Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

Course Content

A distinct emphasis is placed on the exploration of ideas, materials and visual sources in this Art course. The development of your individual responses to your own first hand experience start during the first part of year one; you will be encouraged to explore the creative potential of different media. The aim of this experimental phase is to encourage you to acquire and develop skills, awareness and concepts.

Drawing from observation as a means of investigation and research is an essential aspect of the course and all students will be expected to develop their experience and confidence in this area. You will also be encouraged to make connections with the work of other artists and the wider worldwide context of art. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to study selected aspects of art through lectures and visits.

Methods of Teaching

Projects are introduced by your art tutor in the first phase of the course, this is followed by assignments tailored more to your own particular concerns. Our aim, particularly in your first year, is to adopt a flexible approach that can respond directly to your interests, ideas, needs and accumulative experience.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

Year 1:

You will receive continual assessment on your progress and one to one tutorials. Your final assessment for your A level is as follows:

  • Component 1: Coursework Portfolio
    During the first part of the course you will have the opportunity to experience drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. This phase provides the basis for one extensive practical project. Alongside this work you will be expected to build up evidence of your critical awareness of the wider context of art within culture to complement and inform your practical work.
  • Component 2: Mock Exam Assignment
    Towards the end of the first year you will complete a Mock Exam Assignment. This involves a preparation period of approximately ten weeks plus 10 hours unaided supervised time.

Year 2:

If you choose to continue into the second year to complete the A Level course there are two assessments:

  • Component 1: Personal investigation 
    This involves one, extended, in-depth coursework project using skills acquired during the first year. It also includes a written log of your progress between 1000 – 3000 words.
  • Component 2: Externally-Set Assignment
    Your response to externally set questions. This involves a preparation period of approximately fifteen weeks plus 15 hours of unaided supervised time.

Where Could It Take Me?

Careers in Art are numerous and include Commercial Art, Graphic Design, Textiles, Fashion, Ceramics, Interior Design, Theatre Design, Architecture, Photography, Film Animation and Video. Also Arts administration, Conservation and Restoration, Teaching and Art therapy.

Financial Implications

Although the Art department will provide essential materials for you to work with (paper, paint, drawing media, plaster, clay) you will need to purchase some equipment (paint brushes, acrylic paint, portfolio etc). It is important to stress that Art can be an expensive subject and should you wish to use more specialised media this may well involve some personal expense. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.

It is possible to combine Art (Fine Art) with either Textiles, Photography, Three Dimensional Design or Graphics. However, this needs to be considered very carefully as the deadline days for each of these subjects are the same. Therefore, students who combine arts subjects need to be very well organised.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 11 25 38 21 5 2 2 104
Percentage 10.6 24.0 36.5 20.2 4.8 1.9 1.9