Art & Design

Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE art (if taken). Grade 5 in GCSE maths and English language.
Portfolio required to judge suitability if art not taken or predicted below 6 at GCSE

Course Content

Why art & design?
A level art and design provides a fantastic opportunity for students to explore their creative talents. One in every six jobs in the UK held by graduates is in the creative economy, showing the importance of art as a subject.
Art students at Woodhouse develop their creativity and produce a diverse range of creative work. Essential skills in drawing, painting, print, 3D, problem-solving, research, critical analysis, experimenting and presentation are all a part of the course. Many of these skills are transferable across other subjects and are highly valuable in all areas of education and work.
More than 50% of art students progress onto creative courses such as architecture, history of art, animation, and art and design foundation. This includes institutions such as UCL (the Bartlett School of Architecture), the Courtauld Institute of Art, Central Saint Martins and many others. Many art students also progress onto non-art-related degree courses.
Course content
The course centres mostly on fine-art approaches and in year one you will explore techniques from a variety of stimuli while completing practical projects. This will include man-made and natural forms, the human figure, landscape, architecture and other starting points.
Your art skills and techniques will develop through taught workshops and research. You will learn to analyse the work of well-known artists and develop personal themes, producing final outcomes that show your skills and ideas. These can be in the form of sculptures, paintings, mixed-media work, textiles, ceramics and other forms.
In year two, students have the opportunity to develop their own project ideas using all the skills acquired in year one.
Mark Scheme
Coursework - 60%
Personal investigation
  • Students produce a portfolio of work over a number of weeks including supporting work and final piece - 72 marks
  • This will also include a written personal study of 1,000 to 3,000 words - 18 marks
Exam - 15 hours - 40%
Externally set assignment
  • Students produce a portfolio of work over many weeks, then produce an unaided piece of work in a timed exam

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

Can I take art A level if I didn’t study it at GCSE?

If you are applying for a place at Woodhouse College to study Art and you didn’t take Art and Design at GCSE you will need to submit examples of your work to the art department.
Your Art Work:
We would like to see examples of your work that will show us that you could cope with the course and more importantly, that the course is the right one for you.
We are looking for:
  • Observational drawings from objects (not copies from books or other images) in any medium.
  • Some examples of artwork that you like with some writing to explain your choices.
  • Enthusiasm for Art!
Tip: when drawing, try to find objects which interest you and that have enough lines or shapes to challenge you.
When you apply, you will be asked to submit some artwork that can be shown to the art department.A decision will be made on viewing this as to your suitability for the course, but the department do not have any influence on whether or not you are offered a place at Woodhouse.

Can I take photography as a separate A level?

No, but we use photography constantly throughout the course as a means to record ideas and relevant source material, for use in collage and other mixed media work. Students have access to photoshop and drawing tablets and there is an extracurricular photography course involving the dark room (covid permitting).

I want to do graphic design at university but you don’t do a separate graphics course, should I take the A level?

Our course is fine art based and therefore you would have to think carefully about the type of work you enjoy and whether this would suit you. However, many of our students do go on to study Graphic Design at university or Art college using portfolios produced from their A level work.

What art resources do you have?

Students are taught in two, very well equipped art studios - stocked with an enormous selection of high quality drawing, painting, printing and textiles media.
There is also:
  • a 3D and ceramics area with a kiln
  • a fully functioning photographic darkroom.
  • a dedicated art library stocked with 1000's of art books and magazines
  • a suite of art computers equipped with photoshop.
  • a large scale digital printer, colour photocopier and screen printing exposure unit.
Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls
"In lessons, teachers allow you to work independently and do your own thing at the same time as giving incredible help and advice. Art lessons are never boring! At Woodhouse, you get to try out loads of new media and techniques which really broaden your art skills.
I came to Woodhouse to experience what it's like to have more independence - it is like a steppingstone between secondary school and the real world/university, and I think this is really helpful. But teachers here still offer so much support and motivation. There will always be someone to turn to if you have any problems and everyone is so friendly.
As you are only surrounded with people the same age as you, I feel like you are encouraged to mature and shape your own identity.
I have always loved art and my experience at Woodhouse has made me want to study Fine Art at university."
East Barnet School
"I enjoy the variety and excitement of my art lessons. My teachers are passionate about guiding me in my project, and I am grateful to have so much creative freedom.
I chose to study art because I love expressing my ideas creatively and bringing together ideas into a final piece. I am applying for art foundation and can definitely see myself pursuing a career in the creative industry.
I chose to come to Woodhouse because I felt that a new environment would challenge me and present opportunities (socially and academically) that my secondary school couldn’t. I like the independent, friendly atmosphere and feel supported and encouraged in my A levels and future prospects.
I have made meaningful friendships and grown as a person at Woodhouse."

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