What will I learn?

Through studying this course, you will:

  • Develop a personal appreciation and lifelong engagement with the arts;
  • Become a more informed, reflective and critical practitioner in the arts;
  • Explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures;
  • Express ideas with confidence and competence;
  • Make artwork that is influenced by personal and cultural contexts;
  • Become an informed and critical observer and maker of visual culture and media;
  • Develop skills, techniques and processes in order to communicate concepts and ideas.

What is the structure of the course?

Visual arts in context 

  • Examine and compare the work of artists from different cultural contexts;
  • Consider the contexts influencing your own work and the work of others;
  • Make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques;
  • Apply identified techniques to your own developing work;
  • Develop an informed response to work and exhibitions you have seen and experienced;
  • Begin to formulate personal intentions for creating and displaying your own artworks.

Visual arts methods

  • Look at different techniques for making art;
  • Investigate and compare how and why different techniques have evolved and the processes involved;
  • Experiment with diverse media and explore techniques for making art;
  • Develop concepts through processes informed by skills, techniques and media;
  • Evaluate how their ongoing work communicates meaning and purpose;
  • Consider the nature of “exhibition”, and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences.

Communicating visual arts

  • Explore ways of communicating through visual and written means; 
  • Make artistic choices about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding;
  • Produce a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept;
  • Select and present resolved works for exhibition;
  • Explain the ways in which the works are connected;
  • Discuss how artistic judgments impact the overall presentation.

How will I be assessed?


Higher Level

Standard Level

Task 1: Comparative Study

20% External 

20% External

Task 2: Process Portfolio

40% (Work should be submitted in at least three different art-making forms) External

40% (Work should be submitted in at least two different art-making forms) External

Task 3: Exhibition

40% (8-11 pieces with exhibition text for each. A curatorial rationale- 700 words) Internal

40% (4-7 pieces with exhibition text for each. A curatorial rationale- 400 words) Internal

Frequently Asked Questions

Which CAS opportunities are available?
Visual Arts Club

Which opportunities for further study are available?
The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Is there anything else I need to know?
IBDP visual arts encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a range of contemporary practices and media.