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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: WJEC EDUQAS

Why study Art and Design?


The UK creative industries were worth a record £76.9 billion to the UK economy in 2013. Growth in the creative industries was higher than in any other UK industry and was three times the average increase in the UK economy during this period.

The sectors, which include advertising, architecture, crafts, design, film, games, publishing, museums and galleries, music, technology and television, are an important source of job creation for the UK. 

Studying Art & Design at St Charles Sixth Form College is the first step to becoming part of the UK creative industries. The skills you will be taught as an Art student at St Charles will prepare you for a diverse range of pathways – whether you want to be a Vehicle Designer, Architect, or an Illustrator, St Charles can help you to prepare for the next step, and begin your creative career path.

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What can it lead to?

Most students who wish to pursue Art & Design beyond A Level go onto study an Art Foundation Diploma, and then access Higher Education, which is the preferred route for most creative degree courses. In progression routes where a Foundation Diploma is not a requirement (Architecture for example), many students also progress straight to degree level.

The department has built links with many leading creative universities, and many students gain places at prestigious institutions such as University of the Arts London Colleges (Central Saint Martins, CCW, LCC LCF), The Royal Drawing School, Ravensbourne, Middlesex, and further afield in Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Newcastle and many more.

The range of specialisms applied for is diverse, but may include Fine Art, Graphic Design, Animation, Architecture, Product Design, Engineering, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Surface Pattern, Photography, Fashion promotion and styling, Marketing and Computer Games Design. All our students who wish to progress to either Art Foundation Diploma or an undergraduate degree are successful in doing so.

How is the course organised?

Exam Board – EDUQAS

A Level is Delivered in 2 years, the qualification consists of 3 components – Component 1: Personal Creative Enquiry 2: Personal Investigation (60% of A Level) and Component 3: Externally Set Assignment (40% of A Level). Components are internally assessed and then externally moderated.

How is the course assessed?

The A Level qualification is assessed against 4 main criteria:

A01: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

A02: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

A03: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.

A04: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.


What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements for A Level courses are six GCSEs grades 9-4, including a Grade 4 and above in this subject.

 If you do not have a GCSE in Art & Design, a strong portfolio of work that demonstrates an appropriate ability is acceptable on interview. This will allow us to diagnose the appropriate course and level for you. 

We require students to buy an Art kit upon arrival to the department at a cost of £25 this will include sketchbooks/paper, paints, pens and pencils, brushes, colour digital printing, stencils and mount board/foam board for exhibition purposes. The department provides all other specialist materials that may be used.


Who are the teachers?

The Art and Design department comprises of 3 teachers and 1 specialist technician with expertise in a wide range of techniques and processes. Department staff have studied and worked at a number of prestigious colleges including; Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, London College of Fashion and The Royal College of Art.

All of the department staff continue in their own practice, engaging with contemporary art and design – this includes the following areas; Ceramics, Photography, Jewelry, Fine Art, Illustration, Graphic Design, Product design and Interior Accessories and Games Design.

Head of Department is Claire Hemsley she has been teaching for 13 years. If you have any further questions regarding the courses within Art and Design and Photography please contact her either via email or via the main switchboard 0208 968 7755.

What do students say about the course?

"My experience of studying in the Art department has been very positive and also enjoyable. I was really impressed with the guidance and support the teachers offer the students in order to achieve high grades. The support was also available after school, and sometimes on Saturdays. I would recommend the Art Department, as the teachers have a lot of experience and will guide students on the right path to get the best possible grade." 


"I enjoy studying in the Art Department. The teachers are great, and our lessons are fun and enjoyable. In studying Art for 2 years I have been able to build my confidence in my work, with the support from all the staff in the department. I would recommend the Art Department to others because it's a great place to build up your self-confidence. I have made great friends through our shared love of art. My Art class has become like family."

Extra Curricular

There are many extra curricular courses and events to get involved in as a student in the Art Department. Recent examples include an in house photography and bookmaking course in collaboration with a local hospital, a Photography course and exhibition at Central Saint Martins, Summer schools in Product Design, Interior & Spatial Design, Fashion Design, Photography and Textiles with Ravensbourne, Chelsea and Camberwell College of Arts, an animation course with the Courtauld gallery, as well as in house life drawing sessions. We also invite tutors from higher education in to offer portfolio advice to support students applying to higher education. See more of our student work, and hear what students have to say about us by visiting our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages: