Graphic Communication

Course Overview

Candidates will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of graphic media, techniques and processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies. Candidates will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making process. Their responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities which demonstrate the candidates’ understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

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

Candidates should explore drawing using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales.

Areas of Study
Candidates 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

  • illustration
  • advertising
  • packaging design
  • design for print
  • communication and computer graphics
  • multimedia, animation, web design, film, television and/or video

Skills and Techniques
Candidates will be expected to demonstrate skills, in the context of their chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication. Candidates 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), signs and symbols
  • understanding of a variety of materials and genres appropriate to their chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication

Knowledge and Understanding
Candidates must show knowledge and understanding of:

  • 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
  • the working vocabulary and specialist terminology which is relevant to their chosen area(s) of Graphic Communication

Aims of the course
AS and A Level courses based on this specification should encourage candidates to develop:

  • intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers
  • investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement
  • independence of mind in relation to developing their own ideas, refining their own intentions and personal outcomes
  • an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art, craft and design
  • the experience of working with a broad range of media, including traditional and new media and technologies
  • an understanding of the interrelationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate
  • experience of working within relevant and real frameworks and, where appropriate, to make links to the creative industries
  • knowledge, understanding and application of art, craft, design and media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures
  • an awareness of different roles, functions,audiences and consumers of art, craft and design practice

The Assessment Objectives are common to AS and A Level. The assessment units will assess the following Assessment Objectives in the context of the content and skills set out above:

AO1 Develop their ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding

AO2 Experiment with and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining their ideas as their work develops

AO3 Record in visual and/or other forms ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions, demonstrating an ability to reflect on their work and progress

AO4 Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating critical understanding, realising intentions and, where appropriate, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements

Quality of making
The ability to handle materials, techniques and processes effectively and safely underpins all the Assessment Objectives. It is important in enabling candidates to develop a personal language, to express ideas and link their intentions to outcomes in a confident and assured manner.

In Unit 3 candidates are required to produce written material linked to the practical project. This should take the form of:

  • A practical project which is linked through the exploration of particular themes, concepts, ideas, issues or approaches with written work based on some aspect of critical, historical studies in art, craft or design related to the candidate’s practical work.
  • Written work, e.g.. (an illustrated essay), should be approximately 1000 to 3000 words in length. The quality of written communication will be assessed through the four assessment objectives. It includes clarity of expression, the organisation and presentation of ideas, grammar, punctuation and spelling.


Entry Requirements

We recommend that candidates should have acquired the skills and knowledge associated with a GCSE Art and Design course or equivalent (an art based subject at grade C is recommended, although not essential).

Course Delivery

The course is classroom based, delivered  in three 1.5 hour sessions per week. This ads up to 4.5 hours of contact time per student, per week.

Although this enables the students to successfully complete the course, it is essential for students to spend extra time per week studying the subject, in order to ensure very high levels of success. The coursework that students produce is continuously  assessed, but a definitive mark is awarded when the projects are completed and finally submitted.

There is no written exam but students are assessed on the written elements embedded within the coursework 

Progression Opportunities

The Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Gower College Swansea.

Successful students could use this qualification to gain access to further study in a variety of  areas such as graphic design, art and design, media design, multi-media design, film and video, advertising, design management and many other areas within the ever expanding graphic communication world.

This specification lays an appropriate foundation for further study of art and design or related subjects in higher education. In addition, it is suitable for the diverse range of candidates who wish to develop their interest in and enjoyment of art and design, fostering its value in lifelong learning.

Additional Information

Students are required to have a basic toolkit with them including pencils, pens, ruler, eraser, etc whenever they have a class. A list of essentials will be given at the start of term.

Please note there is a £30 studio fee attached to this course.

Course deliverable in Welsh: