Fine art practice is designed for anyone who enjoys exploring an idea, conveying an experience or responding to a theme or issue of personal significance with creative design.

Fine Art is the practice of creating work that is primarily for aesthetic, intellectual or purely conceptual purposes, rather than purposes that have a necessarily practical function.

The key to success in the GCSE course is enthusiasm and dedication, sound drawing skills, independent research, consistent hard work, reviewing and improving work and working to deadlines.



The course is divided into two units. Unit 1 is a personal portfolio which must include at least one extended project but will also include examples of experimentation with materials, styles and techniques.  There may also be the opportunity to present a response to an exhibition or museum visit. This unit is worth 60% of the final mark awarded. Unit 2 is an externally set assignment, set by AQA,  and is worth 40% of the mark awarded. 

01 Portfolio Internal Assessment 60%
02 Externally Set Task External Moderation 40%


Initial learning focusses on disciplined painting and drawing projects with the accent on texture, scale and descriptive qualities. Projects include still life, abstract composition and figure drawing. Printmaking and ceramics can also form a final piece in a unit and you will be expected to attempt these media. Work must be documented and researched using sketchbooks and supporting studies. 

You will learn a variety of skills. You will learn how to undertake visual research using primary and secondary sources and record observations, experiences and ideas in appropriate ways. You will learn how to develop and realise ideas and outcomes, explore and review possible solutions and modify your work appropriately. You will come to understand and use appropriately and safely a range of materials, equipment, processes and techniques. Finally, you will become familiar with a range of work from past and contemporary practice and from different cultures, so that you are able to demonstrate an understanding of continuity and change in art, craft and design.


COMPONENT 1 – Portfolio - (60%)

Students produce a portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to a set starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus. Students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work.

COMPONENT 2  – Externally Set Task - (40%) 

Students respond to a stimulus, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.


If you have any further questions, please speak to Miss Heatley.

You can also find more detailed information on the AQA website.

AQA | Art and Design | Subject content | Fine art


Art and Design is recognised as an acceptable qualification for entry to many careers and higher education courses. Further training in Art, Craft & Design can include AS/Advanced GCSE, BA, PhD in Art related subjects leading to careers in Architecture, Textiles, Set Designer, Photojournalist, Magazines, Book Jackets, Computer Graphics, Painting, Interior Design, Fashion Designer, Video & TV, Film Maker, Medical Photography, Printing, Picture Editor, Freelance Cartoonist, Teaching, Curator, Art Therapist etc.

Take a look at some of the jobs we've identified below that make use of Art:

Tattoo Artist

Urban Designer

Jewellery Designer

Furniture Designer