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Graphic Communication A level at Esher College

Course description

This new dynamic 2 year A Level course will develop your capabilities and understanding of Graphic Design and how to communicate information and ideas. You will be encouraged to use a wide range of media for both 2D and 3D work and will investigate areas such as:

  • advertising
  • packaging design
  • design for print
  • communication and computer graphics

You will learn about commercial processes and materials used in manufacturing a range of graphic products as well as study the work of leading graphic designers.

Our aim is to feed your imagination and open your eyes to the possibilities of 2 dimensional design and the difference you can make to the world. This course is delivered in 4 coursework units over the two years with project work supported by lectures, demonstrations, professional experience, and tutorials.

On this course you will develop investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding, critical judgment and presentation skills. You will experience working with a broad range of media and develop an enthusiasm for art, craft and design.

Course content

In the first year you will develop your design skills including sketching, developing and recording ideas and develop your understanding of how to design and make using a variety of approaches and techniques.

Through a series of activities and short projects you will develop your appreciation of graphic communication, and the use of a range of techniques and processes for commercial production. This will include the use of drawing and computer skills to communicate your ideas using CAD/CAM as part of the design process.

You will become familiar with major design movements and the work of other designers in order to broaden your appreciation of good design. There is an emphasis on learning how and why designs are developed, and how you as a designer can make improvements.

In your second year you will have more freedom to explore your own area of graphic design and you will take on the role of a professional designer through a mixture of set and self-generated projects giving you a wide portfolio to demonstrate your skills to Universities and potential employers. You will undertake a detailed ‘personal study’ with practical outcomes from a personal starting point.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

Aside from the general criteria that the College requires, you will need to achieve at least a Grade C or above in any Art / Design related subject or Design Technology (Product, Graphics, Resistant Materials).

If you do not have a grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths and you qualify to follow a study programme at the College, you will be required to retake one or both of these subjects in your first year.  A lack of GCSE English Language at grade 4 will significantly restrict study programme options.


This course is assessed on coursework (60%). Students submit supporting studies and practical outcomes based from personal starting points to be submitted for final teacher assessment prior to moderation by OCR. In addition there is an externally set practical design paper which will be set with a timed element carried out under controlled conditions (40%).

Future opportunities

Any field of design, but especially Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Advertising and Media.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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