Qualification: A-Level | Exam board: Edexcel
Graphic Communication conveys information and ideas by visual means.
Often work is realised in two-dimensional form but carries the illusion of three dimensions through the manipulation of images and the formal elements.
The critical elements for a graphic designer are the successful communication of a message through the organisation of images and words. The use of information technology within Graphic Communication has taken on an ever-increasing importance in recent years, changing working practices and leading to new forms of communication and presentation.
During this course you will be given the opportunity to develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures in practical and contextual forms. You will investigate specific areas of design problems, determine relevant sources of information and use them to research and define possible solutions.
During the course you will build up a practical portfolio of work, which can be used to support applications for work or for higher education programmes.
Year one content
Personal investigation (internally set).
Incorporates two major elements: supporting studies and practical work.
Assignment (externally set).
Incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 10-hour period of sustained focus. All work produced on the course will become part of your portfolio submission.
Year two content
Coursework (internally set)
Incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work and a personal study. supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from a personal starting point. The personal study is evidenced through critical written communication, showing contextual research and understanding, and may contain integrated images.
Assignment (externally set).
Incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 15-hour period of sustained focus. You will produce final outcome(s) extending from their preparatory studies in response to externally set assignment, under examination conditions. The 15- hour exam will take place over multiple sessions.
Graphic Communication is a subject that requires the development of many skills. As well as a good eye for design, you will need problem-solving skills, a willingness to experiment with both handmade and digital image making techniques, creative ability, patience and an interest in how visual media can influence society.
To succeed in this course you must be very creative, able to explore and manipulate a wide variety of materials and media, and also have a high level of self-motivation. A significant level of literacy and analytical skills is also required in order to cope with the demands of self-expression and critical analysis that are an integral part of this course.
During the course you will build up a practical portfolio of work, which can be used to support applications for work or for higher education programmes. There are a wide range of university courses available in art and design, including specialist courses in graphic communication/design, typography, illustration, digital photography, architecture, animation, game design, web design and advertising, all of which will directly prepare you for careers in the creative industry. This subject combines well with AS/A level Art & Design, ICT & Photography.
You will be able to make full use of the excellent facilities and equipment available to you. You will be well informed of both current and historically significant artists and designers through lecture presentations and you will be encouraged to use the substantial range of graphic design books and magazines available in the library.
You will be introduced to digital and hand crafted illustrative, typographic and layout techniques through guided workshops.
You will have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud (including Lightroom), scanners, high-spec digital cameras, photography studios, extensive art materials and high quality printing free of charge. We have a range of guest speakers visit, such as freelance illustrators, GFSmith Paper Company, street artists and print specialists. There are a variety of visits during the academic year to the Tate modern, V & A, Notting Hill Brand Museum and a paper mill, where you will get to make own paper.
Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:
Subject specific entry requirements
- 5 in an Art Design subject (a portfolio of previous work may also be requested)
Standard entry requirements
- At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)
- At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3
- Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)
- Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
- Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
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