Specifications that use this resource:

Switching to AQA from Edexcel

To save you time and help you compare our GCSE Art and Design with the Edexcel specification, we’ve created some comparison tables.

These tables highlight the content and requirements side by side, so you can make the right choice for your students.

Let us know if you’d like to hear from us, we’ll send you everything you need to get started.

Assessment comparison

Component one

AQA – GCSE Art and Design

Edexcel ­ ­– GCSE Art and Design

Component 1

Component 1


Personal portfolio

No time limit


96 marks (60% of GCSE)

72 marks (60% of GCSE)

Component 1 – portfolio

A portfolio that, in total, shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study.

(Non-exam assessment set and marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit. Moderation will normally take place in June).

Component 1 – portfolio

From centre-set theme(s) in consultation with students.

Students produce a portfolio of work demonstrating knowledge, understanding and skills, and comprising supporting studies and personal response(s).

(Non-exam assessment: internally assessed and externally moderated).

Component two

AQA – GCSE Art and Design

Edexcel – GCSE Art and Design

Component 2

Component 2

Externally set assignment

Externally set assignment

Preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time

10-hour sustained focus period in which students produce personal response(s)

96 marks (40% of GCSE)

72 marks (40% of GCSE)

Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives.

(Non-exam assessment set by AQA; marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit.)

From an externally-set theme (released on 2 January). Centres devise a period of preparatory study in which students create preparatory studies.

(Internally assessed and externally moderated.)

Subject content comparison

AQA – GCSE Art and Design

Edexcel – GCSE Art and Design

3.1 Knowledge and understanding

All students will be required to submit evidence of drawing and written annotation.

3.2 Skills

  • drawing
  • written annotation.

Fine art

3.3 Titles – students must develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills in the subject content in ways appropriate to their chosen title:

  • art, craft and design
  • fine art
  • graphic communication
  • textile design
  • three-dimensional design
  • photography.

Graphic communication

3.4 Art, craft and design

Textile design

3.5 Fine Art

Three-dimensional design

3.6 Graphic communication


3.7 Textile design


3.8 Three-dimensional design


3.9 Photography

Further details

Art and Design progression

For GCSE Art and Design there are no prior learning requirements. However, the specification allows for progression from KS3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study at AS and A-level, as well as vocational pathways. To support this progression, the assessment objectives, structure and titles are very similar to those detailed in the AS and A- level Art and Design specification.