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Graphic Communication AS/A2 Level at South Downs College

Course description

Graphic Communication is a subject which requires the development of many skills.

As well as a good eye for design, you will need problem-solving skills, a willingness to experiment with both hand made and digital image making techniques, creative ability, patience and an interest in how visual media can influence society.

Graphic Communication is essentially about the communication of ideas through the use of text and image.

Students will produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including illustration, advertising, packaging design, design for print, communication graphics, multimedia and animation.

Course content

The first year (AS) consists of two units:

Coursework Portfolio:

You will complete several guided projects. Recent projects have included a Modernist Poster for an art gallery and Expressive Typography outcomes for the London Underground. Candidates should produce a collection of material which exemplifies work carried out during these projects.

Externally Set Assignment:

Candidates select from one of five starting points created by the exam board. Candidates may produce preparatory work and a finished piece or pieces of work of a wholly developed nature. During this period candidates complete 5 hours unaided, supervised time, in which they focus on developing ideas and completing their final outcome/s.

Upon successful completion of the first year students can progress to the second year (A2) which also consists of two units, the second of which is also externally set.

The second year is more self directed in nature and will require the students to produce work that is more individual in nature and which tackles issues surrounding identity and ethics.


Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.


Projects begin with the design brief and students are required to work within specific time scales to a produce printed outcome, as well as showing evidence of the design process in a sketchbook.

The course is designed to encourage the development of a variety of approaches through the practice of typography, illustration, problem solving, digital design, research and self initiated work.

The final outcomes are judged on the student’s ability to answer the brief both appropriately and creatively.

Financial information

Throughout the year some general art materials will be provided by the College but certain items such as sketchbooks, memory stick and mount card will need to be purchased by the student. The College shop supplies art and design equipment and materials which may be purchased at discount prices.

Students do not, as a requirement, need to have graphics software at home. At College there will be sufficient access to the relevant digital equipment and software.


Future opportunities

Students will leave the course with both a qualification and a varied portfolio of project work which can be taken to job or university interviews.

Many students wishing to pursue art and design further progress to a Pre Degree Foundation Course in Art and Design, followed by a university degree in the creative specialism of their choice.

Such courses have included Graphic Design, Illustration, Typography, Digital Media, Computer Animation, Computer Games Design, Advertising, Fine Art and Architecture.

In some cases students have progressed straight into employment and are now working within local print and graphic design companies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Downs College directly.

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

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