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Visual Communication

This course is intended for those with an interest in Business, Advertising and/or the Media. It is both practical and theoretical, combining elements of Graphic design and Media studies.

The aim of the course is for students to become aware how businesses and/or organisations promote themselves and their services visually.

Areas of study

  • Media theories of language, representation, institution and especially audience
  • How to read the media
  • Advertising and its aims
  • Advertising markets
  • Areas of advertising, both page and time based, such as retail products and services, marketing of TV programmes and films, public awareness campaigns
  • Advertising techniques, such as synergy and ‘empty referencing’
  • Advertising and the law
  • Studying such advertising as produced by companies such as Coca-Cola, Flora, Honda and M&S

Skills and techniques

  • The ability to analyse advertising or package design using specialist terminology.
  • The ability to make critical judgements.
  • To express themselves coherently both verbally and on paper.
  • The ability and confidence to express and communicate knowledge and understanding.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • The foundations and knowledge and understanding the principals of advertising, practitioners and works, considering the way that these change and evolve within chronological order and other frameworks.
  • Awareness of advertising and media terms, concepts and issues.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the significance of techniques and materials in the creation of an advertisement or package design.
  • Understand the principal methods of analysis and interpretation.
  • Understand the relationship between society and advertising within historical and other frameworks.


Essays and practical projects are assessed throughout the year, and an end of year exam consists of a project and a written analysis of an unseen text.