Creative skills are in high demand from the UK’s hugely successful creative industries. A Level Art and Design is an ideal subject to take if you are looking to develop your creative skills. Art and Design equips you with a combination of practical creative skills and design theory. Many of these skills are transferable and can be applied to a wide range of future careers/jobs. In Art and Design you will learn to harness your own imagination, creativity and resourcefulness as well as developing a critical awareness of your own creations and to be able to reflect on what works and what doesn’t.
What is A Level Art and Design all about?
Art and Design is a creative course, involving both practical work and critical appreciation. This A Level is well respected by UK and non UK universities. At Gateshead College Sixth Form, we have a dynamic and individual-centred approach - one that emphasises flexibility and creativity. Although technique is a vital element of the course, we are above all interested in allowing you to develop your own artistic style and opinions - your own voice.
What does the course consist of?
- Unit 1 is a 'Coursework Portfolio', which consists of practical-based work and a critical study based on artists or themes in art. Unit 2 is a practically based timed exam.
- Unit 3 combines practical work with a critical study based on artists or themes in art.
- Unit 4 is a practically based timed exam.
Who does the subject suit?
If you are already aiming to apply to art school or work as an artist or architect, you are likely already to be interested in and suited to this A Level. You will find that the course offers plenty of opportunity to hone your skills and develop as an artist.
The course is not, however, solely suitable for aspiring career artists; it could make an excellent addition to your A Level programme, whatever your ambitions may be. Art and Design may broaden the scope of an otherwise primarily essay-based or scientific selection of subjects. Your Art GCSE grade is probably the best indication of your ability to pursue the A Level - but we may also take students into the AS course on the strength of their ability to demonstrate interest in the subject and a motivation to develop their skills.
How is Art and Design taught at Gateshead College?
We aim to provide a flexible and creative environment for making art both in terms of the atmosphere of the department and the facilities we offer by providing you with access to facilities and teaching across a broad range of media and artistic disciplines, we'll allow you to determine the directions you take, rather than prescribing a set medium or discipline. Accordingly, we have a good range of facilities for drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics. Art students may also access the equipment from other A Level departments, such as Photography. Life-classes are scheduled together with our foundation students and help students develop work direct from observation. We regularly visit local museums and galleries to allow students to see original art by great artists at first hand.
Perhaps the most significant quality of this course is the high degree of freedom you'll be afforded in terms of your choice of themes and the ways in which you can develop your art. Class sizes at AS and A Level never go above eight students, so it is easy to devise and monitor individual programmes of study. Our students seem to appreciate this approach and it has brought them considerable exam success.
Who will teach me?
Sarah Latheron is Curriculum Leader for Creative Programmes. Other members of the teaching staff include Victoria Wainwright and Paula Newton. Sarah is recent graduate of the just recently completed MA Fine Art and Education, delivered by Northumbria University in partnership with BALTIC.
Sarah was awarded the honour of having four pieces of her artwork exhibited at BALTIC in Gateshead after winning the centre’s Artist Teacher Award in 2014. The gallery’s director, Godfrey Worsdale, selected Sarah as this year’s recipient for her exhibition ‘Force’ which he described as “compelling”.
What might the subject lead onto?
Students frequently go on to take up places on foundation courses at top UK Art schools. In recent years, for instance, students have been offered places at University of Arts, London Colleges such as Plymouth and Leeds Metropolitan. We also provide expert advice in portfolio preparation for applications to architecture degree courses. Of course, though, by no means all of our Art students pursue higher education or careers in Art, and many study the subject at A Level before going on to specialise in other areas.
Our students who have taken A Level Art have progressed on to form careers in advertising and marketing, architecture, product, graphic and fashion design. Students also progress into film, TV, video, radio and photography, IT, software design, publishing, museums, galleries, performing and the visual arts.