Graphic Design – Graphic Design 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 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 independent practical input. 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 A Level Graphic Design with Photography, Art,  BTEC Diploma in Art & Design or BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Fashion & Textiles.

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 of £10 at the beginning of each year.

Component 1: Personal Investigation 60% including an Essay

Component 2: Externally set assignment 40% including a 15 hour practical exam

The exam board for Art A Level is EDUQAS (WJEC).

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips & Visits

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 and each year work with the Graphics team at IKEA.


Many students go on to take a one year art 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.

Entry Requirements & Assessment

Students wishing to include A Levels in their programme need to have (or expect to achieve) at least five GCSE passes, with at least two at Grade 5 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.

Students should also meet the following minimum GCSE requirement:

  • Grade 4 in Art or relevant Design Technology GCSE and Grade 5 if taking 2 Art courses


What goes well with this course?

  • Art
  • Photography
  • Graphics
  • Fashion
  • Media Studies
  • Computing


How To Apply

Applications for entry September 2022. The application form for the academic year 2022-2023 is available to complete online 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. Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.



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Tel: 01737 551 176
Fax: 01737 551 282

Coulsdon Sixth Form College
Placehouse Lane
Old Coulsdon



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