Art and design

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.

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 degree level.


Art and design A level

Awarding body


Year 12

Students will be immediately introduced to the creative process of researching, recording and experimenting with their independent ideas. This journey of exploring materials and responding to contextual sources will see students develop their independence as young creatives as well as their understanding of a range of techniques and processes, informing a portfolio of work including personal and meaningful outcomes. As the year progresses, students will conduct a personal investigation; a project requiring students to investigate a chosen line of enquiry and respond creatively. This provides students the opportunity to produce an ambitious and robust body of work, demonstrating their ability to think creatively and respond appropriately using a variety of media.

Year 13

Having chosen and begun to develop an exciting investigation, students pursue a number of avenues of inquiry at pace, experimenting with numerous ideas, concepts, techniques and processes. Alongside an impressive body of practical work, students also engage in analytical processes, culminating in a 3000 word extended written component.


60% - Coursework      (Component 1) 

40% - Externally Set exam (Component 2)

  • AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. 
  • AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops. 
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. 
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

In Year 13, from February to April, students end their course with a 15-hour period where they will respond to the set theme, in any format or media appropriate, to produce a purposeful and 

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.

 “Art and design has gives me the freedom to find my own unique style, using different mediums and techniques. I’ve also really enjoyed researching artists’ work to help me explore different styles.”