Graphic Communication


A Level

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 5 in another creative GCSE is required.

Why study this course?

If you have an interest in a future career in any of the areas of study listed below; if you wish to develop the skills & techniques listed below; if you wish to gain the knowledge and understanding in the areas listed below; Graphics A Level is an ideal course for you.

What does the qualification cover?

Graphics covers a very wide range of Graphic Design elements from sketching, drawing and rendering, through to photography and computer-based image manipulation.

Areas of Study:
You will be required to work in one of more areas of Graphic Communication, which might include:

  • Corporate Design
  • Advertising & Promotion
  • Packaging Design
  • Illustration
  • Communication

Skills & Techniques:

  • Visual Recording
  • Relevant Research
  • Use the work of others in developing your own ideas
  • Experiment with a range of media & techniques
  • Plan, review & modify your own work.

You will develop practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of:

  • Materials, processes, technologies and resources
  • How ideas, meanings & feelings are conveyed
  • Different genres, styles & traditions
  • Specialist vocabulary & terminology

What will I study?

Year 1

The AS year is designed to develop skills and techniques, whilst broadening knowledge and understanding of the subject. It takes the form of a Graphics Portfolio, comprising of a series of mini projects and focused practical tasks, as well as the main project, to showcase the student’s personal development. The main project will start with a ‘real-life’ design brief, and visually record a journey through research, artist studies, sourcing primary imagery, experimentation, idea generation, development, planning and manufacture of high-quality final outcomes. The final outcomes must be a personal response to satisfy the set brief, and link clearly to the research, contextual and development work.

Year 2

The A2 year is your chance to build-on and showcase the skills, techniques, knowledge and understanding developed throughout the AS year. This is done through two full projects; The Personal Investigation (worth 60%) and The Externally Set Assignment (worth 40%). The Personal Investigation is a practical unit with written elements (1000-3000 words) in which you are expected to develop a personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. With advice from your teacher, you will decide on the theme of your project, and it should be something that is personal to you. The Externally Set Assignment is another full project. You will be able to select one question from several, covering a range of graphic communication topics. Following a period of preparation, research and development you will manufacture final pieces during 15 hours of supervised time. The end of the supervised time, will also signify project completion, and it will be marked as a whole.

How will I be assessed?

All your work is assessed by your teachers and moderated by the exam board. For the externally set assignment, you are required to carry out 15 hours of work, under exam conditions. Your overall success on the course is measured by your ability to evidence the four Assessment Objectives, set by AQA for all Art & Design courses.

The assessments will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Where can it lead?

Along with courses and careers in the wide range of areas relating to Graphic Design, this is a suitable A level for any Art or Design based course in Further or Higher Education, and leading to an extensive range of careers in the Art & Design Industry.


Mrs A Oxley

Course Leader

Mr R Bullock – Faculty Leader

Course Materials