Art (Fine Art) (A Level)

Why should I study A Level (Fine) Art?

This is a great qualification for developing your practical art skills. It is an open and welcoming course where, after a short time spent learning new printing, painting and 3D techniques, you can explore your own ideas.

Fine Art is a subject that can be helpful to any student who wants to apply to an Art related degree course. It also combines well with any other subject at college including any other Art and Design subject.

Our department provides a calm place to work. It has excellent light in the classrooms and we have some of the best resources in the local area for Art. The Art and Design Department has a large open space that students can use in their own time at college. We also offer a range of additional studies, including ceramics.

Many Fine Art students will also take the opportunity to join our A Level Sculpture course in the second year or pursue an art related Extended Project Qualification.

Developing your skills by looking at artists and designers is an important part of any artist or designer’s experience. On the A Level Fine Art course there are three trips to London and in the second year one optional residential trip to a foreign city such as New York or Barcelona. We also invite guest artists in to run one day workshops throughout the year.

We have good links with the course leaders of the Foundation Diploma at Colchester Institute and we also have many visiting speakers from universities to give you information about progression opportunities, applications and careers.

Course Content

The first part of the course consists of an induction project where you learn new skills guided by your Art teacher. This is followed by a more independent and personal project where you get to understand the assessment criteria and standards required at A Level. This leads up to you starting your A Level coursework in the summer term. During the first year you will be learning new techniques, looking at the work of other artists and building up your skills and understanding of contemporary art.

Progression onto Year 2

Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.

Final Assessment at end of Year 2 

The second year consists of two components – coursework and an exam project. There is a short written element to the coursework. In the A second year you will be further developing your skills and exploring your ideas to a high standard. You will produce a portfolio of high-quality artwork that can be used for Art and Design degree interviews.


All A Level coursework is due in at the end of January in your second year. From the 1st February you will then start your exam project. In May, at the end of the exam preparation period, you will then be completing a final piece during a 15 hour exam – spread over 3 days. 

The coursework is worth 60% of your A Level mark and the exam project is 40%. 

Minimum Entry Criteria

Standard College entry requirements (as detailed on page 12 of the Prospectus) and a minimum of:





GCSE Art & Design or Textiles (Art Validated) or

Graphics (Art Validated)







BTEC Level 2 Art & Design


 For those who have not previously studied a GCSE in Art and Design or Textiles (Art Validated) or Graphics (Art Validated), or a Level 2 BTEC course, it is still possible to be considered for this A Level Art course. You will need to complete an exercise set by the Art and Design Department, details of which you can request by emailing the College Admissions Department, once you have had your college interview. The exercise will need to be submitted to the Head of Department during your College Induction Day.

What can I do after studying A Level Fine Art? 

Art can lead to many careers in Art and Design. Possible careers include: graphic design, illustration, architecture, product design, web design, car design, fashion and textiles, industrial design, teaching, animation. Most universities offer courses in these subjects. If you are not sure about which art and design degree course to do at university you can do a foundation diploma after A Levels. This diagnostic course will help you choose your art and design pathway at degree level. Many of our students progress on to either foundation diplomas or art and design degree courses across the country.

Further Information

The basic requirement is for students to buy an A3 coursework sketchbook from us that costs approximately £8 and to have some pencils and paints available for homework.

We also offer students the following art materials, which can be bought from our Art Shop: A1 Portfolio Folder, System 3 Acrylic Intro set of paints (10 x 22ml tubes), 2 Paint brushes, pack of six pencils, tear-off palette pad, 3 Berol pens, a Pritt stick and an eraser – £50. Or Materials Pack – System 3 Acrylic Intro set of paints, 2 Paint brushes, pack of six pencils, tear-off palette pad, 3 Berol pens, a Pritt stick and an eraser – £20.