Art & Design National 4 & 5

Course Content

Learners will develop their knowledge of art and design practice. They will be given the opportunity to experience a range of practical media handling skills in both expressive and design contexts. They will exercise imagination and creativity, while working towards a final outcome and set deadlines. The year is split to allow pupils to work on expressive from the start of timetable until October. Pupils will work on their design folios from October until April.
Learners will understand how to analyse the factors influencing artists’ and designers’ work and practice which will inspire their folio work and critical studies. They will explore how to visually represent and communicate their personal thoughts, ideas and feelings through their work. Learners will be able to develop and produce creative design and expressive ideas and critically reflect on their own work and the work of other artists and designers.


Learners are encouraged to study still life and National level. They are asked to choose a theme which interests and is personal to them which they will base their studies on. On completion of the unit, learners will be able to use a range of art materials, techniques and/or technology for visual impact when developing their personal ideas and art work in 2D and/or 3D formats.


The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ ability to produce creative design research and development ideas in response to a design brief. Pupils are given the opportunity to choose between graphics, architecture, lighting design or body adornment as their direction of study.


The course is assessed in three sections. National 4 candidates are not required to sit a final exam. Their folio work is marked internally while National 5 candidates work is sent to the SQA for external marking.

Expressive Folio (100 marks) – Learners will present investigative studies, along with compositional ideas and a large final outcome in keeping with their theme.

Design folio (100 marks) – Learners will produce investigative research and development work in response to the brief, showing understanding of the design area requirements. Their development work will then inform them in producing a final outcome.

Question Paper (50 marks) – Pupils write about two artists and two designers who they have learned about in class. They will also be asked to discuss a random artwork and design in which they will call on their critical and discursive skills learned throughout the year.

SQA Information

National 4

National 5