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 AQA A Level Graphic Design

What’s it about?

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of graphic communication media, processes and techniques.  They will be made aware of both traditional and new media.  

Students will explore the use of drawing for different purposes and using a range of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks and journals to underpin their work, where appropriate.  

Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from both the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This will be integral to the investigating and making processes.  

Student responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students will be aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented and the importance of process as well as product. 


Entry Requirements:

Any art and design GCSE grade 4 or a technology GCSE grade 4 including resistant materials, product design, textiles or equivalent. However, if you have not studied art, no problem, just come and speak to one of the teachers. 


Mrs. S. Watson – Director of Teaching and Learning

    The Canterbury Academy Sixth Form

    Course Content:

    Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of graphic communication, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

    • advertising
    • packaging design
    • design for print
    • illustration
    • communication graphics
    • branding
    • multimedia
    • design for film and television

    Students will be expected to demonstrate skills in the context of their chosen area(s) of graphic communication. Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:

    • understanding of meaning, function, style, scale, colour and content in relation to the chosen area(s) of graphic communication.
    • awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of graphic communication.
    • ability to respond to an issue, concept or idea, working to a brief or answering a need in the chosen area(s) 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).
    • understanding of a variety of materials and genres appropriate to their chosen area(s) of graphic communication.

    Students must show knowledge and understanding of: 

    • relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources.
    • how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in the chosen area(s) of graphic communication.
    • historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres.
    • how images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created.
    • continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to graphic communication.
    • a working vocabulary and specialist terminology that is relevant to their chosen area(s) of graphic communication.


    You will complete a coursework unit and an exam over the 2 years: the coursework will be very self-driven and you will work independently, showing your design skill. You will be assessed on your research skills, use of media and ability to create a personal, meaningful response. The Externally Set Assignment will be a theme set by the exam board which you will investigate in all art areas to produce a final, timed personal response.


    On completion, students can apply to Universities to study courses with art and design specialism or students can go on to work in a variety of areas for example:

    • Architecture
    • Advertising
    • Branding
    • Events promotion
    • Animation
    • Magazine
    • App design
    • Illustration
    • User experience (UX) design



      The Canterbury Academy Sixth Form Course List