Visual Communication Technical Award - DT

​​Students will study the fundamentals of the Visual Communication industry and the industrial and commercial processes that exist within it. They will learn about materials and their properties and also about possible careers within the industry. This will include the transferable skill of teamwork and one of the mini projects will be based upon this.

The course will develop a wide range of practical making skills incorporating drawing and sketching in 2D and 3D, using digital software, application of colour theory and image capture and manipulation. Students will also develop an understanding of commercial processes and an in-depth knowledge of graphic based materials and their properties.

The course content

  • Drawing and sketching in 2D, 3D and via digital capture and editing. Using the theory of colour, typography, layout techniques including posters, websites and publications.
  • Developing understanding of printing processes, finishing techniques for packaging coupled with laser and vinyl cutting.
  • Develop core knowledge, techniques and understanding of graphic design.


30% - Unit one: Skills demonstration (internal assessment)
Students undertake a number of mini-projects that will allow them to be assessed against 12 core practical skills and the knowledge associated with these.

30% - Unit two: Creating IT systems (internal assessment)
Students will produce a made outcome in addition to a small portfolio to evidence the planning and development and testing and evaluation stages.

40% - Unit three: Fundamentals of Visual Communication (90 minutes external examination)
Covering the core: planning; visual communication techniques; processes in industry; health and safety; materials and stock forms; tools and equipment; systems and control; evaluation and commercial aspects; social and environmental issues; organisations and careers.


Students can opt for only one design and technology based subject at GCSE level.


Students can progress to Technical Certificates and other Level 3 vocational qualifications such as BTEC Extended Level 3 Diploma in Graphic and Interactive Design or A level Design and Technology: Product Design.

Start Date

July 2017

Exam Board



Northallerton School & Sixth Form College

Course Level

Technical Award