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Graphic Communication

GCSE Art and Design – Graphic Communication

Exam board: WJEC
Exam code: 3654QS

Why choose this course?

If you enjoy being creative, want to increase your practical skills and improve your analytical,
communication and research abilities, Graphic Communication is a great subject choice. The
skills you gain make it a great complement to other subjects giving you a different way of
seeing things and making sense of the world around you. It can help you with further study
and prepare you for the world of work.

Throughout the course, you will learn how to design visual materials to convey information,
ideas, meaning and emotions in response to a given or self-defined brief. Areas of study
include communication graphics, advertising, branding, packaging design, typography and
motion graphics. You will look at different approaches and use lots of different media,
techniques and materials.

Alongside improving your practical expertise, you’ll learn how to: develop, refine and record
your ideas; present a personal response that realises your intentions; improve your creative
skills through the effective and safe use of media, materials, techniques, processes and
technologies; successfully use visual language and the formal elements e.g. colour, line, form,
shape, tone, texture; use drawing skills for different needs and purposes and develop an
awareness of the importance of design in the modern world.

Who would this course suit?

Studying this course will enrich and broaden your curriculum, giving you an excellent
foundation for whatever you want to do or study afterwards. The transferable skills you will
gain, such as creativity, analysis and problem solving, complement a range of other subjects
and careers.

It is vital to have an interest in art and design. Although an ability to generate and record ideas
is important, you will have plenty of opportunity to improve and develop your observational
skills. Given that you will have the chance to use a wide variety of materials, it is good for
students to have an open mind and to explore ideas in a number of ways. It is important that students have a mature attitude and are willing to work hard.

Curriculum

Students undertaking this title must explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources,
such as the work of historical and contemporary graphic designers and the different purposes,
intentions and functions of graphic communication as appropriate to their own work.
Students should demonstrate the ability to work creatively with processes and techniques appropriate to their chosen area. Outcomes may be two- or three-dimensional or time-based, taking the form of :
  • posters
  • brochures
  • flyers
  • T-shirts
  • CD/DVD sleeves,
  • book covers
  • magazine spreads
  • calendars
  • stamps
  • packaging
  • publicity materials
  • vehicle livery
  • billboards
  • advertising
  • logos
  • branding
  • corporate identity

Work is not limited to one area of study

As part of their studies for Graphic communication students should aim to present clear
evidence of addressing the assessment objectives, as in the following examples.

AO1

  • Develop ideas that are informed by investigative, contextual and cultural studies of historical and contemporary graphic design and other sources relevant to their selected area of study
    in their own and other societies.
  • Explore a wide variety of work produced by graphic communicators and understand the
    differences in their methods, approaches, purposes and intentions such as ethical
    considerations, marketing strategies, promotional campaigning, and design for print and the web.
  • Provide evidence of analytical skills and critical and contextual understanding by appraising, comparing and contrasting the work of relevant graphic communicators and other historical and contextual sources, using this to inform their own work.
  • Increase awareness of the wide variety of graphic communication processes and outcomes and the differences between these.

AO2

  • Refine and reflect upon work as it progresses by exploring ideas, selecting and
    experimenting with an appropriate breadth of graphic communication approaches and processes, including the purposeful manipulation of digital software. Exercise skilful and safe application of these to maximise creative potential and produce quality outcomes.
  • Explore a stimulating and rich variety of resources to initiate and develop innovative ideas.
    Pay due regard to line, tone, colour, shape, texture and other visual elements to explore and
    communicate ideas.
  • Provide evidence of appropriate depth and breadth of study of graphic communication
    practices, including drawing as a means to explore and communicate ideas. Employ sensitive
    control, for example in refining detail, such as selection of fonts, relationship of typography to
    images and recognising suitable reprographic processes.
  •  Show discrimination in reviewing ideas as work develops. Establish a clear working
    relationship between working methods and outcomes by documenting significant steps so that final outcomes do not emerge without evidence of the creative process.

