Art & Design (Graphic Design), AS-Level

Course start date:
13 Sep 2017
Course end date:
29 Jun 2018
09:00 - 14:15

A-level Graphic Design offers an ideal pathway for students wishing to pursue a career within graphic design, illustration or other arts pathways. You will complete the AS-level in the first year and the A2 in the second to form a full A-level. Graphic Communication provides the challenge of working towards creative project briefs, building a knowledge of formal language and process to understanding and demonstrate how Graphic Design can meet the needs of the intended audience. You will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of graphic media, techniques and processes, working with digital software and traditional printmaking techniques. Prior knowledge or experience of Graphic Design is not essential.

The course can be taken in the following ways:

- As a stand-alone part-time course.

- As an ‘add on’ to a Full Time Level 3 Study Programme at the College, for example alongside a BTEC Extended Diploma.

- As part of a study programme with another two A-Levels (full-time package).

Next: What will I learn?

What will I learn?

You will develop knowledge and understanding of:

- How ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created within Graphic Communication

- Historical and contemporary developments, different styles and genres.

- How images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created.

- The continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to Graphic Communication

- The working vocabulary and specialist terminology which is relevant to Graphic Communication.

You will be required to work in one or more area(s) of Graphic Communication, such as: illustration, advertising, packaging design, design for print, communication and computer graphics multimedia, animation, web design, film, television and/or video. You could also explore where these areas overlap, or combinations of these areas.

There will be opportunities to visit exhibitions and galleries, locally and nationally, on a London residential trip, to expose you to current trends. We also offer work experience, providing you with an opportunity to work alongside professional graphic designers. You will have the opportunity to be exhibited at the College’s prestigious end of year Summer Exhibition, with a private viewing in front of creative professionals, and there are even opportunities to become involved with a number of “live” commercial projects, commissioned throughout the year.

Next: Assessment

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of course work is based on clearly defined criteria at each stage, through 4 mandatory units; 2 at AS (Year One), and 2 at A2 (Year Two).

Unit 1 - AS unit 1 is portfolio of work set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 2 - AS unit 2 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in supervised conditions over 5 hours and will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 3 - A2 unit 3 is a personal investigation supported by written element of 1000-3000 words, set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 4 - A2 unit 4 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in timed conditions over 15 hours. Work produced will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Your work will be assessed through a combination of observation and evaluation of practical outcomes, research, development and analysis of projects and written evaluations of finished projects. Verbal and written feedback is integrated at each stage.

Next: Career Opportunities?

Career Opportunities

An A-level Graphic Communication qualification can enable you to progress to Higher Education either through the College’s 1 year Foundation in Art, Design & Photography, or through direct application to HNC/D and BA Degree courses.
The qualification also provides a platform to progress into the creative industries in a number of different ways; there are great benefits to having practical and creative skills and knowledge in Graphic Communication within the design, marketing and advertising industries and many web-based creative careers where graphic skills are highly valued.

Next: Entry requirements

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (or 4) in any examined subject. Must include English Language and Maths.

An interview and portfolio of art and design related work will be required by all applicants.

You should also ideally have a Grade C or above in GCSE Art and Design, GCSE Photography, or another art related subject; applicants without these qualifications can still apply, providing they can demonstrate relevant experience and commitment to the study of graphics at interview.

If you would like to study this course part-time, please contact the A-Level tutor:

If you would like to study a full-time programme of A-levels, please complete a full-time application form.

Next: Fees

Adult fees


Please note: If you are an adult student you may be entitled to financial support to cover the cost of your course, dependent on your circumstances. Please contact Student Services on for details. More about Student Finance.

Next: Enquire

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