A future less ordinary



Our Subject

Whether you aspire to be a professional artist or designer, or you simply enjoy being creative, A-level Art could be for you. The majority of our students will specialise in Fine Art, an oft-misunderstood term. It actually refers to any work you might find in an art gallery, from disciplines such as painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, printmaking, photography and video installation.

Although we don’t offer Graphics or Textiles as standalone subjects, the broad nature of Fine Art means your projects can encompass them. We’ll support you in developing your own personal artistic territory. It’s good for you to have an awareness of contemporary art practice, so we encourage visits to local and national exhibitions.

To study Art at Bilborough you need a grade C/4 or above in English at GCSE as well as in Art if you have taken it.  A genuine interest in visual arts and some familiarity with contemporary art is essential and you should visit galleries regularly.

Our links with HE

Many of our Art students take up related degrees, working with textiles, fashion, photography, graphic design or interior design. We count among our alumni fashion designers, curators, jewellery artists, graphic designers, illustrators, sculptors, interior designers and photographers.

Our teachers are always happy to talk you through the best possible route to securing your ideal career. You may find it useful to download our Art Information sheet here – and do have a look at the Art department’s blog.

Great college. Helps you become more independent. Great teachers.
Anesu Thondhlana

Course Structure

Your first (AS) year is split into two units. For Unit 1 you’ll have a choice of starting titles, using one to produce a lively sketchpad containing drawings, ideas, notes, reproductions of relevant artists’ work, your own photographs, and experiments with composition, technique and media. Your other source material might include gallery visits and relevant cultural references such as novels, TV, films or news articles. In addition to your sketchpad work you should produce several other pieces, which might be bigger in size and more sustained. You will produce an end product (‘outcome’), which can be a single work or a series. Unit 2 is a shorter version of the coursework project, with an exam aspect comprising five hours in the studio. Additionally you should produce a finished piece during lessons and in your own time.

Your A2 year is similarly split, with you working on a project of your own for Unit 3 and the addition of a 2,000-word essay explaining your ideas, techniques and artistic influences. Unit 4 is almost identical to Unit 2 but the exam is 15 minutes longer.


We’re proud to say that Bilborough College’s Art alumni have achieved great things, including:

  • Winning Gold at Graduate Fashion Week (Rory Longdon)
  • Having work displayed at the Saatchi Gallery and Sotheby’s (Sally Rutherford)
  • Selling artwork to Calvin Klein and Mini Boden (Marie Parry)
  • Working as a commercial photographer for Republic and New Look (Elaine Park)
  • Becoming a 3D artist in games design (Michael Zaman).

Discover more in

Visual & Performing Arts

Also on offer