Art & Design

Why choose Art & Design?

Discover what it means to be a creative and imaginative visual artist.

Are you keen to consider progression in graphics, product or game design, textiles, fashion, architecture or any of the wide ranging options available in the visual arts and the creative industries? Or perhaps you simply enjoy being visually creative and hope to further strengthen your skills in this area. If so, the Art and Design A level is definitely the course for you.

Our course is designed to build on the skills and enthusiasm you bring. We will help you acquire new skills, broaden your knowledge, and help give you the confidence you need to achieve your full potential in this rich and exciting subject area. 

The Art & Design department is a lively and friendly teaching and learning environment, where individual ideas, experimentation and risk-taking are encouraged. All the staff are practising artists and have a wide range of specialist interests and expertise. You will have one main teacher and there is flexibility for you to try a range of methods of working. The staff operate as a team to share knowledge and to support students.
We also offer the following broad areas of specialism which reflect the organisation of the teaching studios and the expertise of staff: 
  • Sculpture – this can also include ceramics, or aspects of 3D design and architecture, mixed media and construction.
  • Textiles – this can also include constructed textiles, batik, mixed media and painting. Please note this is not a Technology Textiles course, instead this is an area where students can use textiles in an art context, creating items and objects that have aesthetic qualities rather than strictly functional ones. The relationship between art textiles and fashion can also be explored.
  • Painting – this can cover a very broad range from closely observed realistic images to experimental approaches to the use of paint and mixed media, and either representational or abstract work.
  • Graphics – students may use a graphical approach e.g. using digital media and/or text and image, creating designs for advertising etc.

If you are apply and are invited to the informal guidance interview, we will ask you to select a first and a second choice from the options of sculpture, textiles, painting or graphics as detailed above. This is to assist with the organisation of groups and is not a separate course choice. It is important to remember that many of you have most experience in painting and 2D work at the pre-16 stage of your art education. Opportunities to gain exciting experiences in new areas of study are a feature of the Art and Design at Hills Road.

Study visits
We go on a variety of gallery visits, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, V&A, National Gallery, Sainsbury Centre UEA and various London galleries. We also run art study visits abroad; recent destinations have included Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.

“It was liberating to be able to take the projects in my own direction, always with the constant support and guidance from my teachers. I also liked the ability to try new techniques and media, for example using great sculpture facilities.”

Some frequently asked questions about A level Art & Design at Hills Road

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Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in Art or if not studied at GCSE, GCSE grade B in Design and Technology (textiles, graphics or 3D design) or relevant Diploma at merit level or above

Awarding Body

OCR - assessment for the qualification is taken in Year 13

Units of Study

Year 13

Art & Design - Unit 1

Unit 1: Personal Investigation (internally assessed and externally moderated) 60% of total A level

Art & Design - Unit 2

Unit 2: Externally Set Task (internally assessed and externally moderated) 40% of total A level.