A Level Art Coursework: help for A2 Art students

Last Updated on April 2, 2023

Written by an experienced teacher and Coursework assessor, this article contains help, ideas and guidance for CIE A2 Art & Design students who are working on their A Level Art Coursework projects. 

As part of their A Level Art Coursework, students must submit:

  • 1 x project (a two or three-dimensional final work, maximum weight 4.5kgs and maximum dimension in any direction of 750mm);
  • 1 x folder of supporting work (maximum of 10 x A1 sheets). The supporting work shows the research, recording, development and critical evaluation undertaken during the course. Equal emphasis is placed on the quality of the final piece as is placed on the development of ideas and the use of processes(this is one of the main differences between the AS and A2 Coursework). The supporting work must be selective  (i.e. it should be work that best portrays your skill and ability, as well as work that is relevant and helps illustrate your development of ideas) and it should include:
    • Source material (your ‘starting point’ / source of inspiration);
    • Development of ideas into personal solutions (original finished pieces);
    • Experimentations with media and processes including trial samples;
    • The influence of historical, contemporary and cultural factors (evidence that you have learnt from designers or artist models).
  • 1 x sketchbook (there is no size or length requirement, however A4 is typical). The sketchbook accompanies the supporting work and can be used to record personal reflections, explore the use of processes and analysis of artwork etc. Please read how to produce an amazing sketchbook for more information.

A Level Coursework should be an individual response to a theme (see this article about coming up with good A Level Art ideas for more help with this).  Your project can be focused on the same or a different area of study as AS (i.e. Painting and Related Media; Textiles; Ceramics; Sculpture; Graphic Design; Fashion Design; Printmaking; Photography, Digital and Lens Media; Jewellery; Puppetry etc).  Schools offer these specialties based on the strength and expertise of their teachers. If you select the same area of study as you did for AS, you should look at a different process, i.e. if you explored woven textiles in AS, you may choose to explore pinted textiles in A2.

A2 Art Coursework assessment

The A2 Coursework project is worth 60% of your A2 Art course and 30% of your final A Level Art grade. It is internally assessed (i.e. marked by the Coursework Accredited art teacher/s at your school) and is externally moderated by CIE examiners. Most countries send Coursework to Cambridge University to be moderated; other counties, like New Zealand, have the examiners travel to them.

The final piece, supporting work and sketchbook are assessed together and are given a single mark out of 100, using the following criteria:

A2 coursework assessment criteria

A2 Art Coursework examples

In addition to CIE Coursework examples, work from a range of other relevant qualifications has been added to this section. This is because these outstanding examples of student work provide highly valuable learning opportunities for students of all high school Art qualifications.

A level art coursework
CIE A2 Painting Coursework project by Nikau Hindin – 98%
A level art project
This Singapore-Cambridge GCSE Higher-2 Level Coursework project by Luca L achieved an ‘A’ grade. This is the Singapore equivalent of CIE A Level Art & Design.
AQA Art and Design
AQA A2 Fine Art Coursework project by Claire Lynn
AQA A2 Fine Art
AQA A2 Fine Art Coursework project by Dave Watson – 91%
ncea level 3 top art
This NCEA Level 3 Painting folio by Bronte Heron achieved Excellence with Scholarship
ncea level 3 painting folio
This NCEA Level 3 Painting folio by Courtney Harland achieved an Excellence
ncea art exemplars excellence
This NCEA Level 3 Painting folio by Bethan Powell achieved an Excellence
ncea art boards
This NCEA Level 3 Painting board by Grace Pickford achieved Excellence with Scholarship

Additional A Level Art Coursework examples and case studies will be added here over the coming months. If you would like to view more outstanding student work, please view our Featured Art Projects.


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