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Course Code: SFAGD011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Unleash your creativity and master the art of visual communication with our A Level Graphic Design course. This dynamic program explores the principles of graphic design, including typography, layout, and colour theory. Through hands-on projects and digital software training, students develop the skills to create compelling designs for print and digital media.

Whether aspiring to pursue further studies in graphic design, multimedia arts, or marketing, students emerge with a deep understanding of design principles and the ability to translate ideas into compelling visual narratives.

UK creative industries generate more than £100 billion a year to the UK economy and employ more than 2 million people. Graphic Designers are at the heart of this growing sector and this course sets out to develop the skills, techniques and problem solving ability you'll need to make your mark in it. You will be challenged to think differently about design and improve your talents, exploring the power of visual communication.

Over the course of two years we will encourage you to experiment while nurturing your personal, imaginative and reflective approach to design as you experience practical and contextual studies.

There will be an early focus on discovering and developing your own creative voice and our experienced teaching staff will support you throughout via a framework of traditional skills, design principles exploring 2D or 3D form, and digital applications.

Throughout the course you will put together a professional portfolio which you can use as evidence to get a place at a top university, a higher apprenticeship or to get your foot in the door at a creative agency.

In addition to examples of your creative work, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. This should ideally include English Language and maths as well as a creative subject, however we actively encourage interested learners to apply and attend an informal interview to allow us to find out more about you, your career aspirations, predicted grades and creative ability.

In Year 1 you will: Be introduced to a wide range of skills and processes relevant to the subject in an exciting series of mini projects. The last project of the year will be more sustained, to help prepare you for the second year units.

In Year 2 you will produce: A Personal Investigation and related study (60% of A Level final grade, which is internally assessed and externally moderated).

A practical project supported by a related study of 1,000 words minimum. You will be encouraged to undertake a range of research in support of your chosen theme. This should include museum or gallery visits.

An Externally Set Assignment (40% of A Level grade, which is internally assessed and externally moderated) where you will choose from a variety of starting points, culminating in a 15 hour controlled practical test.

The two components combined are internally marked and externally moderated. Your final A Level grade is awarded based on the quality of research, experimental studies and final pieces evidenced in these modules.

The final A Level certification you will receive is entitled Art and Design: Graphic Communication. This means that you cannot study Graphic Design as a separate subject.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

If you wish to find out more you can contact subject lecturer Dan Pellowe by emailing:

An A Level in Graphic Design will allow you to progress onto the College’s Foundation Diploma in Art & Design or directly into Higher Education. Students from the course have applied to study subjects including Graphics, Illustration, Animation and Games Design at top universities. Many former students are now practicing professional Designers, Teachers and Lecturers. The creative industries are one of the UKs top employers.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. 

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Day trips and overnight excursions are offered on the course. These activities provide opportunities for the wider exploration and further development of knowledge, skills and understanding. We also invite in industry specialist guest lecturers.

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here