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Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Art & Design

Exam Board: Edexcel


This course aims to enable students to develop the following:

  • intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities which linked with investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills,
  • independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal outcomes
  • an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art, craft and design
  • their experience of working with a broad range of media
  • an understanding of the interrelationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate
  • knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and, where appropriate, links to the creative industries
  • knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures
  • an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design.

In the first year of this course you will complete two units. This is a demanding and challenging course and is suited to those students who are keen to go beyond picture making and who wish to use their practical and technical skills as a means to develop their powers of imaginative thinking and to use the more academic study of art as a means to sharpen their critical faculties.

Unit 1: Personal Investigation

The first unit, Personal Investigation, aims to broaden skills as well as developing knowledge on and understanding of the wider issues of art through critical and contextual studies.

In Fine Art they will be expected to develop their practical abilities and explore their own ideas to create a personal response through drawing, painting, print-making, sculpture and/or lens based image making.

Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment

The second unit is set by Edexcel.  They will be given a set theme and have 12 weeks to develop their own personal and meaningful response towards an outcome, which covers the 4 Assessment Objectives.

The second year consists of same two units. Unit 1 will be a continuation of the strongest unit from Year 12 and further development of the units started in Year 12. Students will also have to complete a personal study, this is a separate piece of writing which must comprise a minimum of 1000 words of continuous prose and is assessed within component 1.


There are 4 assessment objectives:

AO1 – Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding

AO2 – Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

AO3 – Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.

AO4 - Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements

This A level consists of:

Component 1: Personal Investigation = 60%

Component 2: Externally set assignment = 40%

Career Progression

An arts based A level generally leads to a Foundation Course in Art & Design.

Degree courses in Textiles, Fine Art, Photography or Fashion.

Careers as: Animator, antique dealer, Architect, Architectural technician, Art editor, Art gallery curator, Art administrator, Arts therapist, Art valuer, Blacksmith, Cabinet Maker, CAD technician, Cake decorator, Ceramics designer, Clothing alteration hand, Community arts worker,  Costume designer, Design engineer, Dressmaker, Ergonomist, Exhibition designer, Fashion designer, Fashion Journalist, Fabric Designer, Film & Video Maker, Fine Artist, Florist,  Footwear designer, Furniture designer, Furniture restorer, Glass engraver, Glassmaker, Games developer, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Interior designer, Jewellery designer/maker, Landscape architect, Leather craft worker, Machine printer, Make-up artist, Medical illustrator, Model maker, Museum assistant, Museum curator, Musical instrument maker, Naval architect, Pattern cutter, Pattern grader professional Photographer, Photographic stylist, Photographic technician, Picture framer, Product designer, Prop maker, Reprographics assistant, Set designer, Sign writer, Stonemason, Tailor, Tattooist, Textile designer, Textiles production manager, Web designer or a job not yet created….