Madras College

Art and Design - Advanced Higher


The Course provides opportunities for personalisation and choice in selecting a creative and personally challenging context for self-directed learning. It allows pupils to broaden and extend their creativity, design-based problem solving and critical thinking skills and to work independently. This distinct focus on sustained self-directed learning is part of the Course’s unique contribution to pupils’ creative development.

Course Content

Advanced Higher Pupils can choose to complete the course via one of the following three options:


1: A Design Unit with dissertation

The development of creativity is the main focus of this practical and experiential Course where pupils will:

  • Engage in an intensive and personally selected design enquiry.
  • Investigate and explore the creative opportunities and constraints of a selected design area, taking account of function, target market and aesthetics.
  • Experiment with using design materials, techniques and/or technology in sophisticated ways when developing and refining creative design ideas and solutions.
  • Develop informed views and personal opinions on designers’ work and practice.
  • Respond in sophisticated and creative ways to the issues, opportunities and constraints of the design area when developing design ideas and solutions and resolving technical and design challenges.
  • Use their investigation into design practice to inspire them to develop and refine a progressive series of original design ideas and solutions in response to selected design area/design stimuli.


2: An Expressive Unit with dissertation

The key points about this Course are as follows:

  • Strong emphasis on skills development and the application of those skills.
  • Engage in a creative and personally selected expressive enquiry.
  • They will explore the creative potential of their selected expressive stimuli and experiment with using materials, advanced techniques and/or technology to communicate and express their ideas in 2D and/or 3D formats.
  • Opportunities for personalisation and choice by allowing learners to select creative and challenging contexts for self-directed learning.
  • Broaden and extend their creativity and critical thinking skills and to work independently in an area of personal interest.
  • Develop and refine a series of original and creative ideas and expressive artwork.
  • Develop informed views and personal opinions on artists’ work and expressive art practice. They will demonstrate critical understanding of art practice and will research and investigate how specific artists develop and create expressive art work in response to external stimuli including the environment, their surroundings and world events and/or social issues.


3: Two practical units (with NO dissertation)

  • 80% in either Design or Expressive
  • 20% in the other, either Design or Expressive