Fine ArtA Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

Fine Art offers excellent opportunities to use and develop your imaginative and creative talents through intensive drawing and painting-based lessons. It combines well with most other subjects, although students looking for careers in specific fields of artistic design often choose to take one or two other visual arts courses.

Grade 5 or above in Art is required, if taken at GCSE. Higher grades in GCSE Art preferred. Evidence of confident drawing ability shown through a portfolio will be required at interview for all candidates.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

Fine Art students work with a range of drawing and painting media and techniques. This course is recommended for students who enjoy devising creative work from observation and who are also comfortable with the use of a broad range of drawing media and methods. The course is 2D based. The emphasis, in order to meet the exam board requirements, is on drawing skills and developing students ability with mark making and usage of colour skills in particular. Additionally, composition and how to effectively synthesise foreground with background will be an essential developmental skill that students should expect to acquire.

On this course, students will develop technical skills in the use of drawing and painting media, honing their creative abilities. Students will look at the work of other artists and, through sustained practical projects, will improve their own observational drawing ability. The course will help students develop a sophisticated visual aesthetic, and understand the use of colour and mark making style and technique, encouraging them to be self-critical and inquisitive. Having a passionate interest in both painting and drawing is an essential requirement for this course.

60% Personal Investigation, 40% externally-set practical exam

The students’ coursework is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Opportunities for students on this course in the past have included submission of work to the Royal Academy student competition, mural design work, and taking part in the NCS summer school programme. The College’s E6 Programme in general can help you realise your aspirations with support for CV and personal statement writing and help to start your own business or develop your communication and people skills.

Fine Art is a hugely versatile A level and an excellent combination subject with any other A level – in particular those of creative subjects such as Architecture and Graphics, where drawing skill and ability can offer students a distinct advantage with practical work on these courses. The A level in Fine Art offers an excellent career pathway for students wishing to study commercial illustration at degree level.

This is a practical course with major deadlines for coursework set for the end of January, for both first and second years of study. In addition, first-year mock practical exams and second-year actual practical exams generally run between the last week of April through to the third week of May, with exam papers being issued for these at the start of February.