Graphic Communication
A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

Graphic Communication offers fantastic opportunities to develop your creative skills working on exciting graphic design projects, such as poster design, packaging, branding, book layout and publishing. Previous experience of a graphics course at school is not necessary and this subject would suit a student studying at least one other creative subject.

Grade 4 or above in GCSE Art and Design subject preferred if taken at GCSE.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Student Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your subject choices.

Students will be able to develop their skills in the field of information design through the application and synthesis of colour, text and image. Work is mainly 2D-based and will involve developing skills using a wide range of digital design techniques. You will be using appropriate industry-standard computer software (e.g. Photoshop) on high-specification computers. There will also be an expectation to produce more traditional hand-made design work through the use of drawing, painting and collage.

On this course students will develop technical skills in the use of computers and creative software. They will also learn the process of digital design, including digital storage, image resolution and print and file formats, to industry standard. Students will broaden their knowledge of information design and gain an insight into why graphic design plays a vital communicative role in the world we live in. The course will help students develop a sophisticated visual aesthetic, encouraging them to be self-critical, inquisitive and hone their creative ability through a range of exciting design project briefs.

60% personal investigation, 40% externally-set practical exam

The students’ coursework is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Opportunities that will get the students ready for the world of work have included entering the ‘Festival of the Sea’ competition run by Portsmouth City Council, the ‘Mambo’ surfboard design competition organised by Mambo Boards, and completing an ‘America’s Cup’ poster design in conjunction with Victorious Festival.

Graphics is a hugely versatile A Level and an excellent combination subject with any other creative course. Historically, over 80% of students taking this course progress onto a degree programme in graphic design. Students who have taken this subject at Portsmouth College have progressed onto careers in architecture, fashion photography, fashion design, set design for film, publishing, animation, app design, and graphic design and advertising.

This is a practical course with major deadlines for coursework set for the end of January, for both first and second years of study. In addition, first-year mock practical exams and second-year actual practical exams generally run between the last week of April through to the third week of May. with exam papers being issued for these at the start of February.