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What Will I Study?

 You will be introduced to a broad variety of materials and techniques, and encouraged to experiment creatively with them to develop original ideas and produce final pieces that successfully combine skill, aesthetics and concept.

More Info

A level Fine Art is delivered over two academic years.

At the start of the course you will be introduced to a diverse range of materials, techniques and processes and given the opportunity to explore and develop new skills through completion of an introduction project. The aim of this is to prepare you for your coursework, allowing you to recognise your strengths and discover new ways of working.

Following this you will begin The Personal Investigation (60%) which is a substantial self-directed coursework project that allows for in-depth research and exploration of a theme or subject matter which is of personal interest to you. The project will integrate critical, practical and theoretical work.

During your first year you will be required to complete an extended written and illustrated critical and contextual study of the work of other fine artists whose work has a relevance to your own practice (minimum 1000 words). This will give you the opportunity to place your practical work within a historical and/or contemporary context and to demonstrate that you have made pertinent and critical connections to artists working within the same or related fields or genres as yourself.

The second year
The Personal Investigation concludes after a period of extensive creative making, development and the creation of a variety of high quality, finished pieces, that demonstrate artists influence and personal responses to you chosen theme.

Following the completion of your Personal Investigation, you will begin work on The Externally Set Assignment (40%). This consists of a range of visual and written starting points that are prepared by the examining body. You will choose one of these and begin your 10-week preparatory period leading to the development of a resolved final work produced in 15 hours (normally three days), under controlled conditions in the studio.

Both the Personal Investigation and the Externally Set Assignment are internally assessed and externally moderated.

There is a wide range of careers that are related to this course. It is ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in:
• Fine Artist
• Printmaker
• Illustrator
• Further or Higher Education Lecturer
• Curator
• Museum/Gallery Exhibitions Officer
• Community Artist
• Arts Administrator
• Art Critic
• Art Therapist
• Commercial Art Gallery Manager
• Postgraduate Study
Many of our students pursue Higher Education after completing the course, studying on Art Foundation courses and Art and Design at Degree level. If you have a specific career in mind check entry requirements carefully before choosing courses.

Trips to local and national galleries occur throughout the year to help students gather research and inspiration. The Art & Design team also try to run a residencial trip. Previous examples include, Venice, Barcelona and Paris.  

During the course you will need to buy a portfolio, sketchbooks and art materials and equipment costing approximately £75.00

Grade 5 or a MERIT or DISTINCTION at BTEC Level 2 in an Art or Design subject. Entry may also be made via portfolio/interview.

Key Facts

Offered As

ASA Level

find out more about ucas points

Awarding Body


Very little, Fine Art means almost anything that could be displayed in a gallery. The work produced will explore an ideas or concept and consider visual aesthetics, rather than having a function.

As long as you have studied a creative GCSE such as Textiles or Graphics and achieved at least a grade 5 you will be a suitable recruit for the A Level in Art.

It is important that you have a keen interest in the subject, and are willing to learn new ways of working.

You will be required to write a 1000 word Extended Written Element, as part of your coursework. You will also be expected to fill your sketchbooks with annotation, analysis and evaluation of your own work and the work of others.

You will work from some set starting points at the beginning of year 1 but you will be able to develop your own personal direction from these. As the year progresses and certainly when you are in year 2 you will choose your own theme to respond to. The possibilities are endless and you will be given clear guidance and advice to help you.

Yes, however if you feel under confident in your drawing skills all we ask is for a willingness to improve and develop this skill. We will teach you new and exciting ways to draw ranging from realistic to experimental techniques enabling you to find a working method that suits you. You will certainly need to be able to draw if you intend to progress to Art Foundation or an Art Degree, so this course will help to prepare you.

Progression and Career Opportunities

Creative industries earn the UK almost £92bn. The contribution of the UK creative industries – as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) – rose by 7.6% in 2016, or more than twice as fast as the average 3.5% growth rate in this measure across the UK economy. Earnings as a Fine Artist will depend on demand some artists combine exhibiting and selling work with other part-time or full-time jobs.


Career Opportunities:

  • Fine Artist
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Printmaker
  • Teacher
  • Art Therapist


Higher Education and further education 63%

Employment/apprenticeships 27%