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A-Level Art

Background information about studying Art

Art is a primarily practical course that develops several skills, two of which are your observation and analysis skills. There are lots of opportunities to experiment and work in the way that you want to and the course offers a certain level of freedom. On some (or all) boards you can do Fine art and applied art which you could combine to make into a double art option.

How will it differ from GCSE?



Art is a very workload heavy subject and often produces lots of work that needs doing, particularly if you combine to make two art a levels you will find a constant flow of work needs doing.

Required Individual Study

You will normally have to do a high level of individual work outside of class, my sixth form recommend at least one hour of individual study for every hour in class time.

How is it assessed?


For fine art on OCR: AS: The exam is a controlled assignment where students select a starting point from papers and have 3-6 weeks preparation time with 5 hours given to develop the final piece of the project.


For fine art on OCR: AS: You produce a portfolio of work from starting points throughout the year.

A2: A2 year is a personal investigation. You produce one major project with a personal significance to yourself and then you also have to produce a related study between 1000-3000 words.

For applied art on OCR: AS: There are 3 units for AS: 2D and 3D skills along with working with materials and techniques; communication and meaning through visual language and preparing and working to a brief.

A2: There are also 3 units for A2: Decorative imagery; professional practice and progression and fine art.


A level art is a mainly practical course and is very hands on.

Field trips and excursions

Dependant on 6th form/colleges there are lots of opportunities to go on field trips. Mainly to art galleries but many places longer trips to places abroad and elsewhere in the country. Field trips in art can be really useful and it helps you to develop your work.

Where can I go with an Art A-Level

User Opinions

Username: glitterphobia

What I like about studying this subject: It's great for when you want a break from academic studies - it makes it seem like more of a fun a-level if you enjoy drawing. Also, you don't have to memorise anything for an exam and can be quite relaxing.

What I dislike about studying this subject: I'm personally taking AS and A2 art in one year, which is a LOT of work. It can be quite stressful to juggle when it's exam time for other subjects. Also, if you tend to take your time (like me!) it does seem to get on top of you pretty quickly if you need to catch up.

Username: Pandamojia

What I like about studying this subject: If you enjoy art, this is definitely a very enjoyable A level. It is like a hobby, and gives you a break from other academic subjects you are doing. It is fun experimenting and doing exactly what you want to do. Despite what many people say, universities do like it when you take a different subject along with your other tough A levels. Art is a great way of expressive yourself.

What I dislike about studying this subject: VERY hard to go for the A* grade. Takes up A LOT of time, especially since I'm studying biology and chemistry.


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