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Art and Design is an exploration of practical and critical/contextual work through a range of 2D and/or 3D processes and mediums. It provides a platform for further study of the arts, a background for other fields of study and develops creative thinking skills.

This subject is also referred to as Art, Craft and Design to distinguish it from the subject umbrella of Art and Design which also includes Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Communication, Textile Design and Three-dimensional Design.

Key Facts

Start Dates:

  • 9 September 2024
  • 6 January 2025


  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • London
  • Oxford

Entry level:

  • Academic: Completed 10 years of schooling (GCSE or equivalent)
  • English: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Minimum age:

  • 16


  • 2 Academic Years (3 terms)
  • We also offer entry from Year 12


  • Average 7 hours per week for each A-level subject (plus homework and private study)

Learning outcomes

  • Gain UK national university entrance qualification
  • Raise English to university level
  • Develop study skills required at degree level
  • Develop specialist subject expertise

Course content and structure

The following syllabus outline is based on AQA exam board content. Please note that exam boards may vary from college to college.

Course structure

AS Component 1: The Portfolio

  • Students choose ONE of the following 6 skills and techniques and work on that throughout the course.
  • Art, craft and design
  • Fine art
  • Graphic communication
  • Textile design
  • 3D design
  • Photography
  • Students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme, leading to a final outcome or a series of related outcomes.

AS Component 2: Assignment

  • At the start of February students will be given question papers according to the skills and techniques they have chosen. The paper will have 5 questions, from which they choose one as a starting point for their work.
  • Towards the end of the course students will have 10 hours of supervised time to produce a finished outcome or a series of related outcomes.

A-level Component 1: Personal Investigation

  • Students choose one of the same 6 skills and techniques (it may be the same as the one they did for AS) and work on that throughout their course. 
  • They develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or a series of related outcomes, supported by written work (1,000 – 3,000 words).

A-level Component 2: Assignment

  • At the beginning of February students receive a question paper with a choice of 8 questions from which they choose one as a starting point for their work. Towards the end of the course they will have 15 hours of supervised time in which they produce a finished outcome or a series of related outcomes. 
  • Within each component, students must demonstrate evidence that they have explored critical and contextual work through a range of two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional processes and media.

Typical A-level subject combinations with Art and Design

Sample enrichment activities

  • A-Level students visit museums and galleries both locally and nationally to research areas of interest relevant to the development of their ideas. 
  • Students are invited to attend regular life drawing classes at Oxford. 
  • Students will present their work through regular critiques to refine and hone their skills as well as showcase their work in an annual exhibition, which is moderated by an AQA examiner.

Sample academic calendar (2023-2024 and 2024-25)

Year 1


11th: term starts
Student induction


23rd – 27th: half term
Progress tests


University fairs and talks


15th: term ends
End of term exams


8th: term starts


15th – 16th: half term
Progress tests
University fairs


End of term exams
22nd: term ends


8th: term starts


Progress tests


14th: term ends

Year 2


9th Sept: term starts


21st Oct – 1st Nov: half term
15th October: UCAS deadline (Medicine)
Progress tests


University fairs and talks


13th: term ends
End of term exams


6th: term starts
15th January: UCAS deadline (other subjects)


13th – 14th: half term
Progress tests


21st: term ends
Mock exams


7th: term starts
Progress tests


Final exams


13th June: term ends

Degree progression

Studying Art and Design at A-level equips students with a whole set of transferable skills both for life and for a wide range of vocational areas. A-level Art and Design is perfect for those students wishing to undertake further studies in art, craft and design related subjects. Many students progress onto art related courses, which sometimes involves studying an Art foundation course such as the Kings Art Foundation. This is a one year full-time course that allows students to explore a range of disciplines before deciding which specialist area they want to study at degree level.

Example degree courses which often require Art and Design A-level include:

  • Fine Art
  • Textile Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Graphics and Advertising
  • Photography
  • Multimedia
  • Architecture
  • Product Design
  • Illustration

Sample alumni progression

Yeqian Gao

  • Art/Physics/Maths
  • Newcastle University (Architecture)

Fatima Hashemi

  • Art/Physics/Maths/Further Maths
  • University of California (Architecture)

Jung Eun Kim

  • Art/Physics/Maths/Further Maths
  • University of Sheffield (Architecture)

Mira Merali

  • Art/Politics/Russian/History
  • University of Art, Norwich (Art and the History of Art)

Heilun Pang

  • Art/Physics/Maths
  • University of the Arts Bournemouth (Animation Production)

Thank you for your enquiry.
We'll be in touch soon.
The Kings Admissions Team