Art students from Hermitage Academy excel at A level art in many different disciplines as they move on to degree level, making rapid progress and impressing those institutions with their flexibility and resilience. This course allows students to fully engage in the philosophical and practical rigour of being an artist interested in making meaning.

Hermitage Academy offers a content-rich art and design course that traverses a broad range of working styles and artistic approaches and responds to the interests of the student.

We have organised a plethora of experiences over the years, everything from the advanced casting of a treasured cup, belonging to the grandad of a student who escaped the Nazis during the war, to a fashion shoot in an incredible old Barn, involving vintage vehicles and multiple set and dress changes. Students are encouraged to exploit the richness and diversity of opportunities arising fresh each year.

We approach the subject by allowing the course to act as a mirror of young people lives. They choose what to lift from life and give new life to. It’s a subject that we all live in, it’s all around us in every sphere. Students follow an exciting foundation period that has been underpinned by contact with galleries and visits to top art school such as the Northern School of Art and Leeds Arts University. Students study exciting theories around the value of art and there is no specific limitation on the size or scale or material used to make the work. Local galleries such as the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art underpin independent research and offer a vast opportunity to explore the living practice of contemporary arts, of which they are the future. 

Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, wrote: "Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him."
Ultimately, we have and will continue to help students get ready to become a potential world-changing, useful member of the wider 6.8 billion-pound creative market in Britain and the the wider world. 

During my time studying photography at Hermitage I was introduced to a range of contemporary photographic practices. The course stood out in its focus on and encouragement of experimentation and play, two crucial activities for the development of any artist or photographer wishing to further their studies at ...
Max Southern, Brighton University, studying photography


Art and design

Awarding body


Entry requirements

GCSE at Grade 5 or above in both maths and English. Grade 6 or above in art, unless a suitable portfolio of skilled work can be provided.

Year 12

Year 12 Foundation Task  - Challenges quick-fire drawing task and slightly longer spell mini assignments. This is built on in Summer and then extended. Students have an opportunity to explore graphics, fine art and sculptural approaches as well as digital media, photoshop, iPad and iPhone based works.

An extended project called ‘The vanity of small differences’ based on the work of Grayson Perry. This is a personal identity-based project. The focus of this project is making meaning.

Spring term onwards, students begin the personal investigation where students construct an in-depth inquiry of their own until Christmas of Year 13.

Year 13

Personal Investigation – Having chosen and begun to develop an exciting investigation. Students pursue multi avenues of inquiry at pace. Alongside a wide breadth of making exercises, students also contribute research and writing culminating in up to 3000 words of extended written prose.


Externally set assignment – Response to an exam paper of themes that students pick one from and have time to prepare works and investigations towards. From February to April in Year 13 ending with a 15-hour period where students respond to the set theme by making in any format or media appropriate to produce a purposeful and meaningful response.

Why study art and design?

Art and design offers an incredible breadth of thinking and functional skills that are transferable across a vast spectrum of study. Many students have proceeded to study 2D and 3D animation/ fashion and textile design/ film and media studies/ game design/ illustration/ product design/ photography/ set design and graphic design at degree level.