Written by an experienced teacher and Coursework assessor, this article contains help, ideas and guidance for CIE A2 Art & Design students who are working on their A Level Art Coursework projects.
As part of their A Level Art Coursework, students must submit:
- 1 x project (a two or three-dimensional final work, maximum weight 4.5kgs and maximum dimension in any direction of 750mm);
- 1 x folder of supporting work (maximum of 10 x A1 sheets). The supporting work shows the research, recording, development and critical evaluation undertaken during the course. Equal emphasis is placed on the quality of the final piece as is placed on the development of ideas and the use of processes(this is one of the main differences between the AS and A2 Coursework). The supporting work must be selective (i.e. it should be work that best portrays your skill and ability, as well as work that is relevant and helps illustrate your development of ideas) and it should include:
- Source material (your ‘starting point’ / source of inspiration);
- Development of ideas into personal solutions (original finished pieces);
- Experimentations with media and processes including trial samples;
- The influence of historical, contemporary and cultural factors (evidence that you have learnt from designers or artist models).
- 1 x sketchbook (there is no size or length requirement, however A4 is typical). The sketchbook accompanies the supporting work and can be used to record personal reflections, explore the use of processes and analysis of artwork etc. Please read how to produce an amazing sketchbook for more information.
A Level Coursework should be an individual response to a theme (see this article about coming up with good A Level Art ideas for more help with this). Your project can be focused on the same or a different area of study as AS (i.e. Painting and Related Media; Textiles; Ceramics; Sculpture; Graphic Design; Fashion Design; Printmaking; Photography, Digital and Lens Media; Jewellery; Puppetry etc). Schools offer these specialties based on the strength and expertise of their teachers. If you select the same area of study as you did for AS, you should look at a different process, i.e. if you explored woven textiles in AS, you may choose to explore pinted textiles in A2.
A2 Art Coursework assessment
The A2 Coursework project is worth 60% of your A2 Art course and 30% of your final A Level Art grade. It is internally assessed (i.e. marked by the Coursework Accredited art teacher/s at your school) and is externally moderated by CIE examiners. Most countries send Coursework to Cambridge University to be moderated; other counties, like New Zealand, have the examiners travel to them.
The final piece, supporting work and sketchbook are assessed together and are given a single mark out of 100, using the following criteria:
A2 Art Coursework examples
In addition to CIE Coursework examples, work from a range of other relevant qualifications has been added to this section. This is because these outstanding examples of student work provide highly valuable learning opportunities for students of all high school Art qualifications.
Additional A Level Art Coursework examples and case studies will be added here over the coming months. If you would like to view more outstanding student work, please view our Featured Art Projects.
AS – UNIT 1 (COURSEWORK): SELF PORTRAITS
Students explore a wide range of drawing and painting techniques based around the theme of self portraiture. Students work independently to research expressive portrait artists of their choice and plan and develop ideas for their own painting, based on their own photography
AS – UNIT 1 (COURSEWORK): ASSEMBLAGE ART
Following on from the theme ‘Self’, students research and respond to a wide variety of assemblage and altered book artists. Through discussion and personal reflection, students develop ideas to alter existing objects to convey ideas and messages about aspects of their own self-identity. Possible ideas to explore are memories, fears, insecurities and hopes for the future.
AS – UNIT 2 (CONTROLLED TEST)
Students are given a starting point / theme and work in sketchbooks and/or on boards to develop, refine and explore their ideas.
A2 – UNIT 3 (COURSEWORK): SELF DIRECTED PROJECT
Students are able to build their coursework around any theme of their choice. This provides opportunities to work towards preferred specialisms such as textiles, sculpture or photography and gives flexibility to build upon the interests and strengths of each student.
Students are encouraged to produce personal and informed responses to their chosen theme. Through preparatory work, including sketchbooks, students will develop, refine and explore their ideas in depth before producing final outcome(s) in materials of their choice.
A2 – UNIT 3 (CONTROLLED TEST)
Students are given a starting point / theme andwork in sketchbooks and/or on boards to develop, refine and explore their ideas.
Students produce a final outcome in a 12 hour exam.
Students complete the A2 course by showing a selection of their work at Bridport Arts Centre at our annual A level Art Exhibition.