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Design Technology - Fashion and Textiles A'Level at Newstead Wood School

Course description

Awarding Body- AQA Design Technology- Fashion and Textiles 7561 and 7562

Course content

This course offers outstanding opportunities for students who want to further their studies in the creative fields of Fashion and Textiles and offers the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers.

Students design and experiment in breadth and depth with fibres; fabric construction and manipulation; printing; dyeing; computer aided design and manufacture; pattern cutting and garment manufacture to make textiles products of their choice. They investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on fashion and textiles, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning into practice by producing products and gaining a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

Students will develop a portfolio of sophisticated and imaginative design ideas, using an extensive range of media and be able to interpret their concepts using more varied and complex decorative and construction techniques. The influences of past and present designers on trends and fashions will inform student’s understanding and selection of materials and techniques for extensive trialling of processes prior to manufacturing. Throughout the course students will also gain an informed insight into the roles and opportunities for professionals working in the fashion and textiles industry. Students also experience lectures and exhibitions at the V&A, Clothes Show Live and Fashion and Textiles Museum and are all offered work experience at AS.

The A2 content enables students to further develop their knowledge and understanding of materials and components, design and market influences, processes and manufacture, using Graphic communication with ICT to illustrate construction processes in design portfolios as an integral part of the course

Methods of Learning 

Through the selection of independent and personalised projects, students develop their research and illustration skills in a range of media to initiate design solutions for a diverse group of users, by testing and trialling samples, toiles and prototypes. Students direct their learning, encountering numerous creative opportunities and constraints, which provide them with the opportunity to apply knowledge from collective experience and other curriculum areas such as Maths and Science. Students develop an understanding of contemporary design and technological practices, as they consider traditional techniques, new technologies and modern materials, working in both two and three-dimensional forms, engaging in creative applications, developing designs from a variety of starting points, responding in an intuitive as well and systematic manner.

Subject Specific Skills and Concepts

Fibre types, classification and generic names; Yarns, fabric construction and manufacture; Manipulating and combining materials; Working properties of fibres and fabrics Product components; Development of design; Design in practice; Design in the human context; Industrial and commercial practice; Production systems Communication methods; Smart and modern materials; Development of textiles technologies and design.

Amount of homework time required per week

AS 4 hrs, A2 5 hrs

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto this course, students need an A grade at GCSE in any related Textiles subject. Students from a purely Art background may also be considered if they have a record of producing three dimensional work to A grade at GCSE.


The A Level Fashion and Textiles course has three units:

Examination Paper 1 Students work with a variety of textile materials to understand the working characteristics, physical properties, cost and availability which influence choice in design situations. Students gain an understanding of industrial and commercial practices and market influences on design and apply it in examination conditions.

Examination Paper 2 Students apply additional specialist knowledge of core technical and designing and making principles. Through analysis & critical appraisal of specified products, they learn how materials and components are worked to become prototypes or toiles and develop their knowledge and understanding of the elements of design in 2D/3D forms.

Coursework Unit This is an in-depth design-and-make unit where knowledge of the A Level subject content is applied to the design and manufacture of a students' own project to produce innovative products and a portfolio to Undergraduate standard.

AS Assessment Options

PAPER1 - Core technical principles of designing and making. Specialist knowledge. 2hr written paper. 80 Marks

NEA - Practical application of technical principles, designing & making knowledge. Cwk approx. 35 hrs. 50% of AS. 80 Marks

A2 Assessment Options

PAPER1 - Core technical principles of designing and making. 2hr written paper. 25% of A2. 100 Marks

PAPER 2 - Product Analysis and Commercial manufacture. 2hr written paper. 25% of A2. 100 Marks

NEA - Practical application of technical principles designing making & specialist knowledge. Cwk approx. 45 hrs. 50% of AS. 100 Marks

Future opportunities

Prepare for a career in: Costume Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Knitwear, Fashion Journalism, Pattern Cutting, Fashion Buying, Textile Design or as a Textiles Technologist.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newstead Wood School directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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