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Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a fast paced, successful linear Art & Design course where students will be introduced to a variety of design approaches whilst exploring a range of media, processes and techniques. Students will experience both traditional and new media and may work in areas such as advertising, packaging design, illustration and design for print.

Qualifications & Assessments

Exam Board AQA
Level Level 3
Qualification A Level
Assessment Method 100% Non-Examined Assessment
Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

Component 1 – Personal Investigation – 60%

Students will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of between 1000 and 3000 words which supports the practical work.

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment – 40%

Students respond to a starting point, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Around half of our students go on to study the subject at a higher level. This is usually in the form of an Art Foundation course or Design related degree including Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Visual Effects, Computer Character Animation, Architecture and Decorative Arts. A number of students choose to stay local and will aim to study at the University of Salford or Manchester Metropolitan University and some have gone as far afield as Falmouth and Plymouth. An increasing number of students are applying for digital apprenticeships.

During the two year course all students will get the opportunity to view graduate work at local degree shows including Stockport College and Manchester Metropolitan University. There will be the opportunity to visit a European city, such as Barcelona or Paris. Other trips have included London, Blackpool, Liverpool and Crosby Beach (to view Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’).

For more information about trips relating to this course including Barcelona please see the Trips and Travel page

Early on in the course all students will attend the UCAS ‘Design Your Future Fair’ at the Manchester Central Convention Centre where up to 100 universities and colleges are in attendance; this is an opportunity to begin planning for the future.

At the end of the second year there is an exhibition to celebrate and showcase the students’ work. The evening is very well attended and is a great way to end the students’ time on the course.

News & Blog

Latest From Aquinas

You can never rely on the British weather, from pouring down rain, to beautiful blue sky, our L6 successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh Gold practice expedition. What an amazing, all be it, wet, experience they had. Their resilience shown to keep going, support each other and work as a team to finish what was […]

Photoshop of students walking up a hill

After sadly losing our dear friend and colleague Grainne last year the Art & Design department are raising money for Sarcoma UK. Those of you that knew Grainne will know, she was energetic, loved life and the great outdoors and was always up for a challenge. So today (7th June) we are hiking 3560ft to […]

Photograph of the art department travelling to Snowdonia

In February this year, Aquinas College took part in some research led by Associate Professor Tomomi Ohba from Tama University in Japan. The research was looking at foreign language education across the world and Aquinas was one of the schools approached in the UK because of our teaching of Japanese. Classes were observed in all […]

Screenshot of the Japanese university zoom call.

In January, 10 of our brightest chemistry students took part in the annual RSC Chemistry Olympiad. We would like to congratulate all students for taking part in this really tough national competition. Simply participating speaks volumes about the character of the students involved, showing their determination and resilience in the face of academic challenge, attributes […]

Photograph of students holding their certificates.