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Creative Arts

For entry requirements for all courses, visit our 'requirements and applying' page.

Courses offered in years 12 and 13 

Art, Craft and Design A Level

Edexcel A Level - exam board website.


Component 1 (Independent Study coursework - 60%)

The start of the course gets students learning new techniques through short, engaging workshops. Students will then be required to work sequentially from a given starting point or theme towards a well-considered conclusion. Students will also be required to research, evaluate, analyse and establish coherent and sustainable links between their own emerging art practice with historical and contemporary sources. Recent examples include Surrealism, Expressionist Portraits, architecture, fashion, Theatre in Arts and Science. Students will develop knowledge to produce work on a variety of self-directed themes. The personal study, which is an assessed element of Component 1, is a separate piece of writing which must comprise a minimum of 1000 words of continuous prose.

Component 2 (Externally set assignment - 40%)

Students will create a project which the exam board chooses the title of. This then ends with students completing a timed examination of 15 hours towards the end of Year 13.


You are self-motivated and genuinely interested in the subject, and want an opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the history and techniques of the creative process, whilst developing personal skills in both the practical and theoretical aspects of your own work.

You will be invited to life drawing classes which will develop fundamental drawing skills, and provide a greater breadth of work for your portfolios.

There is considerable scope for individual project work as well as group exercises. It is expected that students will be committed to developing fresh and often unconventional ideas in a range of new materials. All students are expected to visit galleries and museums and participate in extracurricular activities, including weekend workshops and visits to cultural centres abroad.

TEXTILES and GRAPHICS What if I am interested in these subject areas? The Art, Craft and Design course is structured so that students can produce work and outcomes using Textile and Graphic techniques. We can offer those students interested in textiles the opportunities to explore a variety of materials and techniques. Students will develop skill sin applied and constructed textiles. These may include printing, weaving, tapestry, embroidery and batik. Students will be able to realise the full potential of their ideas through the technical processes associated with textiles. Those interested in graphics will develop skills in Computer Aided Design. These may include disciplines such as advertising, illustration and typography design. Students will be able to realise the full potential of their ideas through the technical processes associated with graphics.


Many of our A Level students go on to study art or a related subject at university, often taking an art foundation course as their next step. The following list of occupations will give some idea of the diverse range of opportunities that are available to students with an art qualification.

Set Designer, Advertising Agency Designer Industrial Designer, Fashion Designer Commercial Photographer, Film Maker Print Maker, Architect Illustrator, Teacher/Lecturer Potter Design for Architectural practice Conservation and Restoration Artist.


Most A Level students will have been successful on a related GCSE course such as Art, Graphics or Textiles with a grade 6 or better, but highly motivated students who can show evidence of dedication to improving their personal practice may be considered.

Drama and Theatre Studies A level

Edexcel A Level - exam board website.


Throughout their A Level, students will explore the ideas and theories of leading practitioners, applying knowledge and understanding in performance. The main practitioners studied are Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud. They will demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which playwrights, directors, designers and performers use the medium of drama to create theatre and are affected by social, cultural, and historical influences.

Component 1: Devising – 40%

  • Devise an original piece of theatre.
  • Using a key extract from a published text as stimulus.
  • Use a key theatre practitioner to aid dramatic style.
  • A portfolio accompanies this practical work.

Component 2: Text in Performance – 20%

  • A group performance of a key extract from a published performance text.
  • Monologue or Duologue chosen from a key extract from a different performance text.

Externally assessed Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice – 40% 

  • Practical exploration of a complete performance text focusing on how it can be realised for performance.
  • Practical exploration of a different performance text in light of a theatre practitioner focusing on how the text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience.
  • Live Theatre Review.

You have a keen interest in theatre, as you will be expected to participate as an actor, director, audience member, critic and designer.


Drama and Theatre Studies is a good qualification for entry to universities. Many students go on to study drama at university or drama school. Theatre Studies is welcomed as an academic A Level by all universities, whether as the main interest or as a sign of breadth of study. It also works well for those applying for English, Law, Languages, Philosophy, Education or any media-based subject. It is also a good qualification for people hoping to work in any aspect of theatre or to join a theatre company.


It is not necessary to have taken Drama GCSE, although it is helpful as basic acting skills and techniques are covered and these are important. It would definitely be an advantage to have some prior performance experience, and good written communication skills are also necessary for success.

Film Studies A Level

OCR A Level - exam board website.


OCR’s A-level in Film Studies consists of two components that are externally assessed and one coursework component that is assessed by the centre and externally moderated by OCR.

