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Schools 14-16 - Art and Design GCSE

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Level: 2

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

Art, Craft and Design: Combined is a broad-based course promoting learning through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and artefacts, products or personal outcomes.

Throughout you must explore, acquire and develop skills, knowledge and understanding through the application of traditional and/or digital techniques and processes specific to two or more chosen subject titles. The emphasis is on an increased breadth of approach commensurate in demand with the other titles [Fine Art, Textile Design, Photography, Graphic Communication and Critical and Contextual Studies].

You must explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary practitioners and the different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design.

Art, Craft and Design GCSE can be studied as a stand-alone course or combined in a wider study programme with other qualifications.

Entry requirements

You will need to demonstrate a keen interest in the subject and ideally have prior experience of Art and Design at Key Stage 3. You will need to attend an interview and present a portfolio of work with approximately ten pieces.

Course Content

The course is made up of two components. Both components are essentially made up of personal responses to a starting point and practical study.

Component 1 is the portfolio where you will develop, explore and record your ideas. You will learn creative and transferable skills such as research and how to use relevant digital and multimedia programs while developing your knowledge and understanding.

You will have the opportunity to create a personal response to starting points which can be visual or written and you will work in a range of traditional and/or digital media.

Component 2 is an early release paper from which you will be able to choose a starting point - either visual or written - to develop a response using the skills, knowledge and understanding you have gained through your chosen course of study. You will be given a period of preparation, then a ten-hour period of sustained focussed study in which to realise your intentions. Your teacher will be able to give you more details.

Both components will be marked internally by your teacher and moderated externally by the Awarding Body.

How will I be assessed?

Component 01: Portfolio [60%]

Students should produce a portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to a teacher-set starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus.

Component 02: Externally set task [40%]

The early release paper will be issued on 2 January each year and will provide students with five themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points and stimuli. A response should be based on one of these options.

The externally set task is a non-exam assessment. It is internally assessed and externally moderated using the specification marking criteria.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will be required to purchase a basic art and design kit costing approximately £25 based on a list provided at enrolment (concessions are available subject to status). You will also need a journal or notebook at all times throughout the course.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

This course builds skills to enable progression to any of the GCE AS and A-level Art and Design courses. It also enables progression to a range of vocational courses including apprenticeships.


Careers related to art, craft and design include artist, graphic designer,  games designer, photographer, architect, fashion designer, textile designer, digital artist, theatre set designer, costume designer, movie maker, animator, advertising executive and journalist.


This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Jamie Holmes

Jamie Holmes

Weaving a success story in textile design

Peak Award winner Jamie Holmes showed there are no barriers to success if you have genuine creative talent.

Profoundly deaf, Jamie joined the College from the Royal School for the Deaf and was supported by a signer throughout his studies. He excelled on his Art and Design Diploma, specialising in fashion and textiles, and now has a place studying Textile Design at Huddersfield University – with his sights set on a future career in the creative industries.

At our 2014 Peak Awards, Jamie won the Visual Arts prize, sponsored by Maber Associates Ltd, for his determination and willingness to improve.

When I first started at College, I was really lacking in confidence but I had so much help and support that I really found myself and I am looking forward to making the most of university.
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