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Art & Design - Textiles Design A Level at Highbury College

Course description

This course is for you if you want to develop your skills and knowledge in the innovative area of textile design.
We encourage an inventive and investigative approach to textiles; you can explore traditional techniques alongside digital processes, from stitch to digital printing.

The self-directed and investigative nature of the course means that you can follow pathways in:
•    fine art textiles
•    textiles for fashion
•    surface pattern design

Textile design is taught in a purpose-built workshop within the art department, where you have access to sewing machines and all the general basic equipment. We have a well-stocked selection of books and journals in the college library from exploring traditional techniques and cultures through to cutting edge textile design. There are several open access IT areas for you to use within the College.

We also have some specialist resources for you to work with:
•    screen printing with photographic exposure unit
•    Illustrator and Photoshop software – accessible from home as well as in College
•    dye printer for digital work
•    heat press for dye transfer and plastic fusing

This course ideally leads onto Higher Education and is a strong foundation for progressing onto courses such as Fashion Design, Textile Design and Fine Art Textiles as well as more general art & design related subjects.

Course content

Each year of the programme consists of two units. The first unit allows you to learn new techniques and processes, developing your skills and knowledge whilst giving you the freedom to set your own direction.

The second unit each year is an externally set controlled assessment, where the examining body gives you a choice of topics and themes to explore in a wide range of textile processes of your choice.

During the course you will

  • build skills in drawing, stitching, layering techniques and working with colour
  • experiment with printmaking processes including block and screen printing
  • learn about the properties of different fabrics and about different dyeing techniques
  • have the opportunity of using the latest versions of both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which you will be able to access from home for independent study for the duration of your course
  • learn in a variety of ways, including demonstrations, skills workshops and formal lessons
  • have the opportunity to work independently in the textiles workshop with one to one support from your teacher.

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.

This must include an art-based GCSE at grade C or above. Students will be required to present a portfolio at interview.


Assessment will be a mix of coursework portfolio and externally set assignments. You will work in sketchbooks, creating a visual record of your investigative journey.

Future opportunities

After the programme, the majority of students progress on to university to study art & design related subject specialisms.

You will be able to use your AS/A2 work to build a creative portfolio for interview for university.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Highbury College directly.

Last updated date: 25 May 2016
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    • The new Highbury Campus opened in 2009 and facilitates enhanced student learning through the use of the latest technology and facilities. The Campus provides students with a stimulating, 21st-century environment that raises aspirations and promotes ambition.