New draft specifications for Edexcel Art and Design A level and AS level

6 June 2014

We’ve just published the new, draft specifications for Edexcel A level and AS level Art and Design, to be taught in schools from September 2015.

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They have been put together according to the criteria that the Department for Education published last year and were submitted to Ofqual on Thursday 5 June for accreditation.

These have been developed following careful consultation with teachers and subject experts and as part of Pearson's World Class Qualification programme, benchmarking the qualifications with those of the highest-performing jurisdictions in the world.

Following this research, many elements of the original qualification will remain the same, including:

  • retaining the coursework and Externally Set Assignment components of the course
  • retaining the use of digital and traditional media within all specialisms.

Representatives from universities also fed in to the research, identifying the skills they thought were necessary for students to develop, in order to progress to Higher Education, including:

  • drawing within Art and Design
  • a contextual understanding of art history
  • written and oral communication skills
  • experience of a wide range of media, including digital and traditional
  • an ability to take risks.

The AS and A level in Art and Design will continue to allow students to focus on a specialism throughout the course. Specialisms will be available in:

  • Art, craft and design
  • Fine art
  • Three-dimensional design
  • Textile design
  • Photography
  • Graphic communication.

The AS and A level courses have been developed to allow them to be taught together.

Format of the AS level

  • The personal investigation will account for 50% of the qualification.
  • The externally set assignment will account for 50% of the qualification and the release date will be 1 January. Students will have 10 hours for the final period of sustained focus.

Format of the A level

  • The personal investigation will account for 60% of the qualification. This will also include a personal study of 1000-3000 words.
  • The externally set assessment will account for 40% of the qualification and the release date will be 1 February. Students will have 15 hours for the final period of sustained focus.

Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Pearson UK, said:

"We are enormously grateful to the many teachers, academics and stakeholders from the wider Art and Design community who have helped us to put together these new qualifications. We believe this is an enriching and varied course, with a strong focus on the skills students will need to develop in order to progress to Higher Education.
"Our main priority is to provide schools with the most up to date information and support on the reforms, to ensure that they and their students are prepared for these changes next year."

For further information please contact:

Martin O'Donovan
+44 (0) 20 7190 5372
martin.odonovan@pearson.com

Notes to editors

About Pearson

Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

About the World Class Qualifications Programme

In 2012 Pearson launched the World Class Qualifications programme, bringing together international assessment and education experts to develop qualifications that will support young people globally to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Led by an expert panel, and Chaired by Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, a key role of this programme is to feed in to the development of the new GCSE and A level qualifications.

Further information about the World Class Qualifications Programme

Accessing the draft qualifications

View the full specifications online:

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