Search this Site:

GCSE Art, Craft and Design

If you enjoy creative work and are keen to develop your visual language skills to explore and express creative ideas, GCSE Art, Craft and Design is the course for you.

This GCSE is largely practical and includes:

  • Recording from observation through drawing and taking photographs
  • Investigating and developing visual ideas by experimenting with different processes and techniques
  • Making artwork in a range of two and three-dimensional media

To support and inspire practical work, students research and analyse the work of artists, both historical and contemporary, to gain a broader understanding of the significance of art, craft and design in society.

During the course, students benefit from art gallery visits to view and respond to original artwork.

The Art, Craft and Design GCSE develops the following broader skills:

  • Independent research
  • Self-motivation
  • Organisational skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
Head of Department Miss A M Healy BA (Hons), PGCE (Luton)
Subject Lead in Art Mrs S Applegate BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (Herts)
Syllabus GCSE C650QS Art, Craft and Design (9-1)


Course structure

Unit 1: Personal portfolio of coursework

You will complete a number of practical projects over the first four terms of the course, covering a range of themes, styles and media, and building up your personal portfolio with sketchbooks and completed pieces of artwork.

All work completed in class and for prep contributes towards this component and must be kept safely for final assessment at the end of the course.

Gallery visits take place during the first and fourth terms.

All work is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 2: Externally set assignment

In this unit, you will be given a choice of fifteen starting points by the examination board, which is open to broad personal interpretation.

You will produce a body of examination preparation work over approximately one term, investigating visual ideas and exploring and developing them in different media.

This preparation will be working towards a resolved idea for a final piece of artwork, which you will complete over two days in a formal examination.

Both the preparation work and the final piece contribute marks towards this component.

A gallery visit to London takes place at the start of this project.

All work is internally assessed and externally moderated.

St Ed's artists have gone on to careers in architecture, film, fashion, fine art, media, advertising, illustration, prop & model-making, and a Christie’s apprenticeship.

Future pathways

The UK creative sector has approx. 1.5 million jobs and is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy. UK artistic talent and expertise are sought worldwide.

This GCSE offers essential preparation for many of these roles, and is a pathway to A Level Art, Craft and Design and higher education.

A GCSE art portfolio evidences your ability to pursue a two-year course of study, covering different assignments and culminating in a diverse range of work. Skills and attributes gained through this GCSE course are well-recognised by universities and employers.

Creative life at St Ed's