A Level – Graphic Design

Graphic Design is an excellent choice for anyone with a vivid interest in visual communication, the art of conveying an idea with word and imagery for a commercial purpose. The course enables students to explore aspects of graphic design such as illustration, typography and advertising through a varied approach of media.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    Graphic Design is an excellent choice for anyone with a vivid interest in visual communication, the art of conveying an idea with word and imagery for a commercial purpose.

    The course enables students to explore aspects of graphic design such as illustration, typography and advertising through a varied approach of media. Students are encouraged to combine traditional hand rendered methods painting and printmaking with digital methods such as Photoshop.

    We offer an imaginative course with considerable opportunities to experiment with media and creative design work, where you will work with a variety of materials, techniques and processes in order to express and answer a visual problem with imagination.

    The course demands a strong work ethic and independent commitment. If you achieved well and enjoyed Art & Design at school this could be the course for you.

    Graphic Design is often studied alongside related courses such as Fine Art and Photography, but can also serve as a complementary study route, offering an element of variety to an intense academic programme.


  • Course Details:

    Exam Board


    Course Details

    This two year course is delivered as three distinct units of study, which introduce and expand the skills of visual communication, in relation to the discipline of Graphic Design. Each unit builds upon prior knowledge which tests creative skills and imagination in working towards design brief resolutions. You will communicate ideas, through inter-play of words and images, media handling, contextual research and visual realisation.
    Quality of written expression is especially important in the second year of study.

     Phase 1.

    Introductory component

    A first body of coursework is internally set and marked and involves the construction of a portfolio that builds on existing skills, combining traditional art based image-making skills with digital image manipulation platforms. Typography, illustration and packaging are all themes central to the course. During a typical first year, three themed projects are completed.

    Phase 2.

    7203C. Internally Set , externally moderated Coursework Component.

    60% of A level Grade

    A personal investigation is initiated in the final months of the first year of study offering the opportunity for an in-depth investigation on a chosen theme agreed via negotiation between the individual student and the course team. This component of the course offers a real opportunity for the creation of an original Graphic Design portfolio and also requires an illustrated essay related to the theme of the project.

    Phase 3.

    7203X. Externally Set Exam Component.

    40% of A level Grade

    An externally set exam paper is released in February offering a choice of themes for independently researched visual development and contextual work. The culmination of this component of work is a fifteen-hour exam undertaken in April in which a summative piece of visual work relating to the exam question is undertaken.


    How the course is delivered

    The course is rooted in direct creative activity supported by individual tutorial discussion and reference to exemplar material created by teaching staff and established historical significant artists, designers and illustrators. Careful guidance is given with regard to the construction and presentation of individual, outcomes, sketchbooks and portfolios, supported by visual example, written and verbal instruction.


    Departmental Enrichment

    The department as a whole offers an open door policy, in order that space, materials and creative opportunities are maximised. Regular twilight studio sessions are held throughout the year and the studio is available every lunchtime for private study. Further individual support is always available on request and the level of pastoral care afforded by the department is highly regarded.

    The Graphic Design department at Wyke Sixth Form College

    The Graphic Design studio forms part of a purpose built open plan teaching space offering access to drawing, painting and printmaking facilities. Access to digital equipment, Photoshop and Illustrator is also available.

    A wider range of visual and contextual materials are made freely available, many designed by the teaching team.


    What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

    This course is creatively demanding and requires an open minded and industrious approach. The best preparation for this course can be direct observation drawing undertaken on an almost daily basis, studying at length and in detail the qualities of everyday objects, architecture and figurative subjects in addition a keen interest in graphic styles, packaging, typography and photography.

    Taking an active interest in the history of the subject is also recommended. Both the Ferens Art Gallery in the city and Beverley Art Gallery offer splendid opportunities to view paintings and artifacts at first hand.


  • Progression:

    What does this course lead to?

    An A Level in Graphic Design may lead naturally to a pre-degree foundation course and then degree level study in a wide range of art & design based disciplines.

    The study of Graphic design at degree level can lead to career opportunities in a wide and varied field. Graphic Design students become freelance creative practitioners or work for design companies in many areas including; interior design, jewellery, graphics, illustration, animation, architecture, set design, fashion and textiles, and a host of creative digital industries.

    Graphic design study may also open opportunities in the field of animation web design advertising and illustration.

    Student success

    The department is well experienced in guiding students to success. Over the last four years students of Graphic Design have gone on to study the subject at degree level at institutions as diverse as Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Cambridge and London.

    “I loved the graphic design course I’d never really done anything like it before but I picked up the basics and knowledge quickly. I really liked the range of projects and the freedom to create what I wanted, especially in the second year. The course and space are really great to be a part of (but the teachers make it even better!). I am hoping to go to University to study Graphic Design and then find work in the field after my Foundation Course”.

    Anna Heywood, former Graphic Design student.