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Fine Art

Why study Fine Art?

Although demanding in both time and commitment, we believe this course to be challenging and fulfilling. The course provides the ideal platform for any student wishing to pursue the extensive career opportunities in the design or the creative and visual arts field. It will also appeal to those students who have been successful at GCSE and wish to maintain a creative balance in their studies.

To see further evidence of the work produced by students, please visit our online gallery at: and audio visual work at:

What will I study?

The course is wide ranging covering many approaches to creating Art and Design with four broad aims to develop the students’:

  • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers;
  • Investigative, analytical, practical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement;
  • Understanding of contexts and inter-relationships between art, craft and design;
  • Knowledge of art, craft and design in contemporary society and in other times and cultures.

Although practical work forms the majority of A level art curriculum, critical awareness and the appreciation of artists will also play an important part in the course and students should be prepared to analyse their own work and the work of others.

AS Art Units

AS Units

Unit 1 (Coursework 60%)

  • 1.1: Foundation Skills Stage (including life drawing and sculpture)
  • 1.2: Diversity
  • 1.3 Personal Word Theme

Unit 2 (Examination 40%)

  • Externally Set Assignment

A2 Units

Unit 3 (Coursework 60%)

  • 3.1: Personal Study: A written and illustrated study into an area of Art
  • 3.2: Personal Portfolio: A portfolio of practical work based on a brief

Unit 4 (Examination 40%)

  • Externally set assignment

Students are assessed according to Edexcel’s assessment criteria, which measures the way a student develops, experiments, records and realises their ideas.

How will I study?

Much of the work will be studio-based. However, students will need to meet the demands of the subject through active research, gallery visits and a broad engagement in the whole area of Art and Design. We also offer a regular study visits abroad and locally, run life classes and involve students with visiting artists and lecturers.

What do I need to start the course?

  • Course entry requirement is B in Art at GCSE level

History of Art

What will I study?

Students will undergo a program of study to equip them with analytical and critical skills. The structure of the course ensures students can establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the History of Art in the Western world.

This specification assumes no previous knowledge of History of Art and is suitable for the diverse range of candidates who wish to develop their interest in, and enjoyment of, the study of History of Art, fostering its value in lifelong learning.

In the initial stages of AS, students will be introduced to Art and Architecture from the Pre-historic era (500-0BC) to the present day. The second stage will cover Themes in History of Art, providing students with some significant art historical themes from Classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century.


Unit 1 (Examination 40% of AS, 20% of A2): Visual Analysis and Interpretation

Formal analysis and interpretation of works of architecture, painting and sculpture.

Unit 2 (Examination 60% of AS, 30% of 2): Themes in History of Art

Exploration of art historical themes: Subjects and genres; Materials, techniques and processes; Form and style; Historical and social contexts;
Social and cultural status; Gender, nationality and ethnicity.


Unit 3 (Examination 25%): Investigation and Interpretation (1)

Four options: Art and Architecture in: Fifteenth-century Europe/Seventeenth-century Europe/Nineteenth-century Europe/Europe and the USA 1946–20

Unit 4 (Examination 25%): Investigation and Interpretation (2)

Four options: Art and Architecture in: Thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Europe/ Sixteenth-century Europe/Eighteenth-century Europe/Europe and the USA 1900–1945

Unit 1 Example questions :

  1. Nicola Pisano, The Adoration of the Magi, detail from the pulpit, 1259 – 60 (marble) (85cm3113cm) (The Baptistery, Pisa).
Analyse the depiction of the scene in this sculpture and discuss the ways in which the sculptor used the material and techniques.
  2. Denys Lasdun and Partners, Royal National Theatre, 1967–76 (reinforced concreteand glass) (South Bank, London).
Describe the appearance of the building and comment on how the architects have exploited the characteristics of the materials in this building.

Unit 2 Example questions:

Answer three questions from the following:

  1. Materials, techniques and processes Discuss how the use of different media has an effect on the appearance of two paintings.
  2. Form and style
Analyse the formal features of two sculptures which are stylistically different.
  3. Form and function
Discuss the formal aspects of two buildings, each of which fulfils a different function.
  4. Historical and social contexts
Select two works of art, each by a different artist, and comment on how each artist has responded to the time in which they lived.
  5. Patronage How are the motives of the patron(s) reflected in two works of art and/or architecture?
  6. Gender, nationality and ethnicity
Show how national identity is evident in the appearance of two buildings.

How will I study?

The course will be delivered over 5 lessons per week. Students will be required to work independently outside of the lessons. This independent study will include background reading and research in order to support what has been covered during lesson time.