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Arts Award recognises the widest possible range of arts activity
  • Performing arts (for example, all kinds of music, dance, drama, storytelling, circus, mime, carnival, musical theatre, backstage theatre roles, performance art, outdoor arts, street arts)
  • Visual arts, craft and design (for example, drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, glass work, jewellery making)
  • Literature (for example, poetry, fiction, journalism, scriptwriting)
  • Digital and media (for example, 'digital making' using code, photography, film, video, computer arts, games design, recorded music, digital art)
  • Wider arts practice (for example arts marketing, producing, arts administration)
  • Museum practice (for example curation and interpretation)
Young people can take part in many different ways – not only as creators of their own work, but also, for example, as performers, backstage crew, front of house staff, technicians, web designers, camera operators, editors, promoters, DJs, costume designers, or prop makers.
Young people can also take part in more than one art form as part of their Arts Award and in fact we positively encourage this at the Discover and Explore levels.
If you're in doubt about whether an art form or project might fit:
  • First ask yourself the question: is there a qualification that would fit it better, i.e. sports/cookery etc? Am I just trying to squeeze it into the Arts Award framework for the sake of it?
  • Consider the creative elements of what you are proposing, as it will be assessed on the young persons' creativity and art form knowledge and understanding.
  • Use our appropriate art forms resource to help link it back to an art form area.


A young person interested in cake decoration - they can do their Arts Award based on the designs of any decorations. They will not meet the assessment criteria if they focus solely on the recipes and techniques for making good cakes.

A young person interested in skateboarding - they can do their Arts Award based on the creative choreography of a series of moves or could create photography or films of the activity. They will not meet the assessment criteria if they focus solely on the techniques for doing skateboarding tricks.