Art, Design & Photography

Awarding organisation

Awarding Body:

Qualifications on offer: A Level in Art & Design (Fine Art)

Summary of course

The Fine Art A Level course is a two year programme which focuses on the developing skills students have acquired during their study of Art at GCSE. The focus of the programme centres on students exploration of their drawing skills through drawing from still life and life models. As the course progresses students will experiment with a wide variety of materials both traditional and non-traditional in two and three dimensions allowing them to explore, research and acquire techniques to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding. Through project work there will be exploration of the work of other artists and its context and the opportunity to develop meaningful personal responses to set themes.

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units:

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape
  • Still life
  • Human form
  • Abstraction
  • Experimental imagery
  • Narrative
  • Installation
  • Working in a genre

All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

For further information about the course and the units you will study, please read the awarding body specification by clicking on the link below:

<ahref=“https://enter link here#tab-1” target=“_blank”>Awarding Body specification.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment of a student's knowledge, skills and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study for the full A Level or after one year for the AS Level.

There are two assessed components during the course:

  1. Personal Investigation - students will work to themes set internally to create a portfolio demonstrating their skills with media, materials and ideas and produce an extended written study which will show their understanding of the work of artists, historical context and genres of art. This element will be internally assessed and externally moderated

  2. Externally set task - towards the end of the course students will work towards a theme set by the exam board, researching, planning and completing a project which links to their aims. The final piece will be completed during a 15 hour examination. This element will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Your Study Programme

If you are aged 16-18, you will join a Study Programme. We will make sure you are working at the right level on your core qualification and are challenged to achieve the highest level of qualification you can. All students will continue to improve their maths and English and if you don't have a grade 4 (C) at GCSE, we will work with you towards achieving that goal. Work experience will be part of your study programme and complement your college study and prepare you for employment. You will also get involved in activities to help you develop life skills and to build your confidence so you can make progress in your career. Weekly timetables will include tutorial support which may comprise of full group activities or one to one sessions to discuss individual progress or support needs.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for you if you are interested in art and design and wish to gain a Level 3 qualification in art and design. It is part of the full-time A Level programme but students can enrol as part-time infill student.

This qualification provides the ideal structure for those students who wish to pursue Art and Design and want to progress to a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design or to a Degree course.

Progression and Career Opportunities

Students successfully completing this qualification are in a position to apply for a degree course in HE. Students are recommended to complete a foundation diploma in art and design before moving onto HE.

Find about more career opportunities and expected starting salaries by clicking on the 'What Can I Earn?' section of our website.

Entry Requirements for new students

Level Entry Requirements
Entry and Foundation: GCSEs, mainly 2-1 (F/G) grades. Satisfactory school reference*
Level 1: Four GCSEs at grade 2 (E) or above
Level 2: Four GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above
Level 3 BTEC Courses or equivalent: Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C)
Level 3 A Levels: Five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and Maths
Level 4/5: A Level 3 qualification such as: A Levels, BTEC Level 3, Access to HE, Advanced Apprenticeship; equivalent of 48 UCAS points
Specific Course Requirements: Standard A Level entry requirements including GCSE Art at grade 9-4 (A*-C)

*All applicants will be invited in for interview.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered except where English has been studied as a second language and is required at GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C).

Interview Requirements

You must bring your interview letter to your appointment and arrive 15 minutes before your interview is due to take place.

General Info (materials required for the course)

For more details contact us on 0300 123 2344.

Course fee information

All Students will need to enter or register for their course qualification either by examination entry or Board Registration. The course tutor will advise you how to enter or register for your qualification and of the College deadline. All late entries are subject to a late entry fee.

The following fees will be payable in full:

16-18 year olds

  • All re-sits except first re-sit of GCSE Mathematics and English
  • Unauthorised absences from any examination entered
  • Any examination/registration unsupported by your subject tutor
  • Late examination/registration entries
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

19 years or over

  • Level 1 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Level 2 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Second Full Level 3 course: You may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay for the course fees^2
  • Level 4 course: Loans may be available^2
  • All Levels: Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

Overseas Students

  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 1 of a 2-year course
  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 2 of a 2-year course
  • £350 non-refundable Examination/registration fee in Year 1
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

^1 Fee remission may be available if you are in receipt of a state benefit. ^2 Contact the Enrolment Centre for more information on 0300 123 2344.


student success

Melissa Mehrtens

Melissa Mehrtens

Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.The...

We are planning to offer this programme from September 2018. The full details for the 18/19 academic year will be available on the College website from the beginning of July 2018. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us or complete our easy online enquiry form.


Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address

Please select an enquiry topic
Please enter an enquiry message