Topic outline

  • General

    Course outline

    Component 1: Coursework and Personal Investigation

    Year 1

    Unit 1: The Human Condition (portraiture project)

    This unit is designed to develop skill and understanding. It deals with the relationship between practice / working knowledge of materials and techniques and contextual understanding- how and why a work is successful. The emphasis is on process as part of an analytical mind-set.


    Unit 2: Personal Investigation

    This unit develops a much stronger combination of theory and practice. Students are expected to develop their practical skills independently in a personal way while fully contextualising its progress. Students explore an aspect of art in a reasoned and well thought out essay.

    This essay / dissertation can consist of

    • An exhibition / visual display of images collected or produced by the student with a written text (minimum 1000 words)
    • A study in book form, which may include images produced by the student, and a written text (between 1000 to 3000 words)
    • A presentation on CD or DVD with a text (minimum 1000 words)


    Year 2

    This part of the course is very demanding and requires a mature and dedicated approach. The work has a similar methodology, but the approach is very independent.

    Unit 2: Personal Investigation completed

    The written component and the practical component completed

    (60% of the qualification)


    Component 2: Externally Set Assignment / Exam


    Unit 3: Externally set assignment / Exam

    Sketchbook / preparation and exam work - final timed outcome.

    (40% of the qualification)

    Students receive an AQA examination paper in January, this has 8 questions / starting points, students choose one to pursue as an extended project. There is a preparation period (approximately 10 weeks) followed by the 15hr exam (completed in late April or early May).