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Graphic Design A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

Ashbourne has a very strong Graphics Department where students explore all forms of Graphic Design. They produce traditional hand drawn work but the department also makes sure that it keeps up to date with what is happening in the commercial world. Students are introduced to the most cutting edge technology and advanced media and have produced some sophisticated and innovative work. Tutors from across the Art department work together to encourage their students to mix media, explore ideas and push boundaries.

The Art Faculty at Ashbourne sees Art and Design as being absolutely central to society. Art is everywhere, in the clothes we wear, the crockery we eat from, the buildings we live in as well as the images we see around us. The Art Faculty is committed to preparing its students for commercial and vocational careers in a wide variety of media.

Graphics A level encourages students to think about how Art is used in the commercial sector. It can help prepare students for specific vocational careers in Design or Advertising, for example. Students evaluate the different kinds of media used for different purposes then go on to select the most appropriate. They will learn to produce work of a very high standard, using a variety of techniques and technologies.

Course content

There are four units; two at AS and two at A2.

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of graphic media, techniques and processes, both traditional and new. Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art and design, from the past and from recent times. Students will learn to appreciate how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts. They will study historical and contemporary developments, different styles and genres and investigate how images and artefacts relate to their social, environmental and cultural contexts.

Students are required to work in one or more areas Graphic Communication, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas such as:

  • Illustration
  • Advertising
  • Packaging and design
  • Design for print
  • Communication and computer graphics
  • Multimedia, animation, web design, film, television and video.

Students will be expected to develop and demonstrate skills in the following: Understanding the meaning, function, style, scale, colour and content in relation to the chosen area of Graphic Communication:

Awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area of Graphic communication

Ability to respond to an issue, concept or idea, working to a brief or answering a need in the chosen area of Graphic Communication

Appreciation of the relationship of form and function and, where applicable, the constraints of working to a brief


Appreciation of the appropriate use of typography (which could include hand lettering and calligraphy) signs and symbols Understanding of variety of materials and genres appropriate to their chosen area of Graphic communication.

Students will work on developing their understanding, technique and ideas over the course of the two years. They will be producing work for their final portfolios throughout the two-year course and will need to keep on top of their workload if they are to be successful

Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.


Unit 1:

AS unit 1 is portfolio of work set and marked by the centre and moderated by Aqa.

Unit 2:

AS unit 2 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in supervised conditions over 5 hours and will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 3:

A2 unit 3 is a personal investigation supported by written element of 100-3000 words, set and marked by the centre and moderated by AQA.

Unit 4:

A2 unit 4 is an externally set assignment. It is produced in timed conditions over 15 hours. Work produced will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA

Future opportunities

Many of our students are preparing for a career in Art and Design and go on to prestigious Art Colleges but many others combine Art subjects with A Levels in English Literature, Humanities or even Sciences. As well as Graphic Design, students can pursue courses and careers in Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Public Art, Jewellery Making, Ceramics, Textile Design, Surface Design, Architecture, Photography, Advertising and Animation. Graphic Design A Level can provide a gateway into a structured commercial career.

Further information

Students wishing to study Art related subjects may need to produce a portfolio of related work, which they are prepared to discuss with the Art Department. Art and Design A levels require students to produce a large quantity of work and are usually unsuitable courses for completion within one year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashbourne Independent School directly.

Last updated date: 09 November 2016

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