GCSE D&T: Visual Communication


Awarding body, specification number and title: 

AQA, 3755, Technical Award - Design and Technology: Visual Communication

Course content and structure:

Visual Communication is a discipline of Design and Technology that is primarily concerned with communicating information through the medium of imagery and text.  The world in which we live is full of graphic products, examples of which range from road signs to maps, advertising billboards, packaging and instruction manuals.  The Visual Communication course is aimed at developing the necessary understanding of the theory behind them and, furthermore, developing the drawing skills to produce plausible and exciting project work.

It is ideally suited to students who prefer practical learning, in addition to theoretical learning. The course enables students to work in a ‘hands-on’ way in order to develop the core skills required to make high quality products using incorporating drawing and sketching in 2D and 3D, using digital software, application of colour theory and image capture and manipulation. Lessons within Visual Communication are a combination of focused bite-sized projects to demonstrate their confidence in 12 core skills, which then lead onto an extended making project to show case their new found abilities in an independent project that responds to a brief that they develop. Every piece of work that students complete will have a direct impact on their final level, with the bite-sized projects and extended making project accounting for 60% of their final level.

 Year 10 course content

In Year 10 students will focus on producing a portfolio evidencing a series of practical projects that will demonstrate 12 core skills. This portfolio records their work for the projects and must not be more than 15 pages in length.

These projects are all practical based to cover the following key skills:

  1. Drawing and sketching in 2D and 3D
  2. Using digital editing
  3. Using typography
  4. Application of colour theory
  5. Producing publishing layouts
  6. Application of surface development and card engineering using hand tools
  7. Image capture and manipulation
  8. Producing a Web-based design
  9. Using printing processes
  10. Using finishing techniques
  11. Using CAD/CAM for model making, and
  12. Teamwork.

 These mini projects will account for 30% of the qualification.

All Students start their own Extended Making project during Year 10 and continue it through to Year 11. This accounts for a further 30% of the qualification.

Year 11 course content

In Year 11 students continue their Extended Project enabling them to put their making skills to the test. During this project, students will produce a made outcome in addition to a small portfolio to evidence the planning and development and testing and evaluation stages. Projects could range from promotional materials, packaging, branding plus much more…

Running parallel with the projects in Years 10 and 11 there will be lessons that continue to further develop students understanding of the theory and practices involved in the fundamentals of Visual Communication that are assessed in a terminal examination that accounts for 40% of the qualification.

This exam covers the following topics:

  1. Planning
  2. Visual communication technologies
  3. Processes in industry
  4. Health and safety
  5. Materials and stock forms
  6. Tools and equipment
  7. Systems and control procedures
  8. Evaluation and consideration of commercial aspects
  9. Social and environmental issues
  10. Business organisation and activity, and
  11. Careers opportunities.



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