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Graphic Design A Level at Nelson and Colne College

Course description

If you are a creative person who enjoys the design process and would like to pursue a career in the exciting and challenging design industries, an A Level in Graphic Design would be a good start.

This A Level will give you an understanding of illustration techniques, processes and materials, computer aided graphics (DTP and digital imaging), graphic design history and typography. You’ll explore visual language – composition, colour, texture, line and mark making. You will also learn how to respond quickly and inventively to set project briefs covering a range of themes and ideas.

Course content

You will produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including interactive web and app design, interactive media, advertising, packaging design, design for print, illustration, communication graphics, branding, multimedia, motion graphics and design for film and television.

Component 1
This personal investigation consists of coursework with no time limit and is worth 60% of the marks. You will choose one of the six titles available and work on this throughout the course.

You will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or a series of related outcomes. It must be supported in your second year by written work of between 1000-3000 words.

Component 2
This is an externally set assignment, worth 40% of the A Level. Each title will have its own paper with a choice of 8 questions to be used as starting points; you will choose 1.

Students have 10 hours (year 1) and 15 hours (year 2) of supervised exam time to produce a final outcome. Your work can be presented as design sheets, sketchbooks, models or workbooks.

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE, to include a minimum of a grade C in Maths and English Language as well as an Art related subject, plus a portfolio of work.


You will be assessed according to the following objectives:

  • Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.
  • Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Future opportunities

Some universities require students to complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FAD) at College before progressing; we offer this at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form.

Former students have gone on to study art-related disciplines at a number of top universities, including the University of Edinburgh, the London College of Fashion, the University of Manchester, Kingston University and Leeds College of Art, studying a broad range of degrees such as Fine Art, Fashion and Textile Retailing, Interior and Spatial Design, Marketing, and Fashion Communication and Promotion to name but a few.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson and Colne College directly.

Last updated date: 19 April 2016
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