GCSE Art and Design

What will I learn?

GCSE Art and Design is all about developing visual ideas and for those individuals who enjoy making practical pieces of artwork. The main areas are drawing and painting, mixed-media, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture; but there are also opportunities for digital imaging.

An enquiring mind and a willingness to learn new techniques is essential. You will learn about significant artists and designers from the past and about contemporary artists too. The skills you learn will be varied: Among them will be a working knowledge of the materials, techniques and technology. You will also be shown how to analyse and experiment and know how to move your ideas forward.

The specific skills you will develop may vary depending on the area of study you choose to major in, for example drawing, painting, printing, 3D, graphic design or photography.

Thinking skills will be developed alongside the practical activities to encourage creative thinking. Students become aware of art theory and wider cultural influences. Students keep a sketchbook, to explore themes and develop personal response for projects. Digital cameras may support this creative process

How will I be assessed?

Coursework is worth 60%: The Personal Portfolio. For the coursework you will complete two projects.

Practical Examination is worth 40%: This will take the form of a broad theme – for example it could be something like “Journeys” or “Time”. You will have eight weeks to prepare for the timed test. At the end of this period you will sit a 10 hour timed examination during which you will produce your final piece(s) of work.

The 4 Assessment Objectives are:

  • Develop ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding.
  • Refine ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniquesand processes.
  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions in visual and/or other forms.
  • Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.

What are the entry requirements?

The main requirement is that you enjoy having visual ideas and a desire to learn practical skills. If you are interested in art or design and you have an aptitude for the subject – if you are creative or ”good at drawing” – you may have the basic skills to succeed. It is also necessary to be interested in the meaning behind practical work and finding the right technique and form to express your idea.

Is there anything else I need to know?

It is not just about being “good” at drawing or painting it is about having an interest in all things visual, wanting to learn more and make something new.

Extra costs

Students studying GCSE will have the opportunity to purchase sketchbooks and assorted art materials to enable students to complete work independently.

Future opportunities

Art & Design GCSE can lead to an AS or A level in Art & Design or a BTEC Level or equivalent. If you know the area of art, craft or design you want to specialise in you could study for the National Certification or National Diploma in Art & Design. There are a vast number of courses at university under the umbrella of art & design. Some possible careers in Art and Design are :Advertising designer, Animator, Art therapist, Ceramicist, Corporate identity designer, Editorial illustrator, Electronic image designer, Exhibition designer, Fashion illustrator, Fashion stylist,Film director/producer, maker, Fine art conservator,, Furniture designer, Gallery administrator, Illustrator, Image animator, Industrial designer, Interior designer,, Landscape designer, Lettering artist, Magazine designer, Model maker, Photographer, Printmaker, Publicity designer, Sculptor, Silversmith/jeweller, Teacher, Technical illustrator, Theatre designer and Typographer.

Exam board: AQA GCSE Art & Design

Who should I contact for extra information?