Art and Design Advanced Higher (Expressive)

Purpose and Aims of the Course

The Course provides opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, visual awareness and aesthetic understanding while exploring how to communicate their personal thoughts, ideas and opinions through their expressive art work. This will involve visually exploring and responding in an individual way to their stimuli, researching challenging expressive art contexts and the ways that artists respond creatively to stimuli, and evaluating and synthesising visual and other information from a variety of sources. This depth of personalised study affords learners a unique opportunity to intellectually engage with the visual arts. The Course will provide learners with the opportunity to extend and apply the expressive art skills they may have developed in the Higher Art and Design Course and elsewhere, and to consider how artists’ work impacts on communities’ surroundings and communities’ perceptions, shaping our understanding of the world that surrounds us. Learners will also demonstrate personal autonomy and creative decision making when negotiating the context and stimuli for their work and when developing and realising their creative ideas.


The aims of the Course are to enable learners to:

  • experience an independent, self-directed study of expressive art and art practice
  • develop personal autonomy, creativity, independent thinking and evaluative skills when responding to stimuli and creating their own expressive art work
  • develop individual self-expression and creativity through their considered exploration and use of art materials, equipment, techniques and/or technology
  • develop the higher-order thinking skills required to analyse, synthesise, and critically respond to and understand the impact of expressive art work
  • develop advanced critical thinking skills, reaching substantiated informed judgements when refining and presenting lines of visual 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 artists and expressive art practice, and will apply their insights when developing their own compositions and expressive art work. They will personally respond to their stimuli, and experiment with using art materials, composition and the visual elements to express and communicate sophisticated ideas through their art work. 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. Learners will develop aesthetic discrimination, imagination and creative insight when reviewing and refining their expressive art work.


Link to course page on SQA website here.


Link to Course Resources


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