A Level Graphic Communication


About this subject

This is a specialist A Level where students will explore advertising, illustration, packaging, typography and multimedia. They will investigate design problems, determine relevant sources of information, research and propose solutions recognising the constraints of moral, social, cultural, environmental and legal issues. It should be noted that this is an Art based approach to graphic design, where students will develop fluent Mac skills as an integral part of this course; using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Students are supported and encouraged as independent learners, developing an artistic and personal professionalism towards their studies and possible future careers in design. It also features an integral careers programme, which can include work placement opportunities and live briefs within these subject specific areas. We are uniquely placed within this industry with ex-students holding positions within prominent organisations, for example Burberry, Conde Nast and several with their own creative companies

Learning styles

The units require students to take a dynamic personal approach to project work through the development of a variety of skills. These include investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, as well as aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.

Each piece of work builds upon the knowledge, understanding and skills gained from the last; this helps students’ work to progress naturally in complexity, maturity and individuality.

Students are guided through the course by a range of learning experiences:

  • one to one tutorials to review progress and set individual targets.
  • group presentations to discuss homework, research and approaches.
  • studio based skills sessions.
  • personal research and study.
  • gallery visits, lectures, slide and video presentations.

Subject Combinations and Progression

The specialist A Level can be taken alone or alongside any specialist Arts A Levels, including Contemporary Fine Art, Textiles Design and Photography.

Typically we send 70% of our A Level cohort to specialist Arts Degrees and Foundation courses. For example, we currently have Graphics students at Central St Martins, London College of Communication, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Falmouth, and Bath Spa.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Component 1: Personal Investigation.

Self-initiated coursework consisting of preparation work, exploratory work and final pieces (60% of total qualification).This unit includes a 1000 word essay on a related artist/designer or theme

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment.

Preparation period and a 15-hour examination. (40% of total qualification).

Minimum Entry Requirements

Grade 4  or above in GCSE Art essential for this specialist course.