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Graphic Communication

Key Stage 4


What will students learn?

Students will learn to use a variety of drawing, painting and computer-aided techniques to enable them to design and produce graphics for posters, fashion items, illustrations (including cartoons and animation), games, packaging and display units. They will learn how to gather research effectively, including looking at the work of other designers and artists during at least one organised trip in Year 10.


How will students be taught?

Students will be taught through at least three practical coursework projects across Years 10 and 11 (students choose only the best two to enter for the GCSE). Students will use industry-standard computer graphics software and printers. The course also consists of digital photography then, from first-hand photos, students will learn how to add digital effects to enhance their final outcomes.


How will students be assessed?

This qualification consists of two parts:

Part one is worth 60% of the GCSE and consists of at least two practical projects set and marked by the teacher, both of which include sketchbook work and a practical finished outcome such as cinema promotional items, cereal packet or t-shirt etc.

The second part is a controlled assessment project set by the exam board and is worth 40% of the GCSE. Students will have a choice of projects and produce the work as if it were a normal coursework project. There is no written examination, just a supervised time of 10 hours to make the final piece in the classroom.


Examination board & course type

AQA – GCSE Art & Design – Graphic Communication (8203)


What can studying this subject lead to?

GCSE Grade 6 in Graphics, Resistant Materials or a visual art subject is required for entry into A level Graphic Design. GCSE Grade 6 in Graphics, Resistant Materials or Electronics is required for entry into A level Product Design.

Many students who have studied this route have gone on to careers in Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Animation, Architecture, Signage and Illustration.

As well as a GCSE grade, students will also leave the course with a portfolio of design evidence and a practical piece of work that can be shown to future employers and educational institutes to help demonstrate the student’s designing, practical skills and potential for the future.


Revision Advice

A subject specific guide featuring key content, recommended resources and the specifications we cover in that particular subject can be downloaded below:




Teacher to contact for further information

Miss S Hunting


Contact Us

Northgate High School
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123