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Course overview

This course is for students who wish to explore and refine their skills in a wider range of art, craft and design techniques. You will learn both traditional and digital techniques and processes allowing you to interpret the project themes in a unique and personal way. You will explore a wide range of art, craft and design pathways such as: fashion, surface pattern design, embroidery, felting, wire work, 3D design, painting, printmaking, photography and illustration to produce a specialised portfolio. You will balance your creative skills with studying art, craft and design history, gallery visits and research tasks.

Entry requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three other GCSEs at grade 5/4 or above, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4. Or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5.

Please note, it is necessary to have studied Art & Design at GCSE to study A Level Art, Craft and Design. However, all prospective students are invited for an art assessment, this is completed on campus in June.  This two hour workshop is designed to test skills and fluency when handling the formal elements and creative interpretation of a theme. Any student who does not have GCSE Art & Design but completes the workshop to a high standard may be accepted on the course.

Topics you will study

Topics covered include:

  • Botanical

  • Anatomical

  • Mechanical

  • Personal response (own project)

  • Skills/techniques and processes explored:

  • Drawing

  • Painting

  • Printmaking

  • Heat press printing

  • Fabric manipulation

  • Felting

  • Thread painting

  • Garment construction

  • Batik

  • Mixed media

  • Digital drawing

  • Photography

  • 3D construction/sculpture

Key features

A variety of subjects will be considered here: landscape, still life, detail and texture in nature and architecture, and drawing from life. Subjects can be realistic or have a more contemporary, abstract and expressive approach. Other ideas could be concept-driven, with subtle or explosive colour, capturing the essence of the theme. Pattern, shape and texture can also be an interesting starting point and can be used to create a change in style that could inform a new art-work. This course will provide a foundation for those interested in fashion design, fine art, applied art and those wanting to explore a wide range of traditional and contemporary media and materials for drawing, sketching and painting as well as collage and mixed media. Inspiration is taken from a wide range of primary sources and all project work begins with your own drawings and photographs. You will use both creative drawing and photography methods to record, enhance and focus your ideas. You will work in sketchbooks documenting your creative making and use these to record and present all your artist research, gallery visits and practical workshop tasks. 

Five hours per week will be set as independent study work, which will also be documented in your sketchbooks and form the basis of your studio work.


Component one: Personal Investigation (60% of final grade) throughout the first year and into December of the second year. 

Component two: Externally set assignment (40% of final grade) from February to May of the second year.

Both components are internally assessed and externally moderated. You will also present a portfolio and an exhibition of your work covering both components which is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Exam Board: Eduqas

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is an expectation that students will complete a one-week work placement in the Summer term. Throughout the academic year there will be several day trips to galleries, artist studios and city visits to gather and practise your observation recording techniques. Some will be enriching, but for those that are compulsory, travel costs will be met by The Sixth Form. Throughout the year, the department offers a range of enrichment activities including: hand and machine stitch workshops, 3D workshops, paper-making and mixed media art, craft and design workshops. Entering competitions is also a key part of enrichment, in the past our students has been successful in gaining first place positions across a range of exciting external competitions.

Why choose B6?

The vast majority of our students go on to study textile design, surface pattern design, fashion design, printed textiles, 3D, photography, illustration and fine art at a range of prestigious universities with whom The Sixth Form has excellent links.

Future career opportunities

Many students go on to study art and design at pre-degree foundation level or a BA degree. Possible career pathways include: fine artist, illustrator, photographer, textile designer, surface pattern designer, teaching, fashion design and stylist, interior designer, costume designer, gallery curator, sculptor and animation.

Additional information

To support your studies, you will be required to purchase relevant materials as the course develops, most are readily available from reputable art supply shops and/or from ourselves. Please note this is a consumable subject, students will have to pay for specialist media and materials throughout their time here.

Megan Broad

Megan Broad

A Level Geography, Mathematics, Physics and Honours Programme with EPQ

Previous school:
Fred Longworth High School

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