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Graphic Design - A Level at Bolton Sixth Form College

Course description

The basic definition of graphic design is that it is a commercial art form that uses words and imagery to represent or communicate ideas for a purpose. You will be encouraged to look at this work with new eyes. In order to develop an understanding of design concepts and practices it is vital to have relevant reference points, enabling you to put your own work into context. Therefore the teaching of contemporary design practices and concepts, referencing modern designers and artists, using up to date resources and gallery trips is at the core of all we do.

Course content


Observational drawing underpins all you do on this course. You work only from your own drawings and your own photographs. You will be taught to draw for a range of different purposes such as to generate primary sources, idea generation, sketches, drawing for design & illustration. Drawing allows you to collect information, express and communicate feelings, opinions and ideas, helps to solve problems and develop your visual thinking skills and allows you to explore a wide range of materials & media: both traditional and digital.


Students will work across the following pathways: Illustration/animation Typography & Lettering Graphic Design Advertising & Branding Motion Graphics Throughout your time at BSFC you will create many wonderful things; you will explore the design process thoroughly with dedication and creativity. Your subject tutors are on hand throughout the year to offer support and guidance. We ask a lot from our students but give a lot in return. You will extend and develop work produced in class in your own time. We expect graphic design students to set aside five hours a week outside of class time to develop the techniques, ideas and experiments started in class. This type of self-directed independent study is what sets our students head and shoulders above others. Graphic design is everywhere, it is important you begin to observe, reflect and evaluate on the types of design around you, and document your work in your sketchbooks.

A Word About Sketchbooks!

You will use sketchbooks to document all the work you do. They require a degree of commitment from the beginning, which may be quite daunting at first. You will be shown how to layout your sketchbooks in a creative and skilful way and taught to thoughtfully, critically & analytically examine both your own work and the work of others. You will learn how to document your creative making process and develop your graphic image making skills.


On Wednesday afternoons the Graphic Design department will offer a range of enrichment activities to students such as:


  • Animation
  • Dark room photography
  • Workshops with visiting designers like Ben Tustin (Waggledance Studios), John Powell Jones (Islington Mill) and Christine Charnock (The BBC).


Entry requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade 7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 4 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4. It is not necessary to have studied Art & Design or Graphic Design at GCSE in order to study A Level Graphic Design. However a keen interest in the subject is crucial.

Financial information

No course fees are applicable for 16-18 year old learners who meet funding regulations.

Future opportunities

Future Career Opportunities:


  • Graphic Designer Illustrator
  • Motion Graphics
  • Animation
  • Art Director
  • Gallery Director/Assistant


Further information

Please visit the College website or email for further course information.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 September 2018
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