Art and Design GCSE

The course

Art and Design is a form of communication and a means of expressing ideas and feelings. It forms a language that complements those of Literature, Science and Mathematics. It is especially concerned with developing the complex mental processes involved in visual perception and aesthetic experiences. It involves skill, knowledge and understanding. Art and Design is for you if you have self-motivation and commitment and a degree of natural artistic ability.

Students receive 3 hours of tuition per week. They also need to spend a considerable amount of time working unsupervised in the Art Room, so a high level of commitment is needed from anybody attempting GCSE Art and Design in one year.

How is the course assessed?

AQA offer a number of different options for students studying GCSE Art and Design. At MPW Cambridge students follow the Fine Art option, producing practical and critical/contextual work in three of the following areas of Fine Art: drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media.

Unit 1 · Portfolio Work (42021)

This is a controlled assessment set by the college with no time limit. It is marked out of 80 and carries 60% weighting. The portfolio of work is selected from work undertaken during the course of study and must include more than one project. The areas of study for Fine Art are selected from the following: painting and drawing, mixed media, and printmaking. Photography methods within Fine Art are normally used to support a personal response to an idea, theme or issue. A response to all assessment objectives is required in the portfolio as a whole.

Unit 2 · Externally  Set Task (42022)

This is an external assessment set by AQA and concludes with a supervised time of 10 hours. It is marked out of 80 and carries 40% weighting. Students respond to their chosen starting point to produce a personal response. Question papers can be issued to students from 1 January in the year of the exam. Students have unlimited preparation time and a 10 hour period of sustained focused study. A response to all assessment objectives is required. Work presented is marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.


AQA GCSE Art and Design Student Book
By M. Piercy et al
Published by Nelson Thornes, ISBN 9781408503201

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AQA Art and Design (Fine Art) 4202 (legacy)