Fine Art

Art (1)

Course Description 

The AQA Fine Art course encourages students to develop their understanding of the visual world, learning new practical skills and responding to ideas and issues in ways that are personal to them.

The course curriculum creates opportunities for students to experience processes and techniques in Fine Art and to specialise and develop their skills in their selected areas of interest, preparing them to pursue further education and careers across the art, design and creative industries.

Studying a fine art related degree at university can give you a variety of exciting career opportunities, including: Architect • Art technician • Art therapist • Art valuer • Artist in residence • Arts administrator • Community arts worker • Illustrator • Lecturer • Multimedia artist • Museum/gallery curator • Painter • Printmaker • Sculptor • Teacher


Over the two years the course is split into two components.

Component 1 (Portfolio of work):

Coursework is worth 60% of your overall grade.

The coursework is comprised of

  • 2 mini projects
  • 1 extended project (Personal investigation and critical essay 1000-3000 words).

Component 2 (Externally set assignment):

  • The other 40% is your exam, starting in February
  • Students will produce personal work in response to one of eight exciting starting points

Both components use the same four Assessment Objectives to assess learners:

  • AO1: to develop idea through sustained and focussed investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding
  • AO2: to explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques, and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops
  • AO3: to record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress
  • AO4: to present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements

Skills and techniques

Students will be exploring a range of different materials, including oil paints, printmaking, clay and other 3D media, as well as digital manipulation software to stretch and challenge their knowledge, skill and understanding.

Specification website link:

GCE Assessment Criteria Grid 2023

Methods of delivery

Students will need to ensure they bring their sketchbook to every lesson. They will receive demonstrations of techniques and processes from their teacher, participate in practical lessons and group crits, carry out contextual research and portfolio preparation for interviews into further education. Students must also come equipped to learn, ensuring that they have a pencil, rubber, sharpener, and ruler. Students are welcome to bring other materials, but this is not required.

Homework expectations

Students will be expected to continue and complete work independently at home. Homework is coursework and students will receive homework on a weekly basis. Please check your child’s student planner every week and help support your child by checking their understanding, talking through their ideas, expecting them to attend afterschool workshop sessions. Students will be working towards deadlines, which is essential to support them through this A-Level course.

Trips / Visits

Students will be offered the chance to go on trips to galleries, museums and scenic locations. In the past, we’ve taken students to Kew Gardens, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate.

At A-Level, there is an expectation that students should be visiting museums and galleries in their own time. Southend has some exceptional places to visit, including the Forum and Beecroft Art Gallery.

Fine Art Major Infographic 480x1024 1