Awarding Body:EduqasCourse Duration:2 Years


It is beneficial if you have studied an Art and Design course at GCSE (Art, Commercial Art, Graphic Communication etc) as this is an Art and Design course. If you have studied Graphic Products this can be appropriate, but may not have prepared you as fully for the creative thinking skills required in an Art and Design course. Drawing skills are not essential, but enthusiasm and a creative approach are.

This course focuses on the specialist aspects of Graphic Design, which is usually in the form of a 2D (flat) outcome. Those interested in 3D modelling courses should refer to Product Design or Art - Three Dimensional Design.

Course Content

Think of Graphic Communication as Commercial Art, it is about exploring ideas visually and creating beautiful outcomes that communicate a message, and have a commercial application. We always work to a brief and tight deadlines to prepare you for higher education and the design industry.

We spend a lot of time researching, thinking around, and exploring ideas to help us come up with the best and most unique ways to respond to a brief.

We work with a range of media; traditional paints, rollers, various printing techniques, collage, as well as using the latest edition of Adobe Creative Cloud software and 2D design to create work. With two laser cutters and two CAMM cutters in our department we are kitted out to be able to produce the best quality outcomes that look highly professional.

We aim to set you up with a range of skills and a body of work, including a visual journal/sketchbook, which could be presented as a portfolio at interviews for University and Art Foundation courses. Many of our students have gone on to study a creative Graphics based courses after finishing college.

You are expected to work outside of lessons, and a reasonable expectation is that you would spend between three and five hours outside of the classroom working each week. You must have this level of motivation or you will find the course increasingly difficult.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

You will receive a series of one to one assessments on your progress and termly progress tutorials. Your final assessment is as follows:

Year 1

Year one includes an introductory period where we will teach you skills and techniques, and give you lots of opportunities to respond personally to short projects. You will record all work in your sketchbook which allows you to build and learn new skills and techniques in a range of design related areas.

This introductory period will be followed by one extended coursework project that is internally set.

Component 1: Personal Creative Enquiry

The Personal Creative Enquiry consists of an extended, exploratory project based on themes and subject matter which are personal and meaningful to the learner. The Enquiry must integrate contextual understanding, creative making, reflective recording and personal presentation.

Year 2

In year two, candidates are required to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills gained in year one with greater depth of study:

Component 1: Personal Investigation (worth 60% of A level)

The Personal Investigation consists of a major in-depth, practical, critical and theoretical investigative project/theme-based portfolio. Learners will be required to carry out an extended critical and contextual analysis (1000 word minimum requirement).

Component 2: Externally set assignment (worth 40% of A level)

Learners will be required to independently develop a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli. Learners will develop their response during a preparatory study period culminating in a 15 hour sustained focus study.

Financial Implications

Although the Product Design department will provide essential materials for you to work with (paper, paint, some drawing media) you will need to purchase some equipment (A3 Sketchbook, and ‘Graphics pack’ including: colour pencils, fine liners, rubber, sharpener, graphite pencils, glue stick, memory stick (16GB minimum) and ongoing printing credit). It is important to stress that Graphic Communication can be an expensive subject, and should you wish to use more specialised media this may well involve some personal expense. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Where Could It Take Me?

A-level Graphic Communication enables access to further study, through a portfolio of work onto Art foundation courses and courses at BA Honours Degree Level. 

Relevant degree courses include: BA Honours Graphic Design, BA Honours Visual Communication, BA Honours Illustration, BA Honours Digital Media, BA Honours Animation, BA Honours Architecture etc.


Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.

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