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A Level Art & Design: Fine Art

The A Level Fine Art programme gives you the creative freedom to develop your skill set in drawing, painting, printmaking and a broad range of mixed media artwork. Here at Penwith College we cater for all approaches: from figurative, to abstract, and to conceptual.


Do you enjoy drawing, would you like to explore a broad range of materials and processes, improve your skills and knowledge, work creatively, see and understand the world in a different way? This course develops your skills and thinking, either as a personally enriching interest or as a progression towards a career within the creative industries. This course offers a range of varied and exciting workshops, to develop skills and knowledge that is fundamental to the world of art and design. The course gradually builds around personal interests, to develop your creativity.

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Start date: 08/09/2022

Course code
Level 3
Penwith College
2 years
A Level


Stunning creative environment

Wide range of resources

Small class sizes

Specialist lecturers

Work experience


Practical Workshops

This course aims to expand your knowledge and skills in Fine Art. The subject’s main aim is to communicate ideas in an exciting visual form while exploring drawing, painting, mixed media and printmaking. All in a stunning setting in the dedicated Art and Design building at Penwith.


Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff

The art and design team are friendly, supportive, ambitious and hardworking. Achievement relies on your attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.


Independent Learning

The course is structured to encourage personal confidence and develop a broader range of preferences and interests. As the course develops you will be given the opportunity to explore a range of personal ideas communicating them through the imagery and artefacts you create.


Year 1: Begins with observation, with workshops on a range of two-dimensional approaches including tone, mark making, ink & mixed media, colour theory, painting and printmaking. You will investigate artists ideas through their imagery and techniques, developing an ability to analyse your own and others work.

Year 2: You build upon your first year of learning through a personally negotiated coursework project and an exam project. Experimental workshops at the start of the year encourage you to take risks and work in new ways. There is a written element in the second year, strengthening your analytical skills through discussion and written work, preparing you well for Higher Education.


After studying Fine Art at Penwith College you will have developed your personal style and have built a diverse portfolio of work.

Progression can include a broad range of art and design fields, with varied careers, dependent on the other subjects you study, including art therapist, architect, interior designer, teacher, art gallery curator, fine artist, textile designer, graphic designer and illustrator.

Fine Art is highly valued by many universities as a ‘Classical’ subject, allowing progression onto any specialism within Art and Design education. Students can also progress to foundation year degree courses to further develop their creative skills and training.

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Component 1: Personal Investigation 

Internally Assessed

60% of A Level

The Personal Investigation consists of a major in-depth, practical, critical, and theoretical investigative project/theme-based portfolio. Learners will be required to carry out an extended critical and contextual analysis (1000-word minimum requirement).

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 

Internally Assessed

40% of A Level

Learners will be required to independently develop a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli. Learners will develop their response during a preparatory study period culminating in a 15-hour sustained focus study.


In addition to general A Level entry requirements a keen interest in drawing to develop your creativity, as a design stimulus and as a means of gathering creative ideas and making them visible is absolutely essential.


Independent practice will be supported through PowerPoints, worksheets and other guides available through our Moodle course. We also provide further support through focused boards on Pinterest. College trips to visit museums and galleries will be offered and we encourage our students to visit galleries both locally and nationally to support their work.

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Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our admissions team. We're here Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

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