A Level: Art and Design - Textiles

Course title: Advanced GCE in Art and Design: Textiles 

Exam board: AQA

Subject specific entry criteria: Grade 6 or above in GCSE Textiles

Course overview

The A Level in Art and Design: Textiles encourages students to develop the skills gained within their GCSE course. You are encouraged to work autonomously and will need to be self-motivated, contributing further hours of study outside of timetabled lessons.

The first year of the A Level course centres around continuing to build upon your understanding of drawing for textiles and textiles techniques. These techniques are taught through guided and focused workshops. You are expected to use these workshops to inspire your ideas and creative decision making in order to make progress within your creative journey.

The following techniques are part of the taught focused workshops:

  • felting
  • machine embroidery
  • hot textiles
  • oribotics
  • weaving
  • batik
  • fabric manipulations
  • shibori
  • natural dyeing.

Within the second year of the course you will have the opportunity to branch off from your initial theme or idea and take the project in your own direction meaning that all outcomes are personal. This A Level course is set up and designed to prepare students for future study in a creative discipline. This will be done through a dedicated portfolio, building on sessions where students can reflect critically upon the work produced and be selective about outcomes you wish to use as part of your portfolio. These portfolios will be used in University interviews, as part of the selection process.

Assessment overview

Component 1: Portfolio This component compromises of two sections. A sustained project and a collection of further work. The sustained project is completed in response to a theme and shows your ability to develop a project from one idea. The collection of further work is compiled of samples produced as part of focused taught workshops. This aims to develop an understanding of advanced textiles techniques and skills needed to develop the sustained project.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment The Externally Set Assignment starts in the January of Year 13 with an exam brief provided by the exam board. You will research a given topic independently over the course of 10 weeks. This is your preparatory period. The final exam is a 15-hour Practical Exam. In these 15 hours you will make a final outcome in response to your preparatory work. This will be a final piece and will be completed within the 15 hours.

Assessment Objectives: Both Component 1 and Component 2 are marked through moderation in Sixth Form and are marked against four assessment objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4. An external moderator will then view the work.

Future progression

As outlined above, part of this course prepares students to present their work and discuss it at University interviews. Students can take a similar Art Textiles route through courses such as Textiles Design, Textiles in Practice, Textiles for Fashion, Fashion Design, Costume Design, Textiles Printmaking and Textiles Embroidery. Alternatively, some students may take routes such as: Fashion Buying, Marketing, Fashion Merchandising and Styling and Sportswear Promotion and Design.

Potential careers

Upon completion of relevant University courses students can build careers in the Fashion and Textiles industry as a Print Designer or Embroidery Artist, Garment Technologist, Social Media and Fashion Promotion, Digital Designer, Costume Maker or Designer of Interiors.

How to succeed in Textiles

You will need to:

  • be self-motivated
  • understand creative problem solving
  • have a natural interest in textiles and design generally
  • be prepared to take creative risks
  • understand the need to dedicate time outside of Sixth Form to make progress in their work
  • have experience of building a textiles project
  • be able to execute basic textiles techniques such as hand sewing and have the ability to use a sewing machine
  • have good drawing and creative skills.