Film History. This component represents 35% of the marks for the A Level. This component is assessed via an examination paper which consists of two sections.

Section A: Film form in US cinema from the Silent Era to 1990

Section B: European Cinema History

Critical Approaches to Film. This component represents 35% of the marks for the A Level. This component is assessed via an examination paper which consists of three sections.

Section A: Contemporary British and US Film

Section B: Documentary 

Section C: Ideology

Making a Short Film. This is a non-examined assessment (coursework) component and represents 30% of the marks for the A Level. Learners will be required to produce either an individual short film (fictional or experimental) or an equivalent screenplay with a digitally photographed storyboard. Learners will carry out an evaluation of their production in relation to the set short films they have studied in preparation for their production.


Are you Creative? Good at essay writing? Good at analysis? Confident in your opinions? Willing to work independently? Self-motivated with regard to research? Interested in film and the world around you? Interested in new technology? If so, this may be the course for you!


This course is relevant to a wide range of creative careers and degree courses. Our A Level students have gone on to study film and TV production and related courses at university, in addition to many related courses such as marketing and communication.


You need not have studied Media Studies GCSE before you start this course, but many students studying the A Level will benefit from success on it. Most importantly you should have a lively interest in Film, and the analytical skills developed in English Literature are also very relevant so a good grade in that is strongly recommended. The course is largely theoretical so you will be mostly deconstructing and examining end products, but you will also make your own product so technical film-making skills are very helpful.

Music A Level

Edexcel A Level - exam board website.


A-level Music covers the same basic areas as GCSE but in much greater depth. There is also the expectation that students develop wider listening skills and immerse themselves in all types of music from the baroque period through to EDM. We follow the EDEXCEL exam board and the main assessment areas are laid out below.

Unit 1: Performing Music

Unit 2: Composing

Unit 3: Developing Musical Understanding

Unit 4: Extended Performance

Unit 5: Composition and Technical Study

Unit 6: Further Musical Understanding


You want to learn how to carry out detailed analyses of passages of music, developing your analytical skills and ability to communicate your ideas in writing. You want to develop your aural skills including transcription, recognition of keys, discrimination and stylistic analysis. You want to learn compositional techniques through the analysis of existing works and the introduction and use of harmony. You want to develop your solo and ensemble performing skills.


If you are intending to progress your interest in music there are many career possibilities including:- Performing, Teaching, Work in the media and theatre, Composing/song writing, entry into the forces’ bands e.g. Royal Marines, music therapy, sound engineering and music production. Music is a highly respected qualification at university level and even if it is not a choice you would like to make for your degree level course, it looks good to admission tutors as a fourth subject as it shows not only the ability to perform and the confidence that goes with that, but highlights the dedication you have had for your instrument, the ability to create music which involves following formulae and instructions and the ability to read and interpret music, analysing and writing essays about it.


You will normally be expected to have achieved at least a Grade 7 in GCSE Music although students who have not taken the GCES course but who have suitable theory and instrumental qualifications equivalent to ABRSM Grade 5 may be considered. You will need to be at least ABRSM Grade 7 standard by the end of the course. A second instrument is valuable but not essential. At A Level you should ideally have regular instrumental lessons.

Product Design A Level

AQA A Level - exam board website.


This course helps students take a broad view of design and technology, develop their capacity to design and make products and appreciate the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing. This is achieved by practical experimentation of materials and solving real world problems. Students will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental, and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning into practice by producing prototypes of their choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

The assessment for this course is split between 50% coursework and 50% exam. The Exam element is split into two 2 hour exams at the end of the course.

Paper 1:

  • Core Technical Principals
  • Core Designing Skills
  • Core Making Skills

Paper 2:

  • Product analysis
  • Commercial manufacture 
  • Specialist knowledge

Non-Exam Assessment:

A written or digital portfolio where students identify a real world problem and then produce a creative solution to this problem using a range of different designing and manufacturing techniques. Previous projects have ranged from point of sale displays for large retailers to portable skate ramps and kitchen aids for people with disabilities through to gaming chairs and canoes.


You are interested in design and enjoy being creative, as well as the process of making in the workshop.


This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries. For example degree courses in architecture typically require a creative A Level subject which can include product design.


Most students taking this course will have been successful on the GCSE Design & Technology course, securing a grade 6 or higher. While this experience isn't essential, having good numeracy and literacy skills, and good grades in English and Maths GCSEs is, and students will need drawing skills and a willingness to work on these too.