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Art & Design

A Level

student painting

Availability & Details

Art & Design, A-Level AF-ARDEAL-D(0000)001

Venue
Alton Campus

Type of study
A Levels, Full Time

Dates
Academic Year 2023-24 (2 years)

Examination board
Edexcel

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How to apply

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Overview

This course focuses on Fine Art skills, but is directly relevant to careers in architecture, illustration, product design, graphic design and fashion. Creativity encourages and promotes independent thinking and can complement more academic studies. Visits to London galleries are offered on this course along with opportunities to experience cultural destinations abroad. Enthusiasm, good drawing ability and the resourcefulness to work independently are important qualities for students to be successful.

Students should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4. For GCSEs which remain with the old grading system, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

We recommend a grade 5 in a creative or technical subject at GCSE, although in exceptional circumstances we do consider students without an Art qualification.

At HSDC Alton on the Art & Design A Level you will study:

  • A range of projects that follow a series of thematically based topics, to include “Journey”, “City” and “Portrait”.
  • Workshop sessions will introduce you to a range of materials and techniques, allowing you the freedom to experiment with your own imagery and ideas.
  • In Year 2, you will undertake a Personal Investigation in a specialist area of your own choice where you explore an aspect of Art and Design that interests you, this will involve producing sketchbooks and outcomes. The Personal Investigation will be supported with an essay (maximum 3000 words).

Explorative sketchbook work will prepare you for the externally set task with a topic set by the exam board.  This component is followed from February of your second year culminating in a 15-hour timed period to produce your outcome.

Lesson activities include plenty of time to develop your ideas and imagery with guidance from tutors, alongside workshop sessions where new skills are developed and critical discussion of students' and artists' work. You are encouraged to work in a range of media such as drawing, painting, collage, digital, 3D and printmaking. Art is directly relevant to a wide range of careers from architect to tattooist. The creative and independent way of thinking art encourages is valuable in all walks of life.

60% personal investigation and 40% externally set task.

The externally set task includes a 15-hour practical controlled exam.

Printing and art materials approximately £15 - £20/term. Optional trips from £15 each. There is an annual overseas Creative Visual Arts department trip.


There are lots of people at the college, each studying a diverse range of courses, people from all different areas come to study here, it creates a sense of community, there is a huge social aspect to college life across all courses.

Lee Backhouse, BTEC student

The teaching and support was really great, the quality was really great, all the teachers really care about your education as well as your wellbeing, they take everything into consideration and they’re great.

Katie Whittingham, A Level student

I’m really happy and pleased with my grades. I really loved my time at the college, I have also made lots of friends, it’s a really nice place to be, I don’t want to leave.

Lauren Piper, A Level student