St. Mary's

Graphic Communication

Is this course for me?

Graphic Communication is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image. Graphics are all around us – the packaging we use, lettering, illustration, labels and brands that we see every day, advertising across a range of platforms. It’s all designed and created through graphic design processes. The areas that the course focuses on are illustration, advertising, branding and information graphics.

Areas of Study

Following a series of introductory practical workshops to include, printmaking, experimental drawing and observations, experimental image making and manipulation using Photoshop, you will work on personalised themes dependent on your area of interest; themes are as diverse as the rebranding of food and drink, beauty and fashion, sport, festivals, architecture and gaming for example. You will develop and complete an extended coursework project; your personal investigation, and follow a creative journey and in depth study into artists, designers and photographers and generate work in response relating to their chosen theme.


Component 1: An exploratory unit leading into a personal investigation

During this period, you will be able to explore and experiment with all the different elements that make up Graphic Communication such as. You will gain confidence in the use of different media and digital editing techniques. Initial work consists of gathering research, understanding presentation techniques, observational experiments and analytical skills. You will produce a portfolio of experimental work as evidence.


Component 1: Focus on personal investigation

You will develop your own emerging graphic practice in a more personal way, your personal investigation will be a response to a chosen design and rebranding brief. This is an opportunity to refine experiments, build your portfolio and produce final outcomes.

Component 2: An externally set themed body of work

The Examination board will set a range of project themes and starting points and you will select one of these to develop. You will spend time researching your chosen theme through a series of research, observational experiments, photographs, refined pieces of work and visits to art exhibitions. You will select an appropriate starting point and embark upon a project in response. You will have 15 hours over 3 days to complete your final outcome and response.


60% Component 1 (coursework)
40% Component 2 (externally set task)

Future Opportunities

Progression to university on to an art or design related degree course, or a Foundation Diploma or Level 0 Course in Art and Design; this would lead to a degree.

A degree in Fine Art or Design related degree can lead to the following careers;

Advertising, Architect, Architectural technician, Spatial designer, Interior designer, Animator, Art Director, Artist, Art/Photography/Design teacher/Tutor, Fashion designer, Fashion or Product Buyer, Photography studio, Film and Media production, Theatre Costume or Set Designer, Graphic designer, Illustrator, Fashion stylist, Make-up artist, Photographer, Screen Printer, Sign Maker, Textile Designer, opportunity to set up and run your own business – the possibilities are wide ranging.

Exam Board: AQA