Visual arts are celebrated and valued at St. Mary's. We have a well-established reputation for creative excellence, which we are always seeking to improve.

As well as excellent technical skills and development of processes and theory, Art at St. Mary's encourages students to look at the world differently, questioning conventions, analysing problems, imagining possibilities. Students face the 'blank canvas' -- both literally and metaphorically -- with confidence and experience, crafting ideas and language through a broad range of traditional and contemporary media.



Art encourages students to gain confidence and dispel any preconceived ideas about lack of ability. Students understand and apply formal elements whilst engaging with other practices and understanding the world outside of the classroom. They work with a number of processes, both two and three dimensional to find their strengths and build on confidence and successes.



Art at St. Mary's is committed to a mature environment of studio culture, which encourages both the discipline and supportive peer networks that help sustain successful careers in today's highly competitive creative industries. Our studios and workshop facilities provide an exceptional environment for thinking and making, fostering experimentation, innovation and critical dialogue. Students work individually and channel ideas into their work which interests and drives them as individuals. A university style tutorial and very personal approach for each student is key to our success. Recent years have seen a trend of 100% A* - B with most achieving A's and A*'s.


A Level

The atmosphere within the department is enjoyable, friendly and relaxed but students are expected to make a serious commitment to art and design.
The creative industries are an increasingly important sector of the UK economy. They provide more than 2 million jobs and over the past decade have grown at nearly twice the rate of the economy as a whole.
Our Art A Level places emphasis on striving to produce high quality artwork, which ambitiously exploits and develops an individual’s potential in the subject.
We will be following a diverse course, which explores a number of practices and your interests within art and design.
We provide students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in ways that are personally relevant and truly developmental in nature. We encourage study that genuinely reflects their values, curiosities, enthusiasms, expertise and individual needs.

Studying Art at A Level – Over two years

Component 1: Personal Investigation/ Portfolio
60% of the total A Level grade
A practical unit with written elements, in which candidates are expected to develop a personal investigation, based on an idea or concept. Written work supports, and is linked to the practical work.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
40% of the total A Level grade
Controlled Test and portfolio
There will be a supervised controlled test of 15 hours. This unit is based on the questions set by the Board which are to be used as starting points. All work for this unit, including the exam will be marked as a whole.