Graphic Design A-level enables students to explore a range of graphic communication media, processes and techniques, relating to both traditional and new media.

Key Facts

Start Dates:

  • 5 September 2022
  • 3 January 2023


  • Oxford

Entry level:

  • Academic: Completed 10 years of schooling (GCSE or equivalent)
  • English: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Minimum age:

  • 16


  • 2 Academic Years (3 terms)
  • We also offer entry from Year 12
  • One year programme available at part of the fast-track Art pathway in Oxford


  • Average 7 hours per week for each A-level subject (plus homework and private study)

Class size:

  • 4-10

Learning outcomes

  • Gain UK national university entrance qualification
  • Raise English to university level
  • Develop study skills required at degree level
  • Develop specialist subject expertise

Areas of study

For the purposes of this qualification, graphic communication is sub-divided into the following four disciplines:

  • advertising
  • illustration
  • branding
  • information design.

Students will be required to work in one or more of the disciplines to communicate their ideas. By working across disciplines, they will extend their understanding of the scope of graphic communication; by focusing on one discipline, they will gain a deeper understanding of specific processes within graphic communication.

Course content


Students will develop integrated knowledge, skills and understanding of the following:

  • how graphic communication is used to convey information, arouse interest, tell stories, create brand recognition, sell a product or service, promote brand loyalty
  • the role of graphic communication within marketing strategies, promotional campaigns, corporate identity design, logo design
  • design briefs, clients, audiences, web-based and digital advertising, use of social media
  • the use of images and typography in advertising, such as photography, animation and video.


Students will develop integrated knowledge, skills and understanding of the following:

  • the relationships between illustration and narrative
  • illustration briefs, clients and audiences
  • thumbnails, sketches, dissections, plans and elevations
  • the use of digital technology such as photo-editing and vector-based software alongside and in combination with traditional wet and dry working processes
  • illustration for a variety of purposes, such as book, magazine, advertising, covers, web-based, interactive
  • infographics as a way of communicating data through imaginative charts and diagrams.


Students will develop integrated knowledge, skills and understanding of the following:

  • how packaging is determined by its contents
  • marketing briefs, clients and audiences, brand identity, brand loyalty
  • making suitable production drawings, which may include computer-generated ideas and developments
  • surface images, illustration decoration or pattern for packaging
  • development and construction of three-dimensional prototypes, considering production materials, recyclable design, using sustainable or renewable materials
  • planning and developing procedures for reproduction and manufacture
  • specifying sustainable materials and production processes that are suitable for recycling and/or reuse
  • the legal requirements for information that must be included on certain types of packaging, and for barcoding and tracking.

Information design

Students will develop integrated knowledge, skills and understanding of the following:

  • letter forms, font types, serif and sans serif fonts, leading, paragraph indents, hanging indents, justification, alignment, headings, kerning and sub-headings
  • typographical requirements for digital and print-based products, such as magazine design, newspaper design, web page design, leaflet and poster design
  • the appropriate use of templates, page layout, style sheets, image manipulation, compression, workflow and file types
  • 3d digital graphic techniques, such as modelling objects, rotation, lathing, extruding, linking, creating and applying textures and lighting effects
  • moving image/time-based digital graphic techniques, such as storyboarding, sound, animation, colour consistency
  • the appropriate use and combination of words, visual 2D and 3D representations, time and desired user behaviours and responses
  • interface design, such as the use of symbols and words to aid and enhance navigation, principles of control panel display, use of navigational structures and levels
  • a variety of presentation formats for different audiences, such as web-based, projection, touch-screen, mobile phones, DVD, downloadable content.

Typical A-level subject combinations with Graphic Design

  • Graphic Design, Fine Art
  • Graphic Design, Photography
  • Graphic Design, Business Studies, Psychology

Sample enrichment activities

  • Photography Club
  • History Film Club
  • Trinity Arts Awards
  • Current Affairs and News Club
  • Debating Society

Sample academic calendar (2021-2022)

Year 1


  • 6th: term starts
  • Student induction


  • 18 – 22th: half term
  • Progress tests


  • University fairs and talks


  • 10th: term ends
  • End of term exams


  • 3rd: term starts


  • 10th – 11th: half term
  • Progress tests
  • University fairs


  • End of term exams
  • 18th: term ends


  • 4th: term starts


  • Progress tests


  • Exams
  • 10th: term ends

Year 2


  • 5th Sept: term starts


  • 17th – 21st: half term
  • 15th October: UCAS deadline (Medicine)
  • Progress tests


  • University fairs and talks


  • 9h: term ends
  • End of term exams


  • 2nd: term starts
  • 15th January: UCAS deadline (other subjects)


  • 9 – 10th: half term
  • Progress tests


  • 17th: term ends
  • Mock exams


  • 3rd: term starts
  • Progress tests


  • Final exams


  • 9th June: term ends

Degree progression

Many students who do Graphic Design at A-level use their qualification to do a degree in Graphic Design or a related subject.

A Graphic Design degree is useful for a number of jobs, including graphic designer, advertising art director, animator, artworker, creative director and illustrator.

Example degree courses which require or accept Graphic Design A-level include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Games Design
  • Product Design
  • Digital Media and Culture
  • Illustration
  • Animation

Thank you for your enquiry.
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The Kings Admissions Team