A Level Fashion & Textiles

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title A Level Fashion & Textiles
Code ALFa
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The world of fashion is a trillion-pound industry that employs over 800,000 people in the UK. Textiles is linked to the world of design, manufacturing, business and marketing. You will combine creative and technological principles to create marketable and innovative garments. The course includes the study of consumer trends, textile products and materials, construction processes and surface decoration techniques as well as wider issues in the industry. This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers. The new qualifications place greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Whilst the course will naturally appeal to those wishing to pursue a career in the creative industries, many of the skills required are transferable and compliment a wide range of subjects.


Technical Principles:

  • Materials and their application
  • Performance characteristics of materials including fibres, yarns and fabrics
  • Smart and Technical textiles
  • Commercial names of fibres and fabrics
  • Performance characteristics of fabrics
  • Fibres and yarn production
  • Mixtures and blends
  • Methods of joining and us of components
  • Use of finishes
  • Enhancement of materials: dyeing, printing, Embroidery
  • Modern industrial and commercial practice
  • Digital design and manufacture
  • The requirements for textiles and the fashion industry
  • Health and safety
  • Design for manufacturing

Designing and making Principles:

  • Design theory
  • Impact of technology and culture impact designers
  • Selecting appropriate tools, equipment and processes
  • Responsible design

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

The practical application of the technical principles and designing and making principles in a single design and make project. The context for which is set by AQA.

How will it be delivered?

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

Assessment objectives:

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all AS Design and Technology: Product Design specifications and all exam boards. The exams and non-exam assessment will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1: Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants.

AO2: Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose.

AO3: Analyse and evaluate: design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others wider issues in design and technology.

AO4: Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of: technical principles, designing and making principles.

Written exams:

Paper 1: Technical principles. 2.5 hours. 120 marks. 30% of A-level. Questions: Mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2: Designing and making principles. 1.5 hours. 80 marks. 20% of A-level. Questions: Mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

  • Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks. Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).
  • Section B: Commercial manufacture. 50 marks. Mixture of short and extended response question.

Non-examined Assessment (NEA): Practical application of technical principles and designing and making principles. Substantial design and make project. 100 marks. 50% of A-level. Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype/product is expected.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE Grades 9 - 4 to include English & Maths; and Grade 5 or above in a Technology subject.

Your next steps...

Students often go directly to a degree course in a range of disciplines, including fashion design, textiles design, surface pattern design, illustration, fashion marketing, management and business, costume design, or fashion journalism. Some choose to go onto study on an art foundation course, prior to pursuing a degree.