Graphic Design AS/A Level


Graphic Design is the communication of information and ideas by visual means.  The critical elements for a graphic designer are the successful communication of a message through the organisation of words and images.

The AS/A Level course in Graphic Design is a  largely practical course concerned with visual communication skills and enables students to develop creative and innovative ways of expressing personal design concepts.

A Level Graphic Design is an extremely rewarding course, however students should be aware that many projects involve a high degree of practical input from home. It is therefore advised that students select a programme of study which contains a balance of exam-based and practical coursework subjects. If students intend to apply to Art College they could combine AS/A Level Graphic Design with Photography, Fine Art or the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Art & Design (Fashion).

What goes well with this course?

  • Fine Art
  • Photography
  • Graphics
  • Fashion
  • Media Studies


Many students go on to take a one year foundation course at an Art College, or enrol directly on to a degree course in the area of design they want to specialise in e.g. Graphic Design, Advertising or Architecture. Students can also progress to careers in all areas of print and digital media; from illustrating hand-made books to website design.

Course Content

This course covers a wide range of Graphic Design skills, particularly:

  • Exploring resource materials and research into other artists and designers
  • Developing and recording ideas and thoughts
  • Experimenting with materials and techniques and collecting visually exciting materials
  • Synthesising ideas and analysing problems
  • Reaching practical conclusions and evaluating results
  • Developing practical, technical and expressive skills
  • Imagination, creativity and intuition
  • Using Adobe Creative Suite
  • Aesthetic understanding and critical judgment
  • Understanding how illustration, typography and design are created

Students are expected to make a financial contribution towards the cost of materials used throughout their course.


Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

The College runs a number of educational experiences each year to enable students to contextualise their learning. These experiences include trips to galleries, outdoor drawing opportunities and talks by visiting speakers, including a variety of local designers and artists.


AS Level

Component 1 Personal Investigation 50%

Component 2 Externally set assignment 50% including a 10 hour practical exam

A Level

Component 1 Personal Investigation 60% including 12% Essay

Component 2 Externally set assignment 40% including a 12 hour practical exam

The exam board for AS/A Level Graphic Design is Pearson Edexcel.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2017

The application form for the academic year 2017-2018 is available to download here.

Students should return their completed forms directly to Coulsdon College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according to the College's Admissions Policy Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Download Course Leaflet

Download the AS/A Level in Graphic Design information leaflet.

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