Applied Art & Design

The Applied Art & Design GCSE provides students with opportunities to develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures in practical, critical and contextual forms


aim and objectives


units of work

Unit 1 Portfolio of work;

Unit 2 Externally set Assignment

Vocationally based art and design projects (live briefs)

Students are required to work in at least two of the following areas of Applied Art & Design

They may overlap and combine areas:

  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Communication
  • Textile Design
  • Three-Dimensional Design
  • Photography: lens-based and light-based media


Our students all develop work from vocational briefs which are linked to the AQA framework

Key skills in art developed, drawing, painting, photography, mixed media and sculpture
Working from imagination and observation

Using a sketchbook as a reference /ideas manual/diary/journal

Discussion and written annotation linked to artists research and developing personal opinion

GCSE Applied Art & Design is an open and enabling course which suits students who enjoy the freedom of working in many different media and developing ideas using a wide variety of techniques and processes. The projects students create follow the create framework and are linked to vocational projects. The work created may be set by local practicing artist so that the world of work is brought into the classroom



  • Community arts worker
  • Fashion designer
  • Fine artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Printmaker
  • Textile designer
  • Art Therapist

Exam Board

The art and design exam board we use is AQA and below you will find links to the current specification and the new 2016 art spec

2015-17 Current / Old Specification

2016New Specification





UNIT 1 = 80 marks (50%)


This is a portfolio of work which will be facilitated by staff to encourage a variety of different ideas, techniques and processes in each chosen course. Students will be directed to explore a range of artists, designers and crafts people to inspire a broad base of skills. The unit will be separated into two projects concentrating on two different themes. The development of these projects will prepare students to explore their own ideas, themes and concepts towards a personal final response


UNIT 1 = 80 marks (50%)


Students will be given an externally-set assignment in the form of an exam paper which will contain eight exciting starting points. Students will choose one question and have 8 weeks to research and develop work. At the end of the 8 weeks students will be invigilated during a 10 hour exam period during which time a personal response to the development of their work must be completed


Chris Phillips

I have a passion for all creative subjects, especially art and photography. I joined MCS to help students realise their potential and become successful creative professionals. I have worked in 3 very successful secondary schools which have always been passionate about students’ creative learning. For 9 years I led the Leeds visual arts network which has linked artist, crafts people and designers with secondary school art and photography teachers. This has also developed some exciting partnerships that I would seek to promote at MCS. I have always wanted to work in a creatively focused school and, now I have realised that goal, I feel privileged to be part of Manchester Creative studio’s journey. This is a truly exciting time for Manchester and the visual and digital arts’ industry. We will be teaching and training the young minds of the future to push the boundaries of digital and visual arts

Katie Miller

I have a passion for Art and all the creative elements that make it so exiting. I gained a degree in Graphic Design and then became an art teacher after completing my PGCE at Bury college 2 years ago. I have worked as a freelance Artist over the years completing various mini projects. I joined MCS 6 months ago and absolutely love teaching Art to the students here. This unique school delivers excellent opportunities to young people who wish to grow and develop their creative skills in a professional manner which i am proud to be a part of. I have enjoyed watching students develop their creative skills and reach their potential in the short time I have taught here at MCS