Fine Art
Type: A Level
Entry Requirements: Two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE to include a minimum of a grade 4 in Maths and English Language. However, due to the new GCSE grading, we do recommend that you are working towards at least a grade 5 in both Maths and English Language. Students must also have a grade C in an Art related subject and a portfolio of work. Applicants who are not studying a GCSE Art related subject, but who have a strong portfolio will be considered for an interview.
Start Date: Sept 2017
Length: 2 years
Course Overview

An A Level in Fine Art allows you to explore the world of art in an imaginative and personal way, developing ideas using a range of media. We’ll help you to push the boundaries of artistic talents but most importantly, we will help you to build a comprehensive portfolio of work which will be invaluable for your university application. Visits to galleries will be encouraged. You will learn a range of experimental mark making techniques using a wide range of mixed media, as well as developing your 3D, printmaking, sculpting, drawing and painting skills, giving you the opportunity to showcase the full range of your creative abilities. All your studies will be supported by contextual research into the work of other artists (both historic and contemporary).

What will I learn?

Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, installation and printmaking.

Component 1
This personal investigation consists of coursework with no time limit and is worth 60% of the marks. Students choose one of the six titles available and work on this throughout the course. Students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or a series of related outcomes. It must be supported in the second year by written work of between 1000-3000 words.

Component 2
This is an assignment that we set, worth 40% of the A Level. Each title will have its own paper with a choice of 8 questions to be used as starting points; of which you will choose 1. After a period of preparation, students have 10 hours (year 1) and 15 hours (year 2) of supervised time to produce a final outcome. Your work can be presented as design sheets, sketchbooks, models or workbooks.

How will the course be assessed?

You will be assessed according to the following objectives

  • Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
  • Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

As an Art and Design student you will be given the opportunity to attend a variety of industry trips and specialist visits which might include galleries in Liverpool and Manchester, the National Film and Media Museum, artist studios and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.


We have fantastic spacious studio spaces with specialist equipment including printmaking tools, a photography studio and dark room with industry standard editing software.

Materials and other information

Students will pay a consumable fee of approximately £50. This covers the cost of 2 sketch books, 2 mount card and a compulsory visit to Manchester or Liverpool galleries, plus £15 contribution towards art materials.

Progression and Careers

Some universities require students to complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FAD) at College before progressing; we offer this at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form.

Former students have gone on to study art-related disciplines at a number of top universities, including the University of Edinburgh, the London College of Fashion, the University of Manchester, Kingston University and Leeds College of Art, studying a broad range of degrees such as Fine Art, Fashion and Textile Retailing, Interior and Spatial Design, Marketing, and Fashion Communication and Promotion to name but a few.

Ready to apply?

Apply online or download an application form to become part of Nelson and Colne College.

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