A-Level Art & Design (Fine Art)

Start date(s):
7 Sep 2020
2 years
Level 3
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Awarded by:
AQA (Assessment & Qualifications Alliance)
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
Currently unavailable


This exciting A-Level Art course places an emphasis on your ability to research, develop and work through a range of ideas in order to find solutions that are sensitive and appropriate to the theme. This will involve exploring other artists’ work as well as making visual and written inquiries.

You will also develop your artistic skills and gain confidence in your own creativity. You will explore different techniques, processes and materials, show an understanding of the formal elements and how they can be used to explore ideas and concepts, show evidence of independence and develop an ability to resolve problems and put work in context.

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Afternoon tea

Norwegians arrive

New College Durham Sixth Form welcomed Norwegian students from Elvebakken School in Oslo to study A-Levels.

Norwegian Party

Christmas Festivities

Our Norwegian and Sixth Form students embraced Christmas traditions during their end of term party.

SFC Results Day 2016 - group shot

Students celebrate impressive A-Level results

Students and staff from our Sixth Form Centre celebrated a 100% pass rate in 16 subjects.

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A-Level students visit Durham University

A-Level students visited Durham University as part of Welcome Week.

FE General student 3

Teesside University Open Day

The Sixth Form A2 students attended the Teesside University Open Day.

durham visit

Durham University visit

Our Sixth Form students visited Durham University to learn about the opportunities available through higher education.

Sixth Form Centre logo

Making the right choice at UCAS Higher Education Convention

Students attended the UCAS Higher Education Convention at Teesside University.

Applied Science

Oxbridge visits for Sixth Form Students

12 of our AS students attended an Oxbridge student conference. 

Comic Relief 2015

Comic Relief 2015

Students raise a fantastic £482.69 for Comic Relief.

SFC Media 2

Bite the Ballot

Students took part in fun and interactive activities designed to inspire an interest in politics.

A-level results

Celebrating excellent A-Level results

The college has received an impressive set of A-Level results enabling students to be accepted onto top university courses.

A Level results news

Celebrating an astounding 97.9% pass rate

New College Durham students have been celebrating an 97.9% pass rate.

NCD Hosts norwegians

Sixth Form Centre hosts Norwegian Students

Twenty four students from Elvebakken College, Oslo, will be spending the following academic year studying with us.


  • To develop the skills and understanding required to progress to higher education or within the creative industry
  • To explore appropriate materials, processes and techniques with purpose
  • To develop and demonstrate understanding of the language of Art and Design.


Year 1:
Component 1 – Portfolio
  • Must include at least one extended personal project
  • Portfolios may include an introductory project
  • Carefully selected additional work may be included
  • Portfolios should provide evidence of the development of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Component 2 - Exam
Question papers provide a range of starting points.
  • 10-hour period of supervised time at the end of the course.
  • Preparatory work must be completed by the first session.
  • In the 10-hour period you must produce finished work.
  • Work produced in the 10-hour period must be clearly identified.

Year 2:
Component 1 - Personal Investigation
  • A practical unit supported by written material
  • The Personal Investigation must lead to finished work
  • Coherent, in-depth study
  • You should demonstrate understanding of the AOs.
  • Critical/contextual work
  • Selection of appropriate contextual material is important
  • Contextual material can inform your work in a variety of ways
  • Contextual material can help you to consider different approaches.

Component 1 – Written element
  • 1000–3000 words of continuous prose
  • You should make clear connections between practical and written work
  • Written material can be presented in a variety of ways
  • A bibliography must be included.

Component 2 - Exam
Separate papers for each Title
  • Papers include eight questions which provide a broad range of starting points
  • The 15-hour period should be used to produce finished work
  • Work produced in the 15 hours must be identified.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week



Day and time of study will be confirmed before the start of your course.

Teaching & assessment

You will be taught by lecturers who are specialists in their subjects. Teaching is classroom based and involves group work and individual work. Independent study is essential outside of the classroom and frequent homework will be given.

You will sit monthly in-class assessments, for which you will receive extensive feedback, as well as other assessments throughout the academic year which will help you track your progress.

Terminal assessments will be through both portfolio work and written exams.

Maths and English

Stobo Castle

Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.


Work placements are an important part of the programme and you will be given assistance in finding a suitable position.

This A-Level, in combination with other subjects, could enable you to apply for degree courses in Architecture, or Art and Design.

Meet our students

Students Web - Paige Roddam

Paige Roddam

Having achieved A grades in Art and English Literature and B grades in History and Pscology at New College Durham in 2013, Paige is currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English Literature at Newcastle University. 

Student Web - Jennifer Dover

Jennifer Dover

Jennifer originally chose the wrong subjects when she first left school to do A-Levels, so decided to restart the year at New College Durham. As part of extra-curricular activities, Jennifer is part of the student ambassador team 

Student Web - Heather Bland

Heather Bland

Heather progressed to Durham University and is now working towards a Biology Master’s degree.

What else?


16-18 - Free (UK & EEA)
19-23 - Free/£1,112
24+ - £1,112
If you are 19-23 and do not hold a Level 3 qualification you may be able to study for free.
Campus Image 1

Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

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Refund Policy 20-21

View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.


Interview Instructions

You will be invited into the College for an interview with one of our lecturers. You will also have the opportunity to take a tour of the College.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

Entry Criteria

You will hold at least five GCSEs at grade C (4) or above, including maths and English. It is expected that if one of your GCSEs is in art, you will hold a grade C (4).