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Graphic Design A Level at Aquinas College

Course description

Graphic Design is a fast-paced, successful linear Art & Design course where students will be introduced to a variety of design approaches whilst exploring a range of media, processes and techniques. Students will experience both traditional and new media and may work in areas such as advertising, packaging design, illustration and design for print.

Course content

Component 1 – Personal Investigation – 60%

Students will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of the contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of between 1000 and 3000 words which supports the practical work.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment – 40%

Students respond to a starting point, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Entry requirements

Grade 4 in both GCSE English Language and Maths + 4 grade Cs in other subjects (which could include English Literature grade 4) 

Future opportunities

Around half of our students go on to study the subject at a higher level. This is usually in the form of an Art Foundation course or Design related degree including Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Visual Effects, Computer Character Animation, Architecture and Decorative Arts. A number of students choose to stay local and will aim to study at the University of Salford or Manchester Metropolitan University and some have gone as far afield as Falmouth and Plymouth. An increasing number of students are applying for digital apprenticeships.

Further information

During the two-year course, all students will get the opportunity to view graduate work at local degree shows including Stockport College and Manchester Metropolitan University. There will be the opportunity to visit a European city, such as Barcelona or Paris. Other trips have included London, Blackpool, Liverpool and Crosby Beach (to view Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’).

Early on in the course, all students will attend the UCAS ‘Design Your Future Fair’ at the Manchester Central Convention Centre where up to 100 universities and colleges are in attendance; this is an opportunity to begin planning for the future.

At the end of the second year, there is an exhibition to celebrate and showcase the students’ work. The evening is very well attended and is a great way to end the students’ time on the course.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 September 2017
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