Exam Board: AQA

  • Would you like to develop skills using both traditional techniques and industry standard software?
  • Do you thrive when required to be creative within the constraints of a brief?
  • Would you like to develop an understanding of how designers approach and develop graphic products such as branding, editorials and promotional materials?


Entry Requirements

At least 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths and English Language, with at least a grade 4 in GCSE Art & Design - Fine Art, Unendorsed or Graphics.

Students without these requirements who have career ambitions requiring Graphic Design will be interviewed by the Head of Department to establish whether progression on this course is possible.


Is this course for me?

  • You enjoy the challenge of delivering a project to a deadline and within the constraints of a brief.
  • You enjoy analysing existing contemporary, graphic design in order to develop an understanding of industry processes and techniques.
  • You enjoy the challenge of developing skills across industry standard software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
  • You enjoy developing creative design work in response to a brief which appeals to a specified target audience.


Where does it lead?

An A Level in Graphic Design will help you develop creative, analytical and evaluation skills necessary for success in a broad range of design careers. Many students progress into Higher Education in a range of areas including branding, advertising, web design, app development, games design and art direction. You can either apply to study a higher level qualification direct from College or, more often, complete a one year Art, Design and Media Foundation Diploma which will help you to decide which specialist qualification to apply for. You can complete the Art, Design and Media Foundation Diploma here at Birkenhead Sixth Form College.


What will I learn?

Year 1


You will develop your understanding of graphic communication by participating in a range of exciting design briefs. You will be introduced to a wide variety of creative practitioners and theories in the field, as well as having the opportunity to explore both traditional graphic design techniques and the use of industry standard software.


Year 2

Coursework Portfolio

You will produce a negotiated personal project in which you will explore a theme and develop graphic design products. This project is supported by an extensive essay.

Externally set assignment

You will respond to an externally set brief to develop a project with support from your teachers.


How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a mixture of coursework (60%) and exam projects (40%) which you will complete in the studio within a fixed time period. Guidance and support will also be provided to ensure that you develop the analysis and written skills required to undertake these tasks.


What activities can I get involved in?

You will have the opportunity to take part in visits to local Art Galleries such as FACT and you will also learn from designers visiting the College. You will have the chance to produce work for local and national competitions and see it exhibited both externally and within College at the end of term.


*We have made every effort to ensure that the information displayed is accurate. The College reserves the right to make changes and cannot accept liability arising out of, or in connection with any revision. 
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