AO3

  • Gather, select, organise and communicate information that is relevant to their personal
    interests as a consequence of careful research and analysis of a stimulating and rich
    variety of resources.
  • Record ideas, first-hand observations, insights and judgments by any suitable means, such
    as layout drawings, thumbnail sketches, storyboards and written notes that are relevant to
    and support personal intentions.
  • Critically reflect on work as it progresses in order to review what has been learned, acquire
    deeper understanding and clarify purposes and meanings.

AO4

  • Present personal, imaginative final outcomes, together with selective evidence of thinking
    and production processes, that effectively realise the student’s stated intentions, fulfil any
    design brief and demonstrate critical understanding of visual and, where appropriate, other
    forms of communication.
  • Make explicit connections, where appropriate, between the different elements of the
    submission, including contextual, practical and written responses, presenting work that is
    meaningful, well-informed and in a sequence that can be easily followed and results in
    quality outcomes.
  • Consider different presentational formats and select the most appropriate for the
    submission. Due regard should be given to the purpose of the work and how it might
    engage the interest of an audience or potential clients. For example, alternative ideas might
    be presented using PowerPoint to show possible layouts, colourways and typefaces as well
    as how large-scale work such as billboards might look in location.

Assessment

This is a Linear qualification – all exams are to be taken at the end of the course.
 
There are two components:
 
Component 1 Portfolio: produce a sustained project and a selection of further work that
represents the course of study. This is worth 60 % of your overall marks.
 
Component 2: Externally set assignment: there is a separate externally set task paper featuring
seven tasks and you have to complete one of them. You will get preparation time, plus ten
hours of supervised time in which to complete your final piece. This is worth 40 % of your total
marks.
 
Graphic Communication is assessed:
  • 60% coursework
  • 40% terminal examination
 

Exam Access Arrangements

Exam access arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment.
For example, readers, scribes and Braille question papers. In this way, Awarding Bodies will comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.

We can arrange exam access arrangements and assess you with our special assessor.  The deadline for application to the exam board is the February of the year the learner sits exams.

To find out more about exam access arrangements  click here

Study Options

You can choose from the following study options:

  • Online classes only
  • Blended learning – Classes at the campus and online
  • Distance learning course

FAQs

We offer a range of study options, we are flexible, offer tutor support, and interest-free payment plans make it easy to shape learning around your life.

We are registered with Estyn, our aims to give each student a complete education in which they achieve their academic potential and grow as an individual. As well as studying with us, you can sit your exams with us too.


Straight away! There’s no need to wait until September to enrol, you can begin your course at any time. Once you enrol, you’ll be able to log in to your course and get started by the next working day.

You’ll sit the same GCSE exams at the same time as all the other students in the UK, and you’ll receive the same results, transcript and qualification. Your GCSE course will be accepted by colleges, universities and employers worldwide.

You can study GCSE courses through a range of study options; our blended learning which consists of online live classes and in person teaching in class, Online live classes only or Distant learning course.

IGCSE qualifications are ideal for those wanting to study for national qualifications by distance learning. Without all the administrative problems that encumber GCSE course work.

We offer a range of IGCSE Courses; see our Distance learning course page.


Choosing a tier isn’t always easy, particularly for languages, we can help you make a decision. Nobody is a better judge of a student’s ability than their teacher. Regular assessments and mock exams are a key part of our decision making.

If you are studying a distance learning course, we can assess you through the year through a range of assessments.


  • We offer subject support tutorials every month
  • 1:1 support from your subject tutor, online or by email
  • 24/7 access to the your online learning platform
  • Interactive online learning broken down into easy-to-follow units
  • Practice tests and mock exams marked by your tutor
  • Friendly student services team, so you’re never more than a message or phone call away from a helping hand

Of course, you can study this course part time, making sure you have said in your enrolment.

GCSE’s are usually a two year course, studying this in one year – would be an intensive course.
You may be able to complete this in one year as an intensive course, you need to show a strong understanding of the subject.

We offer GCSEs – part time in the evenings to adult learners.


We offer interest-free payment plans, you can pay monthly, termly or annually.

Choose the subject you would like to study, add to courses, complete our application form and you can choose to pay online.

If you’d like to set up an interest-free payment plan, get in touch with our Student Advisors on 01792 535 000.

If you have any disabilities which you think might affect your studies or assessments, please let us know before you enrol so we can advise you on whether reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs.

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