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GCE AS/A Level Graphic Design

Programme Description


Do you look at advertisements, magazine layouts or business/retail displays and think that you would like a career in creativity?  If you have an interest in design, exploring your creativity and developing a deeper understanding of the visual principles used in marketing, then Graphics@CSG is the course for you.

You will develop and nurture your understanding of the visual elements that will enable you to effectively design, brand and produce professional standard graphics.  We study illustrative techniques in Colour; Composition; Typography, and Images in traditional and digital formats through Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which enables all participants to produce a high standard in their portfolio work.  This qualification leads to progression into Foundation and Degree courses and is an excellent partner subject in gaining access to Higher Qualifications in Graphics, Photography, Design and Fine Art.

Programme Features

This is a two year programme, which focuses on developing a broad understanding of Graphic Communication. Graphic Communication is about developing the ability to communicate visually; using innovation and creativity to solve design problems, exploring media and design processes to communicate ideas.

The programme aims for every learner to develop their own unique voice using visual imagery, applying technical and contextual understanding confidently to realise their intentions. Learners are encouraged to explore individual interests and ideas over a range of genres through the development of sketchbooks to record their progress. Programme content includes techniques such as digital image creation using Photoshop and Illustrator, traditional illustration, collage and printmaking. Developing ideas using direct observational drawing and photography is a critical starting point for every project.

External opportunities and competitions are provided for all learners to push themselves outside their comfort zones and develop extra-curricular experiences and all learners are kept up-to-date on current exhibitions and events of interest, with trips organised throughout the year. AS Graphic Communication consists of a coursework portfolio and controlled assessment and AL Graphic Communication includes a self-initiated portfolio module and an externally set controlled assessment.


Progression & Employment

Our successful graphics students have gone to Cardiff, Swansea, Bath, Carmarthenshire School of Art and London to study on both Graphics and Illustration courses leading to high levels of attainment and employment within associated trades. We have a significant number of our students who complete the course to go straight into a Graphic Design apprenticeship or full time career in the profession.  The skills you acquire and develop on the course will equip you whichever pathway that suits you best: for the world of work, apprenticeships or Higher Education pathways.

In 2018

  • AS level - 45% of our students gained an A*-B grade; 72% A-C; 100% achieved A*-E Grades.
  • At A2 -  78% were awarded and A-C and 100% achieved A*-E

Programme Content

A wide range of technical and contextual elements are explored throughout the coursework and controlled assessment projects, with the majority of work taking place in practical workshops, discussions and reviews. Students will learn historical and contemporary techniques, for example digital image creation, screen-printing, working with mixed-media imagery as well as painting and drawing. In the second year students are encouraged to explore individual areas of interest with practical activities supported by their lecturers. Regular opportunities for students to gain feedback are provided throughout the course through individual and group tutorials.

Programme Assessment

AS Level - 40% of overall grade.

All coursework with a strong emphasis on portfolio work and detailed sketchbooks, research and development. 


A2, A Level - 60% of overall grade

76% Coursework, 24% Controlled Assessment.  Again the portfolio and the detail in sketch books are integral to the higher grades. 



Programme Entry Requirements

Normally students 16 - 19 years of age will require a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grades A* - C.

C or above in Graphics or Art at GCSEor Art and Design or a portfolio of work which will be assessed by the Graphic department.  and  either a GCSE Mathematics or GCSE English Language. 

Mature students without formal qualifications is at the discretion of the Curriculum Area.