These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.
The Art course for Leaving Cert is about developing the student's ability in a range of artistic fields and disciplines. The syllabus permits a huge number of media, from the fine arts such as sculpture, drawing, and painting, to puppet-making, embroidery, calligraphy, metalwork, and pottery.
Students are expected to spend the duration of the course practicing and developing their skills in several of these areas.
Why Study Art
If you want to study more in an artistic area, you can continue in Fine Art and specialise in painting, sculpting or printmaking. Alternatively, you could go into the design area and specialise in areas such as fashion, graphic, interior or furniture design. Studying art, as the title suggests, allows students to be creative and explore their desire for self-expression and develop an appreciation for artistic work of others, including the work of famous artists and the history of art.
What kind of Student would Art suit?
The Leaving Certificate Art syllabus is a broadly based course, which is made up of four units. These units link together and are based on the everyday visual experience of the student's own environment.
This subject requires a lot of work and study for the Leaving Certificate and students need to be creative and/or be able to interpret the creative work of others.
Note: that the Leaving Cert Art course has nothing to do with the portfolio submissions which art and design colleges often require. The course does not aim to build a portfolio. All marks are given for work done on the day. However, it is common to take Art while preparing a portfolio, and much of the practice work done in class can be included.
Art is examined in three ways:
All students, both ordinary and higher level, follow a common course. The practical work can include Life Sketching, Still Life, Imaginative Composition, Design and Craftwork.
The History of Art and Appreciation is a broad course covering Irish and European Art, and also Art Appreciation. It requires looking at artworks through the use of reproductions, slides and art galleries, reading books and writing essays on different subjects.
The exam structure is the same at higher and ordinary level
Candidate will be required to answer all four papers:
a) Imaginative Composition or Still Life - 100 marks
b) Design or Craftwork - 100 marks
c) Life Sketching - 50 marks
d) History and Appreciation of Art - 150 marks
Coursework (a) Imaginative Composition or Still Life and (b) Design or Craftwork
The Imaginative Composition or Still Life component and the Craft or Design component is executed as coursework in schools. This coursework is to be completed from Feb- April of 6th year.
These two components will be based on a single set of stimulus materials issued annually by the State Examinations Commission. Based on these materials, the candidate will choose one theme from which both components will be developed.
Each candidate will be required to create and submit a realised work for the Imaginative Composition or Still Life component and a realised work for the Craft or Design component, as well as preliminary and preparatory material.
(c) Life Sketching
Candidates will be required to make two sketches of the model. The first will be a pose of 15 minutes. The second will be a more fully worked drawing taking approximately 30 minutes. Colour may be used.
(d) History of Art Exam
The art course also features a written examination on History and Appreciation of Art, which counts for 37.5% of the marks. The exam is divided into three sections, one on Irish art, one on European art, and a final section on artistic appreciation. The course content is extremely broad, and covers everything from prehistoric art to the modern day, but students are free to focus their studies on a few narrow areas of interest such as renaissance or Celtic art. Diagrams and illustrative sketches are encouraged in the exam.
Note for Students taking Art outside of School
The changes to examinations arrangements are especially pertinent to students who intend to take Art as an additional subject outside of the normal school setting, either on their own or with private tuition outside of a school or centre. Practical Coursework must be conducted under the supervision of a class teacher with the work authenticated by the teacher and principal. As it is not possible to meet the authentication requirements outside of a formal educational setting, coursework cannot be accepted from external candidates. If you intend on taking Art outside of school ensure that your coursework can be authenticated otherwise you will forfeit 50% of your Art grade.
Art is useful for careers in animation, art teaching, computer design, architecture, fashion design, interior design, graphic design, painting and decorating, photography and art therapy.
For most level art and design courses, a portfolio is required as well as the Leaving Cert.
Note: Each college has its own date for submission of a portfolio and you will not be notified by the college or the CAO, you will need to research the deadline yourself.
Portfolios take a lot of time to complete and some students take night classes, summer courses to complete them. There are also a number of portfolio preparation courses offered through PLC colleges.
This subject may be essential for entry into some third level courses. Click on the link below to view courses that may require this subject for entry:Art