A Level Graphic Design at Villiers High School
What is Graphic Communication?
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.
What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?
You must have a genuine interest in Graphic Communication and have both a practically minded and expressive nature, the flexibility to absorb new ideas and to adapt to new media, and the mental stamina to see projects through to their conclusions. An ability to engage with the world in a visual or tactile way will be the start of a process that will allow you to develop the skills and techniques required in order to produce substantial pieces of work.
Are there any special requirements?
It is necessary to have GCSE grade of B at Art or Graphics or another D&T subject.
What/how will I be studying?
Year 12- AS specification number Edexcel 8GC01
Unit 1: Coursework: 60% of AS qualification (30% of final qualification).
A thematic piece with a practical outcome.
Unit 2: Externally set assignment: 40% of AS qualification (20% of final qualification).
A practical exam, 8 hours in duration. All completed projects that form part of the external assessment of students’ work are exhibited and moderated in May or June. Coursework has to be completed by the end of May.
AS in Year 12
Unit 1 – Coursework
For this unit students will provide a portfolio of work demonstrating a range of technical skills and techniques in a variety of media. Students will initially be encouraged to explore media/techniques such as inks, collage, observational and expressive drawing, mark making, printing, and digital manipulation in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Initial practical explorations will lead on to more focused work where students will work on personally generated themes and topics. Students will also practically explore the work of other designers, to use as inspiration for their own work as well as developing critical thinking skills. Written work is also an integral part of the course.
Unit 2 – Externally Set Assignment
Students will practically respond to a broad starting point. Work completed will build on the individual strengths of the student, with more focused, practical skills and knowledge being extended from their previous portfolio work.
Villiers approach to AS study
Our approach is to support and encourage the development of analytical and expressive skills in appropriate structured projects. We introduce a range of two-dimensional media – every thing from printmaking to painting and electronic media – without assuming any previous experience in Graphic Communication. Students learn how to develop their projects from a series of initial studies, which might include both first-hand and second-hand source material. They learn how to use work journals/sketchbooks. The keeping of work journals is essential and forms part of the assessment criteria. Up to two should be submitted for each unit. These are used to experiment, show idea development and record their visual experiences – both of the world around them and the works of other graphic designers viewed in London’s museums, galleries and exhibitions.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Villiers High School directly.