Art & Design National 4 and National 5

National 4 and National 5 courses are practical and experiential. They encourage learners to exercise imagination and creativity. The courses are designed to develop a greater knowledge, understanding and ability to critically analyse the professional practice of artists and designers, and for learners to apply this knowledge to their own creative work. Learners will investigate and research projects of their own choice, develop ideas, produce outcomes, and analyse and evaluate their own, and the work of others. Learners develop broad generic skills as an integral part of their learning experience. The courses allow learners to widen their horizons regarding a range of careers.

Both courses are broadly similar in content:

The aims of the Courses are to enable learners to:

    • communicate personal thoughts, feelings and ideas through the creative use of art and design materials, techniques and/or technology
    • develop critical understanding of a range of art and design practice
    • plan, develop, produce and present creative art and design work
    • understand the impact of external factors on artists and designers and their work
    • develop creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and reflective practice skills

Skills, knowledge and understanding

These are:

    • producing analytical drawings and related investigative studies in response to stimuli
    • using visual elements expressively, showing a clear understanding of the subject matter
    • producing focused investigative visual and market research for a design activity
    • skills in using a range of art and design materials, techniques and/or technology creatively
    • developing and refining a variety of creative ideas for art and design work in 2D and/or 3D formats
    • describing how artists and designers use materials, techniques and/or technology in their work
    • analysing the impact of social, cultural and other influences on artists’ and designers’ work and practice
    • using problem solving, planning and self-evaluation skills within the creative process



National 4 – 3 Units internally assessed

Learners must pass all units to gain National 4

National 5 – 2 Units and course assessment, internally assessed followed by submission to the SQA for external marking.

Learners must pass both units and the course assessment (the portfolio and the question paper) to gain National 5.

To gain the award the learner must pass all the units as well as the course assessment. The SQA will provide rigorous, external quality assurance to ensure assessment judgements are consistent and meet national standards.

Learners will extend and apply the skills they have learnt in the course to produce a portfolio consisting of development and realisation of one single line of expressive enquiry and one single line of design enquiry. The question paper allows learners to critically analyse and evaluate the work of artists and designers by showing understanding of the visual qualities and /or functional impact of their work. The questions are designed to test candidates’ ability to respond critically to images of visual arts and design products and to form and substantiate judgements about identified aspects of art practice


Learners can expect to be doing at least 1 hour of homework per week


    • Success in N4 Art and Design leads to:
    • N5 Art and Design, which leads to:
    • Higher Art and Design, which leads to:
    • Advanced Higher Art and Design, which leads to
    • Appropriate College or University courses, which leads to:
    • Employment in a variety of areas such as -

Architecture and Environmental Design, Advertising, Computer Animation, Fashion Design, Film and television Industry, Graphic Design, Games Design, Interior Design, Illustration, Jewellery design, Museum Curator, Product Design, Stage and Scenery design, Retail Design, Teaching, Web Based Design.

For further information please contact - Mrs S. Kelly, PT Art and Design.