Why Choose Graphic Design?

Graphic Design is concerned with producing images and arranging written and visual information for print.  Students learn to experiment with imagemaking and using images with text. Typography, illustration, packaging and printmaking are taught and used in combination. Drawing from first hand sources is an important element of the course, as is the design process, charted through work books.

Resources and Facilities

We have facilities for drawing, printmaking and photography. We also have industry standard software and access to colour printing.

Teaching and Learning Styles

Work is project based and in Year 1 the acquisition of skills is part of each project. The design process is taught through observation, recording, experimentation, selection and presentation of images. Research projects give students the opportunity to investigate the history and practice of graphic design. The computers are used as tools to assist in producing images, but all design work starts on paper.


Year 1 Course Structure
The first term consists of a range of short projects which build Graphic Design skills using some of the following: drawing & illustration, typography, photography and the use of Photoshop and Design software.

Terms 2 and 3 will have longer projects which will refine and develop skills from the first term and help students refine their skills in identifying and developing project ideas. Work from these projects can form the basis of
the Personal Investigation in year 2.

There is an internal assessment at the end of year 1.

Year 2 Course Structure
A Level Unit 1: Personal Investigation - 60% of A Level grade.

Consists of two integrated parts:

  1. A major in-depth critical, practical and theoretical investigative project/ portfolio and outcome/s based on themes and subject matter that have
    personal significance.
  2. An extended written element of 1000 words minimum, which may contain images and texts and must clearly relate to practical and theoretical
    work using an appropriate working vocabulary and specialist terminology.

A Level Unit 2: Externally set task - 40% of A Level grade.
A period of preparatory study based on a starting point set by the exam board followed by a 15 hour period of sustained focused work completed under exam conditions.

Graphics Profile Student

Nathaniel Barnsley-Staight

Art and Design: Graphics - Nunnery Wood High School
I studied Graphic Design GCSE at school as I liked the idea of using a mix of computers and drawing to produce a finished piece. Taking it to A Level at College meant I could have more creative freedom over my work. I’m also studying Photography and have found that the two subjects complement each other as I can interchange skills from both subjects allowing me to use a combination of ideas to create my work. After College, I hope to continue with my Graphic Design studies at university.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Students are required to participate in museum/gallery visits and any site visits related to practical work.

Progression Opportunities

Many students continue on to art-related courses, usually Foundation courses which may be followed by a Graphic Design or Visual Communication degree.

Course Specifics / Entry Requirements

Qualification NameMaths GCSE Req.English GCSE Req.Other Req.Desirable QualificationsSkills & Attributes Required for SuccessGuidance on Costs or Commitments
Graphic DesignGCSE Art & Design (not Graphic Products) at grade 4 or above, or portfolio.Experience in observational skills and developmentArt materials: £30-£45. At least two visits: £30

Related Courses / Activities