Art & Design: Historical Practice (AS/A Level) | New College Courses

Art & Design: Historical Practice (AS/A Level)

Course Code

The Course


The course develops a student’s written, visual, and analytical skills through the critical understanding of the basic formal elements of art and architecture. Students will analyse and understand the history behind some famous pieces of art and architecture and then develop this further by responding to the artwork in a variety of practical ways. Students will explore a range of media, processes and techniques including painting, digital animation, 3D interior design, curation, exhibition design and model building. It will give you a deeper understanding of the History of Art and is an excellent course to take on its own, or alongside any of the art subjects here at New College.


Where It Will Lead

It can help you to get in to a Foundation Art Course, a Degree or Higher National Diploma in Art and Design.  It can also lead you into a range of careers, including history of art, graphic design, illustration, fine art, animation, and interior design etc.


Course Requirements


You should have a grade 4 or GCSE Grade C or above in GCSE English language, and preferably in Art.  If you have not taken any art subjects at GCSE, you should have a portfolio, or examples of work you have done.  We can then advise you on your suitability for the AS/A Level course.  You should have real enthusiasm for Art, and a high level of commitment is essential.


*Please note that these entry grade requirements may differ to those published in the 2017 prospectus.  Grade requirements as detailed here and on the website should always be used as the most accurate and up-to-date ones.


Study Programme 


AS/A Level units are:

AS: Externally Set Task. In the first part of the AS, you will produce practical responses based on the work of other artists. The set task is given to you in January where you respond to set questions in your preferred art discipline. This course only has one unit for assessment at AS.


A-Level Unit 1: Personal Investigation. Building on your skills at AS you will produce a final outcome which can be a 3D exhibition model complete with an animated digital poster, an online guide, and a related study, which can take the form of a written essay. (60% of A Level )


A Level Unit 2: Students independently develop ideas to set questions through sustained and focused investigations. You can now demonstrate your maturity in responding to a set question. (40% of A Level)









There are good classroom facilities for study with access to a well-stocked library.  All lessons and resources are available or students to access online via the college virtual learning environment. There are also very good studios and facilities for drawing and painting, animation, photography, graphic design, three-dimensional work, fashion and textiles, embroidery, product design, print and weaving, printmaking and digital work.




You will be asked to pay a studio fee of £40 at the very beginning of your course.  This contribution assists with, exhibition costs, subsidised trips, use of consumables during workshop sessions (paper, ink, paint dyes, silkscreen preparation, glazing, firing, clay, machine equipment wear and tear, threads, beads, fabric samples etc).


You will need to pay for the materials required for mini projects and final outcomes.


Some materials and sketch books are available from the Art Department technicians at a subsidised cost.  Also, Art sales occur on a termly basis (Artway).


A kit and price list will be made available prior to commencing the course.





Visits to museums are essential for this course. The department will organise regular visits to museums and galleries and you will be expected to pay a small contribution to these visits.

Visits have included the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, The ICA, The Royal Academy, The National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, The V&A, and abroad.




The normal College allocation for an AS/A Level course is a maximum of five hours per week, although you should spend additional private study time in our well-stocked Library, and in completing coursework in your own time.



Other Details


The History of Art Department also offers an AS/A Level in History of Art and Architecture. This course uses the AQA examination board specification, and assessment is based solely on written examinations with no practical coursework. For further details of the AQA course please contact New College and ask for History of Art and Architecture course co-ordinator.


The course has had some fantastic results and feedback in the past from students; some students have commented that they wished they had studied the subject earlier in their college life.


For general enquiries, please contact