Accessibility links

Graphic Communication A Level at St John's Marlborough

Course description

Graphics A Level attracts enthusiastic, energetic and creative students who are interested in the effective communication of messages through images or words. It is an exciting opportunity for students to build on their application for designing and conveying information through visual communication using key problem solving skills.

As well as being encouraged to use traditional methods such as thumb nail sketches, developing roughs, layouts and mock ups to record and develop ideas, students will have the opportunity to develop their designing and making skills using our impressive range of CAD software and CAM machinery. Students will learn to print onto a variety of materials such as plastic and metal using our sublimation printer; cut, engrave or imprint a range of materials using the laser cutter; cut vinyl and crease nets on the plotter cutter; design 3D components using Solid works and manufacture them on our 3D printer. Students have access to the industry-standard graphic editing program, Adobe Photoshop, to help them produce professional artwork.

Course content

Graphics is taught through four disciplines: Advertising, Illustration, Branding and Information design. Through a variety of stimulating projects, students will develop integrated knowledge, skills and understanding of the following:

  • design briefs, clients, audiences
  • marketing strategies, promotional campaigns, corporate identity, logo design
  • letter forms and font types
  • typographical requirements for digital and print based products such as magazine design, newspaper design, web page design, leaflet and poster design
  • presentation formats such as web based projection, touch screen, mobile phones, DVD and downloadable content
  • sustainable materials and production processes
  • construction of 3D prototypes
  • surface illustration, decoration and pattern
  • how packaging is determined by its contents
  • the use of images in advertising such as photography, animation and video
  • digital technology such as photo editing and vector based software
  • illustration for a variety of purposes such as book or magazine covers
  • suitable production drawings
  • interface design such as using symbols and words to aid and enhance communication

Entry requirements

You will be considered a serious candidate if you have a flair and interest in design and graphic communication; it will be an advantage to have a grade B or above in GCSE Design and Technology, Art and Design or another equivalent qualification. You will have demonstrated the required personal qualities during your GCSEs. Graphic Communication A level is complimentary to many other subjects as it contextualizes many critical thinking skills.


This course is wholly assessed through coursework.

Course Structure: The course is split into two components

Component 1: Personal investigation (60% of the total qualification)

This component is internally set and marked by the school. It has 3 major elements: supporting studies, practical work and an illustrated personal study of at least 1000 words. Students will research, design and make in response to themes, ideas and technical workshops. They will create a personal portfolio that records their design journeys.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of the total qualification)

This component has two major elements: preparatory studies leading into a 15 hour task. You choose from a range of suggested starting points from which you will develop your own personal response to an externally set design theme.

Future opportunities

Graphic Communication is a good A level to continue into Higher Education on design courses including graphic or product design, architecture, interior design, advetising design or any course requiring critical thinking skills. The skills developed and work produced will provide you with an excellent portfolio of evidence suitable for art foundation courses.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John's Marlborough directly.

Last updated date: 18 November 2016

Key information