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A-level Art and DesignApply Now »

Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

Course Image
Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The A-level in Art and Design is a linear qualification studied over two years and has been specifically designed for students wishing to study a single creative subject alongside other academic qualifications, plus work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

This broad-based art, craft and design course will enable you to explore a range of two-dimensional, three-dimensional or time-based approaches to your studies or to produce work entirely from a single discipline including graphic design, textiles, photography and fine art.

It is designed to support development of skills, creativity, imagination and independence based on personal experience, taught skills and critical understanding. You will show this through your response to a range of stimuli.

In your chosen subject areas, you will explore specialist processes and techniques such as drawing, painting, digital manipulation, photography, constructing fabrics and surface decoration - all of which will help you to understand the history and development of a specialism.

The course provides a very thorough and rewarding study of art and design, including extensive practical and theoretical/historical elements. It provides the freedom for you to experiment and take risks with your work while developing your own style.

Entry requirements

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English Language at grade 5 (C/B) and Maths at grade 4 (C).

In addition, you should have GCSE Art and Design or a similar creative subject at grade 5 [C/B] or above. 

A small portfolio of your work will be required. You will be expected to demonstrate a keen interest in art and design and to have good awareness of contemporary trends in the discipline.

A recent school report will be required which demonstrates a committed attitude to learning.

It is assumed that students enrol on a two-year A-level programme of study consisting of three or more subjects. However, students will be expected to demonstrate a commited attitude to learning and make positive progress in their first year of study.

Course Content

The A-level in Art and Design consists of two components, both teacher assessed and externally moderated.

You will study at least two separate disciplines in Component 1, with the option to specialise in Component 2 - producing work in one or more disciplines.

Component 1:

Personal Investigation has two integrated elements: a portfolio of practical work consisting of a sustained project, theme or course of study and a related study which explores the context in which your chosen practical area of study exists.

Component 2:

The externally set task will give you a choice of themes, each with a choice of written and/or visual starting points, briefs or stimuli. From this you will choose one option for which to generate an appropriate personal response for assessment.

How will I be assessed?

This is a linear qualification in which all assessments must be taken at the end of the course. Work is continually assessed and you will discuss and evaluate your own work. Assessment constitutes:

Component 1:

Personal Investigation: internally set, assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the awarding body: 60% of the total qualification

Component 2:

Externally Set Assignment: externally set, assessed by your teacher and externally moderated by the awarding body: 40% of the total qualification

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

A small studio fee of £25 will be required for this subject. This covers the cost of essential course materials and resources. However, if you wish to explore additional specialist materials or non-traditional materials that are not covered within the course, you will be responsible for sourcing and providing such materials. You will also need to make a contribution towards compulsory visits to London - or other - galleries to undertake essential research.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Following successful completion of this A-level, it is expected that you will have achieved the in-depth knowledge, understanding and skills to progress towards advanced / higher foundation studies or a related university degree.

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Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Ryan Horsnall

Ryan Horsnall

First Response Finance sponsor BA Hons degree in Management and Leadership

Ryan was involved with First Response Finance as part of their work with Derby College's Employer and Skills Academy and applied for an apprenticeship.
The company is sponsoring Ryan to complete a BA Hons degree in Management and Leadership at Nottingham Trent University. He previously studies Maths, Business and Chemistry A levels at the Joseph Wright Centre. 
Ryan said "I have the best of both worlds – working in a paid job and then gaining a degree and it has made my studies so much easier as I can relate the university work to the work environment."
“I am currently working in a sales support role which I love and at the end of my degree I will see where I want my career to take me with the company.I get the opportunity to blend academic learning and work experience where I can convert my learning at University into real business situations.
First Response Finance have been involved in the Employer Skills Academies and has now teamed up with Derby College to launch the First Response Business and Finance Academy - offering students at Derby College the chance to follow in Ryan's footsteps.


At Derby College I was taught a lot of skills such as target setting that has helped me be organised and realistic with work and learning.

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