Our Subjects

Use the links below to explore the subjects available at CSVPA. (* denotes a compulsory subject)


Experimental Studies

This all encompassing subject ensures you have a solid understanding of drawing-based theory including mark making, colour theory and perspective theory that takes into account how work is produced. Over the year you will cover off the following areas:

  • Elements of composition, tone, colour, texture, form and structure
  • Observational analysis
  • Visual interpretation
  • Improvisation techniques
  • Rendering the abstract
  • Experimental drawing

Critical and Contextual Studies

Critical and Contextual Studies is a course designed to develop you as a student. The course provides an introduction to significant movements and ideas in Art and Design History to allow students to deepen their knowledge, visual literacy, and personal understanding of key concepts essential for working in the creative industries. Weekly assignments and individual presentation tasks are used to help develop writing, research, and speaking skills that build confidence and prepare students for university interviews. The course encourages students to reflect on their own work, to consider the context in which they are working and the type of practitioner they want to be.


English Training

Through a variety of teaching styles, we focus on four key skills you need to pass your IELTS exam; listening, reading, writing and spoken English. This subject is linked with your Contextual Studies lectures so you are better equipped with vocabulary to explain your workings and promote your final pieces.


Graphics & Illustration

Graphic Design and Illustration underpin most of the visual creative arts industry. You are introduced to the fundamentals of graphic design, such as layouts, composition, typography, colour work, the relationships between photography and illustration and how all of the above unites to form what makes a graphic designer. All media from pen and paper to digital creative software is encouraged. Both are tools, it’s just how you use them that determines you. A sharp eye for detail and an understanding of type, image and layout are key assets to succeed in this sector of the creative arts. Professional Graphic Designers adapt from one brief to the next to designing for print, web, mobile and TV.

Example skills learned | Page/Layout Design, Photography and manipulation, Advertising and Promotion, Typographic understanding, Colour work, Drawing and Mark Making, Portfolio Development and Experimental work suitable for access to the Higher Education route. Illustration is about creating an image, not just drawing it, using a range of techniques such as print making, photography and digital manipulation.

Preparation for | Graphic Communication Design, Illustration Animation, Graphic and Media Design, Communication Design, 3D Game Design, Media Communications, Web Design, Children's Book Illustration

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