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Course Code: NFAAR011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

If you enjoy Art and have a keen interest in the visual arts, or you might even be considering an art related career, this course will allow you to explore a broad range of media in developing your creative potential. The emphasis is on exploring and developing practical work while gaining insights and ideas from selected inspirational artists.

High standards of observational drawing, painting and other creative skills are the basis for producing highly expressive work on the course.

We recognise and celebrate the diversity of all the young people we work with and we’ll show you how to draw upon your own personality and experiences, helping you to find a meaningful form of personal self-expression which will provide a constant focus throughout the course.

Skills covered include:

  • Practical Research & Development
  • Curiosity & Creative Risk Taking
  • Experimentation & Practical Development
  • Art Appreciation & Analysis
  • Drawing, mark making and image making
  • Painting Media & Techniques
  • Collage, image transfer and mixed media
  • Printmaking & digital editing
  • Photography & image manipulation

The course has a very strong skills focus, developing not only the practical subject specific creative skills, but also the employability skills essential for progression into the Creative Industries e.g. problem solving, idea generation, literacy skills, presentation and communication skills, time management, team working and independent thinking skills.

The curriculum is designed to be challenging in order to build resilience and stretch you to achieve your full creative potential and enjoy your studies.

In addition to examples of your creative work, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. This should ideally include English Language and maths as well as a creative subject, however we actively encourage interested learners to apply and attend an informal interview to allow us to find out more about you, your career aspirations, predicted grades and creative ability.

100% Coursework

Year 1: Intensive Skills Building in a vast range of media and techniques

Year 2: You will study two components;

1. Personal Investigation (60%) - a major in-depth critical, practical and theoretical investigative project based on themes and subject matter that have personal significance, including an extended written element (min 1000 words) related to your practical investigations.

2. Externally Set Assignment (40%) - a shorter practical investigative project based on a topic selected from 12 set assignments provided by the Awarding Body. It consists of a period of research and portfolio development, followed by a period of 15 hours sustained focus study, to realise final outcomes.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Graeme Reed, Subject Leader, by emailing:

There has never been a time when the creative industries have been so buoyant, offering students a broad range of very real career opportunities.

Employers are desperately looking for imaginative people with appropriate creative thinking and independent learning skills, including sectors outside the Arts, like Science for example! A career in the creative industries gives you the opportunity to creatively challenge, inform and inspire others, as well as enabling you to have a direct influence on your own living and working environment.

Successful completion of the course is an excellent platform for progression to a Foundation Course or University degree in any field of Art or Design, leading you to a career in a whole range of specialist areas which might include; Fine Art, Illustration, Jewellery, Printmaking, Textiles/Surface Pattern, Photography, Fashion, Interior Design, Ceramic Design, Product Design, Crafts, Animation, Architecture and many others.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. 

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here