Art, Craft and Design A-Level (AQA)

Course Overview

Entry Qualifications

In addition to the standard College entry requirements (see below), this course normally requires a student to have achieved Grade 4 or above in a GCSE Art and Design course or Grade 4 in GCSE Design and Technology (Graphic Products or Resistant Materials). To fully support students who have gained a Grade 4 in GCSE in an Art and Design or Design Technology subject, or those who have not had the opportunity to study these subjects at GCSE, we will ask you to do a short drawing task as part of the enrolment procedure. This is to ensure you can successfully meet the rigours of the course. It would also be helpful if you could bring with examples of your creative work on enrolment day.

What will I study?

This is a visual arts A-level course which will enable you study 2D disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking and digital arts. You will also study ceramics techniques as part of the development of project work. The course will give you the chance to explore the many different aspects of Art, Craft and Design practice and its underlying theory. You will explore the work of practitioners to inform your work and learn analytical skills. You will be able to specialise in particular disciplines in the second year.

  • 2D visual language through investigating drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media and computer based imaging. 3D visual language through investigating a wide variety of materials and processes.
  • The exam unit challenges you to resolve an externally set project in the second year. You will have the opportunity to specialise 2 within particular disciplines in the second year.

How will I study?

For each component you will be taught technical skills and variety creative developmental approaches, but the emphasis is on you – you are encouraged to explore for yourself, make your own discoveries, and develop your own patterns of working in consultation with your teachers. You will produce a variety of work and use a sketchbook to research and analyse your ideas. You will have studio bases in the art studio and ceramics studio, workshops for wood, metal and with specialist art and design resources including computer, printmaking and stone carving facilities. Teaching staff and technicians who have a wide range of experience and qualifications within the arts will support your work. A wealth of reference material and other resource sites can be found in the College library, the subject VLE site and other resource sites. Many projects will be backed up with visits to museums and galleries, also professional studio/workshop visits.

How is the course examined?

The 2 components are assessed on the evidence in your Portfolio and sketch books. The marks you get for each component are added together to give your final grade for the A-level.

Where next?

The usual progression route for Art and Design students is to a Foundation course in Art and Design, and from there to a degree course. Each year many students successfully gain direct entry onto Arts degree of their choice.

What does the course combine well with?

The course can be taken alongside any A-level subjects, including another specialist Art and Design A-level

College Entry Requirements

We normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects; these must:

  • demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study
  • have been achieved at grade 4 or grade C as a minimum
  • normally include two at grade 5 or at grade B as a minimum
  • include English Language at a minimum of Grade 4

Mathematics – If not achieved within the scope of the above should be achieved at a minimum of grade 3.


A WQE student working on the tills in the canteen

Student Till Operatives

This year, WQE has been working closely with our new catering company, Aramark, to provide students with new opportunities, including student employment. We recruited a small number of students to

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