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A Level Art & Design: Art, Craft & Design

Why should I study A Level Art & Design?

The OCR A Level Art & Design course is designed to encourage you to develop skills, creativity, imagination and independence based on personal experience, taught skills and critical understanding which you will demonstrate through your response to a range of stimuli.

It will provide an opportunity for you to take a personal interest in why Art and Design matters and to be inspired and changed by studying a coherent, worthwhile course of study and gain experience of the working practices of individuals, organisations and creative and cultural industries.

Learners have the freedom to experiment and take risks with their work whilst developing their own style.



Studying this subject will enable you to:

  • Develop intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities.
  • Develop investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.
  • Develop independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating your own ideas, intentions and personal outcomes.
  • Gain experience of working with a broad range of media.
  • Gain an understanding of the inter-relationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate.


Course Specification

This is a broad course exploring practical and critical/contextual work through a range of 2D and/or 3D processes and media. You will explore, research and acquire techniques and develop your skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of media. You will work in two or more specialisms from those listed below (you may work in an area or areas of study within and/or across):

Fine Art: painting, printmaking or sculpture

Graphic Communication: areas illustration, packaging or advertising

Photography: traditional, digital or moving image

Textile Design: printed and digital textiles, fashion design or constructed textiles

Three-Dimensional Design: ceramics, product design or jewellery

Critical and Contextual Studies: art theory, artistic movements or architecture

Students are required to develop practical and theoretical understanding of relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources. You will show how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts and how they relate to time and place and to their social and cultural contexts.

You will also develop an understanding of continuity and change in different genres, styles and traditions, as well as a working vocabulary and specialist terminology.

During the course, you will be required to demonstrate skills in the following:

  • Record experiences and observations in a variety of ways using drawing or other appropriate visual forms; undertake research and gather, select and organise visual and other appropriate information
  • Explore relevant resources; analyse, discuss and evaluate images, objects and artefacts; and make and record independent judgements
  • Use knowledge and understanding of the work of others to develop and extend thinking and inform own work
  • Generate and explore potential lines of enquiry using appropriate media and techniques
  • Apply knowledge and understanding in making images and artefacts; review and modify work; plan and develop ideas in the light of their own and others’ evaluations
  • Organise, select and communicate ideas, solutions and responses, and present them in a range of visual, tactile and/or sensory forms.


Examining Board Information

Board: OCR

Course Code: H600

Click the image on the right to download the full course specification.

Art Gallery

Here are some examples of A Level work produced by previous students.

For more examples, please view our online art gallery:

Assessment Format

Component 1: Personal investigation

A portfolio of practical work showing student's personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus, devised and provided by the learner or centre AND a related study: an extended response of a guided minimum of 1000 words.

This component is worth 60% of the overall marks for this qualification.

Component 2: Externally set task

The early release paper will be issued on 1 February and will provide learners with a number of themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli.  A response should be based on one of these options.

This component is worth 40% of the overall marks for this qualification.


Course Entry Requirements

This course requires a Grade 6 or above in GCSE English Art & Design.

Students not meeting the grade requirements can submit a portfolio of work which will be assessed.

Employability Skills

Employability Skills are essential skills, personal qualities and values that will enable you to thrive in any workplace. Along with good technical understanding and subject knowledge, employers often outline a set of skills that they want from an employee.

This course will help you to develop the following employability skills:

  • An ability to critique own and other's work
  • Self confidence and awareness
  • Exhibition and portfolio preparation skills
  • Problem solving and time management skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Independent working and working under time limits
  • Self motivation and decisiveness
  • The ability to communicate ideas


Next Steps

Successful A Level Art students can go on to study a range of Art & Design foundation and degree courses, nationally and internationally, and train in their area of specialism. 

All around us artists create the world we inhabit, and contribute to a thriving and important industry which has a vast range of exciting career options and choices.


10 Possible Careers

  • Architecture
  • Fashion Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Interior Design
  • Model-making
  • New Media Design
  • Photography
  • Printing
  • Stage / Set Design

Student Profile: Amy

Former School



A Level Accounting

A Level Business

BTEC Sport

"I chose Warlingham because it was local to me and I knew the teachers very well so I knew they would push me to be the best I can be.

I am very interested in forensic science and want to become a crime scene investigator for the Police.  The Russell Group here has supported me to prepare well for university and my next steps."