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Graphic Communication A Level 3 at Oakwood Park Grammar School

Course description

The A level Graphic Communication course comprises of two parts a Personal investigation and an Externally Set assignment.

The course emphasises the importance of personal choice and independent study. Students will start by developing their own briefs negotiated with teaching staff and then create work create work that starts with a foundation in drawing, then demonstrates student’s ability to experiment and develop their ideas in a range of materials and techniques including painting, printmaking, 3-Dimensional options, photography, digital work including Photoshop and Illustrator.


The course also puts a high emphasis on student’s ability to analyse Graphic illustrators’ work and contextual references that link to their work. This includes a 3000 word essay that will be developed in conjunction with their second project. Students must also be able to analyse their own work showing links to artists and a deep and firm understanding of the wider issues in their work.


Students are expected to create a range of high quality final pieces that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of graphic communication and their ability to evaluate their own work.




Course content

Personal Investigation

The Personal Investigation takes the form of two major projects, these projects are allow for personal choices with the emphasis on independent learning. Students must design their own briefs focusing on a project that allows them to explore a range of graphical outcomes that is thoughtfully discussed with the teaching staff. After designing a brief students must develop and explore their themes creating a range of outcomes in a professional manner.

Students must show development of ideas this includes, an ability to research a range of artists work, analysing their processes and using the knowledge gained to influence and inspire their own work. Students must also have the ability to experiment with a range of ideas and materials that are appropriate to their starting points, reviewing and refining their work purposefully. Students must have a strong ability to record their ideas and reflect critically on their work and progress. Finally they must have the ability to create a personal and imaginative final realisation that makes connections between their work and others.

Student’s practical outcomes can take the form of a range of final realisations that can include 2-D paintings, printmaking photography, textiles, multimedia pieces and digital work packaging, posters, magazine covers. Students will be expected to produce a high quantity and quality work during the course


The practical aspect of the course is complimented with a 3000-word essay that explores the students chosen practical brief from an analytical viewpoint. Students will be expected to devise a title for the essay based on their second project. From this point they must complete in-depth research on their topic and then write an essay that shows their understanding of the artists and the themes from their research


Externally Set Assignment

The Externally Set Assignment is a response to topics given by the Examining Board. The papers are issued in early February and students have until mid- May to finalise their responses. 


During this preparatory period students are to complete a range of investigations and developments including experimentations with ideas and materials, exploration into artist and contextual studies, good quality recording from observation and critical analyse of their own work. This should allow students to produce a high quantity of preparatory work while at the same time developing the quality of their work. These studies should help the students devise a final piece for the exam.


Students must then complete a 15 hours examination final piece under examination conditions. At the end of the exam all work must be submitted for final assessment.


Entry requirements

Six 9-5 (A*-C) GCSE grades with at least four at grade 6 (B) including grade 6 in Graphics or Art and in other subjects to be studied at A level



There will be continual assessment throughout course using the exam boards assessment objectives. 


Financial information


Future opportunities

You could take this course with other Advanced level courses such as History, Media or DT to prepare for higher education in areas of art and design, photography, architecture or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to art and design such as an Architect, Interior or Fashion Designer. The course will also encourage you to explore your creative mind and help you develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information

There will be organised trips to London to visit galleries and collect resources for their projects.

Students will also be expected to investigate galleries independently in their free time to further their projects and gain better understanding of artists work




How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 04 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two Years