Art and Design


GCSE Art and GCSE Photography are popular choices.  Our courses are assessed on the basis of a coursework portfolio and a set task based on externally set starting points.

The aims of these courses are to encourage candidates to:

  • Develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.
  • Develop creative skills, through learning to use imagination and intuition when exploring and creating images and artefacts. Become confident in taking risks when exploring and experimenting with ideas, materials, tools and techniques.
  • Develop competence, with increasing independence, in refining and developing ideas and proposals, and personal outcomes or solutions.
  • Develop skills in a broad range of media, materials and techniques including, traditional and new media and technologies.
  • Develop cultural knowledge, understanding and application of art, craft, design, media and technologies in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures.
  • Develop personal attributes including self-confidence, resilience, perseverance, self-discipline and commitment.

Entry Requirements

  • You must have studied Art or Art Photography at GCSE and achieved at least a Grade 5

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

Candidates will be required to produce two main units of work during the course.

Unit 1 Coursework Portfolio

  • 60% of the total GCSE Art and Design marks
  • Candidates produce a portfolio of work developed from personal and/or centre-devised starting points. The focus is on including work that shows exploration, research, acquisition of techniques and skills. Candidates will be given approximately 45 hours (15-18 school weeks as a guide) in which to complete their Controlled Assessment portfolio.

Unit 2 Set Task

  • 40% of the total GCSE Art and Design marks
  • Candidates select one question from an early release question paper to which they produce a personal response. Candidates will be given a period of time (nine weeks) in which to plan and prepare. Candidates will then be given ten hours of controlled time (two days) in which to work on a final outcome based on their research and preparation.

Expected Costs

Candidates will need to purchase basic art materials, portfolios and sketchbooks.

Subject Resources


  • BBC Bitesize: Revise GCSE Art and Design topics including recording and observing, analysing and evaluating and developing and exploring, using galleries etc.
  • ArtisanCam: A free arts education website for schools (key stage 2-4) featuring video of contemporary artists working in their studios, galleries etc.
  • BBC Blast: Blast aims to inspire and motivate young people to develop their creativity

Your Quick Reference Guide to OCR’s GCSE Art and Design specifications


  • GCSE Art & Design for OCR Student Book (GCSE Art and Design for OCR) [Paperback] Jeff Orgee
  • GCSE Bitesize: Art and Design (Bitesize GCSE) [Paperback] Keith Winser
  • GCSE Bitesize Art & Design Complete Revision and Practice (Bitesize GCSE) [Paperback] Keith Winser

For More information email,

Ms Deakin, Curriculum Lead, Art and Design