Cheslyn Hay Academy, Saredon Road, Cheslyn Hay, WS6 7JQ
Part of Windsor Academy Trust
graphic design a level at aspire sixth form

Graphic Design A Level

Curriculum Intent

To ensure all students regardless of background and ability can aspire to ‘unlock their academic and personal potential’. It empowers and equips students with the knowledge, character virtues and learning skills required to thrive in learning and in life.

Why should I study 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, fashion, product and advertising through a varied approach of media. Students are encouraged to combine traditional hand rendered methods such as painting and printmaking with digital methods such as Photoshop and 2D Design.

We offer an imaginative course with considerable opportunities to develop personal interests and talents around the subject. The course demands a strong work ethic and independent commitment.

Course Outline

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 – 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 – Externally set exam component

40% of A Level Grade – An externally set exam paper is released in January 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.

What skills will I gain?

Graphics is a great companion to all other subjects as creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills can give you great ideas for your other subjects. Fine Art AS and A Level builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through study at GCSE. At the end of the A Level course you will have the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for higher education.

What career paths is Graphic Design suitable for?

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.

Entry requirements

  • Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above; including English and/or maths.
  • National data suggests successful students will have achieved an average points score of 4.0 or more.