Art and Design Advanced Higher (Design)

Purpose and Aims of the Course

The Course provides opportunities for learners to develop their creativity and to apply their understanding of design practice, function and aesthetics. This will involve exploring and researching challenging design contexts, issues and opportunities, and evaluating and synthesising visual stimuli and other information from a variety of sources. This depth of personalised study into a selected area of design affords learners a unique opportunity to intellectually engage with the design process and to focus on how to creatively respond to challenging design issues and opportunities. The Course will provide learners with the opportunity to extend and apply the design skills they may have developed during the Higher Art and Design Course and elsewhere. Learners will also demonstrate personal autonomy and creative decision making when negotiating the design area and stimuli for their work, and when developing and realising their design ideas and solutions.


The aims of the Course are to enable learners to:

  • experience an independent, self-directed study of design and design practice
  • develop personal autonomy, creativity, independent thinking and evaluative skills when resolving design problems and responding to design area requirements and constraints
  • develop individual creativity and technical skills through the considered exploration and creative use of design materials, equipment, techniques and/or technology
  • develop higher-order thinking skills by analysing, synthesising and responding to designers’ work and the external factors which influence the design area
  • develop advanced critical thinking and design-based problem solving skills
  • reach substantiated and informed judgements when refining and presenting lines of design enquiry and development


The Units have a personalised approach to learning. Through completing the Units and the Course assessment, learners will carry out extended and self-directed studies into design practice and will apply this understanding when developing their design ideas and solutions. They will personally respond to their selected design area, design brief and stimuli, exploring how best to translate and realise their design ideas and turn these into effective and sophisticated design solutions that meet the requirements of the design brief. In the Course, learners will develop skills which are transferable to other areas of study and which they will use in everyday life. At this level, learners will be working with greater independence. They will apply their critical thinking skills when reflecting on their creative options and choices and when deciding how to develop their design ideas. Learners will develop aesthetic discrimination, imagination and critical understanding of the design area when reviewing and refining their design ideas and solutions.


Link to course page on SQA website here.


Link to Course Resources


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