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We are creative, we are visual and we are everywhere. Graphic Communication is vast in its scope, from books and movies to fashion and video games, we offer opportunities to explore it all. We are a course that straddles the line between academic and professional development. In this course, you’ll be free, to expand your knowledge, learn from the specialists and embrace your curiosity. We’re looking beyond the structure of education into the vast realms of possibility found in the real world. Imagination is our fuel and you will need it from the very beginning. It is common that this is the place, the course, the time, to find yourself.
You will study a range of specialisms including Branding, Advertising, Editorial Design, Illustration and Animation, these all form the umbrella that is Graphic Communication. You will be taken through the professional processes associated with each of these specialisms and be given insight into real world applications of your newfound skills. You will learn to use visual and typographic elements together in order to sell an idea, cause or product to a target market. This course will help you utilise your creativity as a means to communicate with an audience, ultimately to tell a story.
At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, all from the core subjects, Grade 4 or a MERIT/DISTINCTION at BTEC Level 2 in a creative subject.
Entry may also be made via portfolio/interview, please contact Admissions for instructions on this process.
Learning will take place when all preconceived notions of the 'right' answer are discarded. You will build on your imagination as a tool for innovation. Innovation is the creation of new ideas and this is how you will learn. You will come up with an idea using artists, designers and your own observations as inspiration, you will then take all of the content from our structured lessons and apply that knowledge to creative projects.
There are elements of traditional classroom learning but all of this is combined with an interactive experience where your practical skills, thoughts and opinions are integral to your own personal progress. You will be creating at every opportunity and we will be learning by doing, only then can we truly realise our potential.
The only 'right' answer while learning on the Graphic Communication course is to evidence what is in your mind; your ideas, your thoughts, your feelings, your goals, your aspirations, they are unique to you and that's what makes them 'right'.
You will be developing your creative process in sketchbooks (traditional and digital), this will form the evidence for your coursework for both components 1 and 2 of the A-Level.
The Graphic Communication A-Level is comprised of 2 main components.
Component 1 - Personal Investigation - 60% of final grade.
Component 2 - Externally Set Assignment - 40% of final grade.
The personal investigation is fully coursework based and the externally set assignment is partial coursework that we call the 'preparation' and then a final exam that consists of a 15 hour controlled assignment where students spend 5 hours, each day, for 3 days, completing their final piece under exam conditions.
Trips in the past have gone as far as Mexico, New York and Beijing. Closer to home we have visited Paris, Barcelona and Venice.
For the last few academic years, we ran successful trips to Rome, Milan and Budapest. The trips in Graphics have had extremely positive feedback relating to the effects they had, not only on student's work, but also on their own life experiences, we place a lot of value in the inspirations that world cultures have on our creative and personal intentions.
During the course, you may need portfolios, sketchbooks, access to a reasonably good camera (this can be on your phone) and basic art equipment.
If taking the digital pathway with your work, you will be expected to get your personal investigation professionally printed and costs are usually around £30-40+ depending on format choices, paper quality and page count.
Access to your own hardware and a graphics tablet for use outside of college is advantageous but not essential.
Yes. Written work is integrated into the projects you undertake. You will need to annotate, analyse and evaluate your work and the work of others. All of this writing is reflective of your thoughts and opinions, we are looking for insight into your thinking, this isn't about exam style questions, it's about articulating what is in your mind.
Within the introductory period, you will work on many small tasks that fit under 3 specialisms, Branding/Advertising, Editorial Design and Illustration/Animation. This is in order to develop broad creative skills to use as a foundation. Once you begin your 'Personal Investigation' the possibilities then open up and you have control of what direction to pursue for further study. During this time you will be given clear guidance and advice to help you achieve your newfound goals but fundamentally, the choice is yours.
To some degree, yes. You will not be expected to draw lifelike objects or studies into the human form but this is an art based course and drawing is helpful for recording observations, exploring ideas and communicating designs.
Not in every instance. It is preferred if you have studied a creative subject at GCSE and achieved at least a grade 4. If so, you will be a suitable recruit for the A-Level in Graphic Communication. If you have studied Graphics in addition, that's a bonus! Anyone who has not will need to evidence some skill and proficiency and supply a portfolio to be reviewed by the course leader.
Yes, but once your coursework begins, Absolutely. At that point, you will be expected to spend at least four and a half hours a week developing your project work. You will also have the opportunity to enhance your skills with extension activities and project related homework.
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