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Graphics A Level at Thomas Tallis School

Course description

This is a chance to extend your skills and to learn more about Graphic Design, along with improving and developing new techniques. This course is ideal for anyone who wishes to progress to university/art college or pursue a career in the creative industries. The coursework comprises 60% of the overall mark. It is therefore essential that you are highly motivated to work diligently and consistently on your projects. It is not recommended that you study this subject with more than one other art related subject.

The course is art-based and it is essential that you have good drawing skills.

The course is structured so that students gradually acquire skills within a disciplined approach. Students are encouraged to solve creative problems with flair, imagination and personal initiative.

Course content

Components of the course will include:
- Drawing
- Printing
- Advertising, promotion and branding
- Packaging design
- Illustration
- Typography and layout
-Computer graphics
- Info graphics

Year 12

You will develop your understanding of how elements such as colour, layout, typography, line and tone can be used to express ideas. You will also have the opportunity to explore a range of materials and processes to help you record and develop your ideas. Your work will be informed by a growing knowledge of designers' work and clients’ needs. You will also learn how to develop ideas from a given starting point towards final outcomes. You will be expected to investigate a series of ideas usually from observational starting points towards commercially-viable final outcomes.

Year 13

Unit 1: Coursework; practical work and personal study – 60% of A Level grade

You will produce a written, illustrated study of an aspect of graphic design. You will demonstrate your skills of research, analysis and evaluation. Your choice of topic should reflect the interests you have developed in year one. Studies might look at approaches to advertising campaigns, the use of signs, symbols and meaning in graphic products, historical design trends or target audiences. You will also produce a significant body of practical work leading to a substantial final outcome. This unit must include a piece of extended written work of at least 1,000 words to support your portfolio.

Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment – 40% of A Level grade

You will sit an externally set assignment as the culmination of your course. You will be given a booklet with various written or visual stimuli to choose from. The theme will be investigated in depth and preparation time given to designing before a 15 hour period of sustained, focused work, during which resolution of ideas will take place.

You will produce a sketchbook to support each unit which will include creative mark making, records of the development of your ideas, analysis of contexts, markets, products, existing artwork, reflection and critical evaluation.

Entry requirements

You will need at least five GCSEs at A*– C, including Art or Graphic Design or other technology subject at grade B or above. (Exceptions to this will require a portfolio at enrolment). You will need a pack of materials (we will advise you where these can be purchased) on enrolment to enable you to produce work at home. Any additional materials such as mount board and sketchbooks may need to be purchased throughout the course. A camera is helpful.


Your work on the programme is assessed by a range of methods, which may include projects, assignments, case studies, coursework, essays, and presentations throughout the two years. A final exhibition is assessed by an external examiner.

Future opportunities

Can this course lead to University entrance?

Yes. You can progress on to Foundation degree and degree courses in Art and Design related areas. Some students wishing to progress to degree level in Graphic Design complete a one year Foundation Art, Design and Media course, specifically designed to build a strong portfolio for interviews at the most competitive universities.

Can this course lead directly to a job?

The course will enable you to see the world around you in a new way, giving you lateral thinking and analytical skills which are greatly desired by employers. The course may also prepare you for employment or freelance work in such areas as:
- Graphic and lens-based media
- Illustration
- Graphic design
- Advertising
- Product/packaging design
- Creative direction
- Three dimensional design

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Thomas Tallis School directly.

Last updated date: 24 March 2017
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