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Art & Design (Graphic Communication) AS & A Level at Bishop Douglass School

Course description

The AS and A level in Graphic Communication is intended to form part of an educational continuum which progresses naturally from GCSE. The AS level is a one year course and the A Level is a two year course.

Work produced for this specification will demonstrate the use of formal elements and creative skills, and give visual form to individual thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas. Students will show evidence of trying to extend their own and others’ ways of seeing the world. They will use the visual language of the subject sensitively and thoughtfully to support their intentions. In the context of this specification, the disciplines will include advertising, illustration, print making and multi media.

Please encourage your son/daughter to visit museums, exhibitions and galleries regularly.

Students receive homework every week and may need help managing their time effectively. Ensure that students apply maximum effort.


Entry requirements

Students applying for the AS and A Level course will have achieved 5 A*-C grades at G.C.S.E.

An A*-C pass in Art or Graphic Communication G.C.S.E is essential.


AQA Examination Board

AS Level 

  • Unit 1: Coursework
    Theme: “Typography and Advertising”
    Supporting Studies, Practical work.
    60% of total AS marks
  • Unit 2: Externally set assignment
    Preparatory Studies
    10 hours sustained focus
    40% of total AS marks

A Level

  • Unit 1: Coursework
    Theme: “Personal Investigation”
    Supporting studies, Practical work and Personal Study
    60% of total A Level marks
  • Unit 2: Externally set assignment
    Preparatory Studies
    15 hours sustained focus
    40% of total A Level marks

The theme for the externally set assignment varies each year and the students are given a preparatory period of study that covers all the assessment objectives. The externally set assignment culminates in an exam wherein students complete 10 hours of unaided work at AS and 15 hours of unaided work for the A Level.

All units of work are internally marked by the art department and externally moderated by a representative of the exam board.

A grade cannot be awarded to a candidate who does not produce work in all four assessment objectives.

Students will be expected to generate and develop their own ideas from a given theme. Units of work are designed to introduce new skills and encourage independence, selfexpression and inventiveness. Integrated into the course is the study of other artists, craftspeople and designers to inform and develop creative work.

A dedicated interest in graphic design and a willingness to experiment are essential. Students must demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and have a conscientious approach to their studies.

Future opportunities

This forms a starting point for students wishing to move into the art, design and all industries associated with this sector.

Graphic Communication A-Level enables progression towards foundation and degrees in: animation, graphic design, 3D design, product design, illustration, magazine photography, typography, website design, teaching and many others.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishop Douglass School directly.

Last updated date: 07 November 2016
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