  • Visits to art galleries in Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester
  • Visiting lecturers from Sheffield Hallam University
  • Visits to Chesterfield College to experience life drawing.
  • Painting murals and installations in the building
  • London gallery visits
  • Sketch crawls into the Peak District and local area
  • Summer Art Exhibition



Many of our students go on to study Foundation Art at Chesterfield, preparing them for BA study at prestigious universities throughout the country. Our alumni include students who have gone on to work for Disney/Pixar and BMW in Germany. Some of our students have gone on to study fine art, game design. film, photography, graphics and 3D design.

There are many opportunities for students who have studied Art A-level, with many universities seeing a creative subject as the key to giving students a strong foundation for problem-solving skills and creativity. Subjects which may not have traditionally had links to creative skill sets are finding their art portfolios are warmly received for careers in subjects like engineering, science or medicine. Almost all universities accept art as an A-level for UCAS applications, and the portfolio of work produced is a welcome addition at interview to show a range of skills and strengths of the candidate.