Graphic Design is about communicating information in a creative and visually exciting way. It is about extending the visual possibilities of language, exploring new ways to express yourself. You will have access to digital media, as well as a wide range of materials for producing two-dimensional imagery, including digital photography, to enable you to investigate layouts, textures and surfaces. A specialist studio will allow you to explore the possibilities of book illustration, packaging, corporate identity, digital technology and contemporary layout techniques.

You will have extensive tutorial help with computer software such as Photoshop and be taught by tutors who are practising artists or designers. You will be involved in live projects, working with client-based units to build up a portfolio of work and you will be supported at all stages. Lessons involve practical work backed up with exploration of the work of designers and artists through lectures, discussions and independent study. You will study a number of areas of Graphic Communication and will be taught how to critically evaluate and analyse your own work, as well as the work of other designers and artists.

Year 1

  • Illustration
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Design for print
  • Digital graphics
  • Surface pattern
  • Corporate identity

Year 2

  • Drawing techniques
  • Adding depth to your knowledge, understanding and skills
  • A written critical and contextual study
  • Individually-negotiated project
  • Ambitious final piece
  • An exhibition of your work

I enjoy art and love the idea of making my designs and drawings into posters or cloths. I have loved have the freedom to experiment and try new things. The way the art subjects are taught at Varndean suited me and the department was super nice and friendly.

Cerys Pilley Rabbs ex Downlands Community School

Course Essentials

Courses Available
A Level
Entry Requirements


Grade 5 in GCSE Art or Technology or a Merit or above in BTEC Level 2 First Diploma

If GCSE Art or Technology have not been taken, suitably qualified students with a good portfolio of work will be considered.
How The Course is Assessed
60% coursework, 40% exam project
Career Pathways
Many students continue their studies through foundation courses or degrees in illustration or graphic design. Others do degree courses outside the Design area, including Fine Art, Textiles, Architecture, History, Politics, Economics and English.
Transferable Skills
Use and application of imagination; team work; creativity; layout and composition skills; subject knowledge relevant to use in the wider environment.
Other Information
Regular visits are made to design museums in London, as well as trips to New York, Venice, Florence, Paris, Berlin or Barcelona. There is an enrichment programme which is particularly useful for students who are considering further courses and careers in design. We also have regular visiting practitioners who come in and speak to the students about professional practise and personal experience.
Enquiries To
Jasvir Chopra: