A Level – Art

Fine Art is an excellent choice for anyone with a vivid interest in observed drawing, painting and printmaking. Considerable opportunities exist for media exploration and creative design work, working with a variety of materials, techniques and processes.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    Fine Art is an excellent choice for anyone with a vivid interest in observed drawing, painting and printmaking. Considerable opportunities exist for media exploration and creative design work, working with a variety of materials, techniques and processes. The course demands a strong work ethic and independent commitment. If you achieved well and enjoyed Art & Design at school this could be the course for you.

    Fine Art is often studied alongside related courses such as Graphic Design and Photography, but can also serve as a complementary study route, offering an element of variety to an intense academic programme.

  • Course Details:

    Exam Board


    Course details

    The course is delivered as four distinct units of study, which test the skills of observation, media handling, ideas development, contextual research and visual realisation. Quality of written expression is especially important in the second year of study.

    First Year Portfolio (Internally assessed)
    A first body of coursework is internally set and marked and is concerned with the construction of a portfolio of studio based drawing, printing and painting working mainly from directly observed sources. The development of this skill set is then utilised fully in pursuit of two independent projects.

    Art 7242C (60% of Total Mark)

    A personal investigation is undertaken in the first period of second year study; the theme for this work is agreed via negotiation between the individual student and the course team and generally originates from the three key themes of Landscape, Portraiture and Still life. This component of the course also requires the undertaking of an illustrated essay related in theme to the nature of the personal investigation.

    Art 7242X (40% of Total Mark)

    An externally set exam paper is released in February offering a choice of themes for independently researched visual development and contextual work. The culmination of this body of work is a fifteen-hour exam undertaken in April in which a summative piece of visual work relating to the exam question is undertaken.

    How the course is delivered

    The course is rooted in direct creative activity supported by individual tutorial discussion and reference to exemplar material created by teaching staff, students and established historical significant Fine Art practitioners. Careful guidance is given with regard to the construction and presentation of individual outcomes, sketchbooks and portfolios, supported by visual example and written and verbal instruction.

    Departmental Enrichment

    The department as a whole offers an open door policy, in order that space, materials and creative opportunities are maximised. Regular twilight studio sessions are held throughout the year and the studio is available every lunchtime for private study. Further individual support is always available on request and the level of pastoral care afforded by the department is highly regarded.

    The Art department at Wyke Sixth Form College

    The Fine Art studio forms part of a purpose built open plan teaching space offering access to drawing painting and printmaking facilities. Access to digital equipment is also available.

    A wider range of visual and contextual materials are made freely available, many designed by the teaching team.

    The Fine Art course is taught by Jon Stafford (Head of Visual Arts)

    Head of Faculty – Guy Martinson

    What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

    This course is creatively demanding and requires an open minded and industrious approach. The best preparation for this course is direct observation drawing undertaken on an almost daily basis, studying at length and in detail the qualities of everyday objects, architecture and figurative subjects.

    Taking an active interest in the history of the subject is also recommended. Both the Ferens Art Gallery in the city and Beverley Art Gallery offer splendid opportunities to view paintings and artefacts at first hand.

  • Progression:

    What does this course lead to?

    An A Level in Fine Art may lead naturally to a pre-degree foundation course and then degree level study in a wide range of art & design based disciplines. The study of art and design at degree level can lead to career opportunities in a wide and varied field. Fine Art students become freelance creative practitioners or work for design companies in many areas including; interior design, jewellery, graphics, illustration, animation, architecture, set design, fashion and textiles, and a host of creative digital industries. Fine Art study may also open opportunities in the field of gallery and exhibition work.

    Student Success

    The department is well experienced in guiding students to success. Over the last twelve years students of Fine Art have gone on to study the subject at degree level at institutions as diverse and prestigious as Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Falmouth and London. In 2017 over 93% of Fine Art students achieved an A*-B grade.

    Jack Whitelock achieved A Levels in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Media Studies, achieving a grade A in Fine Art. The nature of the course combined with his own dedication, work ethic and technical skill enabled him to develop a highly emotive and original methodology combining painterly design skills to convey the power of personal relationships. Jack’s portfolio of work enabled him to gain a place at Edinburgh University to study Fine Art, generally regarded as one of the country‚Äôs leading Art Schools.