Access Keys:

St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch


Examination Board: CCEA

Specification: AS and A Level Art and Design

Why study Art and Design?

Whether you have the desire to create or are keen to progress in a career in the creative industries, A Level Art and Design is definitely the course for you! You’ll develop your intellectual, practical, imaginative, creative and critical techniques, as well as producing and analysing pieces of art and design. 

What will I learn about?

You’ll learn to be both creative and analytical – a very attractive combination to prepare you for third level courses and future employers. Art and design students learn to develop transferable skills that make you employable, for example, good communication skills, IT literacy, flexibility and teamwork skills. You will be encouraged to do practical experiments in a wide range of processes and media. You will learn new skills, develop your own artistic style and gain an understanding of different approaches in art, from surrealism to the expressionism movement. You can produce work in 2D and 3D and areas of study will include: Fine Art; Graphic Communication (Two-Dimensional Design); Photography and Lens-Based Media; Three-Dimensional Design; and Textiles

A-Level Art Exemplar Material


How is it taught?

The course that we follow in AS is ‘Art, Craft and Design – Combined Studies’. Students base their portfolio on a theme that CCEA issue in a stimulus paper at the beginning of the AS course. The pupils are taught to explore their ideas whilst engaging in new techniques (traditional and/or digital), skills and media.  Throughout the year there are visits to museums or galleries; field trips to attend workshops as well as visiting practitioners who come in to school to do presentations.  Pupils watch teacher led, practical demonstrations, with an emphasis on drawing from primary (real-life) sources. Students are encouraged to explore relevant contextual resources, analysing, discussing and evaluating images, objects and artefacts. They use their knowledge and understanding of the work of artists, designers and craftspeople to develop and extend their thinking and inform their own work and ideas. They must explore the work of at least two practitioners. To ensure breadth and relevance, at least one of the practitioners should be contemporary and have produced work within the last 30 years. Students are given guidance on the presentation of their work, usually in the form of a portfolio. The teacher directs the pupils to develop ideas that can be taken forward into Unit 2, as a final outcome. 

How will I be assessed?

The following assessment objectives apply to unit 1: Knowledge and understanding; Creative process; Skills. In unit 2, students respond to a theme that CCEA issue in a stimulus paper at the beginning of the AS course. It includes developing work into an outcome that stems from the research and exploratory work completed for Unit AS 1. All four assessment objectives are assessed in this unit, but Assessment Objective 4 (Outcome) is weighted more heavily than the other three assessment objectives

Pathways to future careers/courses

Skills and creativity promoted by taking Art for AS are important in the following career paths:

  • Media work/Advertising/Marketing
  • Architecture/Engineering
  • Product/Graphic and Fashion Design
  • IT/Software and Computer Services
  • Museum/Gallery Curator
  • Interior Design, Landscaping and Garden Design
  • Arts and antique markets
  • Crafts (Ceramics, Pottery, Weaving, Framing)
  • Publishing, Illustration and Printmaking (including communication design such as Graphic Design for magazines, newspapers and television)
  • Textile Production and Design, Jewellery Design and Make-up Artist
  • Filmvideophotography, television and radio 
  • Computer gameselectronic publishing and Animation
  • Stage Design, Costume Design, Movie Set / Special Effects Designer
  • Education, Community Arts
  • Art Therapist
  • Fine Artist

Entry requirements

GCSE Art and Design Grade B