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​Graphic Communication A Level




A Level


2 years


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What will I study?

Graphic Communication is about communicating with the world in a visual manner incorporating advertising, illustration, branding and information.  You will learn about the importance of the client and the audience but, also, the conceptual ideas that designers use to communicate messages. The A Level encourages exploration of different materials, processes and techniques, both practical and digital.  The start of the course is workshop-based, teaching a range of practical skills including drawing, a range of printmaking, including a new opportunity to experience photo-stencil screen printing, photography, both digital and dark room.  After this introductory workshop period, students are encouraged to develop their own specialism and explore their own concepts and ideas free of external constraints while continuing to develop and explore their skills.  Students are encouraged to base their work around their own individual identity, incorporating cultural influences or personal experiences and interests.

Although the majority of the assessed work is practical, there is a separately assessed written essay. This encourages student to explore the work of other artists who inspire them, and look at their work in a wider context.

Drawing and other materials processes

Drawing in the context of Graphic Communication forms an essential part of the development process from initial idea to finished product, from rough sketches to setting out designs. You will use a variety of tools and materials to explore graphic communication and to learn to understand the important role of signs and symbols. You will become aware of and be able to judge when it is appropriate to use traditional or computer-based methods within graphic communication processes, for example in developing layouts and mock-ups of potential design solutions, and developing ideas for final designs and presentation. You will work with traditional and digital graphic communication materials.


Contextual understanding and professional practice

An important aspect of the course is to consider the work of artists and designers and use this to inform the progression of your own personal creativity.

Research will be conducted from a wide range of sources; for example, from historical works in museums, contemporary art shows and fairs, an exhibition at a local gallery, or from films, architecture, music, literature and nature.

You will become familiar with contemporary and emerging concepts and learn how to analyse and critically evaluate graphic design work, demonstrating an understanding of client needs, audience and product.

It is important to note that Graphic Communication at TRC is a pathway that belongs to the Art and Design A Level syllabus and, therefore, is creative and art based, not media/ design technology based.


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Study Visits

Day trips to Art Galleries and sketching field trips.


Day trips: contribution towards petrol, approx. £1 per trip.

Sketchbooks: Students will need to buy their own sketchbooks, however we have high quality monogrammed sketchbooks available to purchase at cost price from us. We recommend buying these from the department to ensure that they are of a good enough quality. These range from £5.50 - £7.00

Starter portfolio pack including basic materials – £10.00 (subject to materials/availability).

Printer Credits – Graphics is a visual subject and will rely heavily on good quality print outs.  Students are given a certain amount of 'printer credits', however, they may need to top this up. 

The department provides many consumables such as paint, printing ink, glue, fabrics etc. However, you will need to purchase your own paint brushes, pencils, pens, canvases and paper. We buy these in bulk and sell them on at cost in order to keep prices as low as possible. To help with the cost we offer a levy system where students can pay an amount to the department and have the cost of materials deducted as they go.   



The course consists of two components.

Component one (60%) is coursework and will start in September and continue through for approximately 4 terms. 

Component one allows for you to develop your technical and analytical art skills through the use of skills based workshops and the development of a journal exploring a set theme.  This component also includes a separate written study based on contextual research. This will be completed alongside your practical work over the four term duration of the first component.

Component two (40%) is the exam unit which sets a theme to be explored with a timed test at the end in which you produce your final outcome under exam conditions. 


Entry Criteria

Grade 4 GCSE Art or related qualification.

Portfolio Submissions Sarah.jpg 

Please use the following template if you are planning to submit a portfolio: 


Portfolio Submission TEMPLATE.pptx


Useful Supporting Courses

Photography, Fine Art, Media, Film, Music and Performing Arts. Most subjects contrast well with, and support, the study of Graphic Communication from Sciences to History and Literature.



Most of our students progress onto a broad range of Art Degrees at University. These range from Graphic Design to Architecture, as well as Games Design, Film Production, Web Design and Interior Design.


Careers include:

Animator, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Advertising and Marketing, Events Promotion.