Graphic communication a level


Exam board: edexcel


General qualifications for your chosen pathway (see What to study/LaSWAP pathways)

  • 6 or above in GCSE art, or GCSE DT graphics 
  • High grade GCSE in DT resistant materials considered



Year 12 focuses on component 1, the personal investigation. It incorporates three major elements:

  1. Supporting studies
  2. Practical work
  3. A personal study

Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points. 

This will begin with gallery visits and skills based workshops.  During this time we work with students to try and identify their strength/interests and suggest relevant artists and designers for them to study and learn from.  Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of graphic communication media, processes and techniques. They will be made aware of both traditional and new media.

The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose, which may contain integrated images. The personal study comprises 12% of the total qualification.

This will begin in year 12 but will be completed in year 13.




Year 13 will focus on completing the personal study started in year 12 and preparing for component 2, the externally set exam.  This incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and assessment via a 15–hour period of sustained focus.


Component 2 preparatory studies allows students opportunities to generate and develop ideas, research primary and contextual sources, record practical and written observations, experiment with media and processes, and refine ideas towards producing personal resolved outcome(s) in response to an externally set theme. Students will again be required to address the four assessment objectives: develop, explore, record and present.


Preparatory studies will comprise a portfolio of practical and written development work based on the externally set assignment.  This assignment will be released in February of year 13. During the 15–hour period of sustained focus under examination conditions, students will produce final outcome(s) extending from their preparatory studies in response to the externally set assignment.


The externally set assignment is released on 1 February and contains a theme and suggested starting points. Students have from 1 February until the commencement of the final 15–hour period of sustained focus to develop preparatory studies. The 15–hour period of sustained focus is under examination conditions.




Interactive media (including web, app and game design)
Packaging design
Design for print
Communication graphics
Motion graphics
Design for film and television.



The two year full A Level is made up of two components; the personal investigation and the externally set exam.  These are both internally marked and externally moderated by Edexcel.


COMPONENT Type of Assessment Duration Weighting

Personal investigation

Assessment of selected work produced across year 12 and up to Christmas of Year 13.  This includes the written personal study


Externally set exam

15 hours 40%




Students have the opportunity to go on to study for a foundation course followed by a degree in art and design. This can lead to many careers in the arts world.  These could include: advertising, branding, illustration, fashion/textile design, theatre/film design, jewellery design, interior design, garden design, makeup/cosmetic art, art therapy, graphic design, web design, app design, exhibition design, medical illustration, animation and game design.