St John Plessington Catholic College

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A Level - Level 3

This subject is offered as an A Level course over two years. The subject is focused towards fashion and textiles products and accessories in a range of applications; their analysis in respect of materials, process, trends and use in relation to industrial and commercial practices of fashion and textiles. During this course you will build upon and develop your knowledge and understanding from GCSE whilst also having the freedom to focus in more depth on areas of design and technology that most interests you. It will develop your design and thinking skills that open up a world of possibility, providing the tools to create the future.


A Level
During the two year course you will develop a technical understanding of how products function and how they are made to appropriately support the design and manufacture of your own design solutions. You will learn about wider design principles and the effect of design on users and the world we live in. You will identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design solutions, and make and test prototypes/ products. You will develop your subject knowledge, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture. This subject also requires you to apply mathematical and scientific knowledge.

A Level Assessment

Unit 1: Coursework

Topic: Iterative Design Project
Weighting: 50% of A Level
In Year 13 you will commence a non-examined ‘Iterative Design Project’, a substantial design, make and evaluate project centred on the iterative processes of explore, create and evaluate. It is worth 50% of the A Level qualification. You will be required to identify a design opportunity or problem from a context of your own choice, and create a chronological portfolio supported by real–time evidence of your project development. In the first year of this course you will take part in a range of design and make activities and projects to build on you designing and manufacturing skills in preparation for your A Level coursework project which commences following the Easter holidays in Year 12.

Unit 2: Written Exam

Topic: Principles of Fashion & Textiles
Weighting: 26.7% of A Level
Exam – 1 hour 30 minutes
The ‘Principles’ examination paper is worth 26.7% (80 marks) of the A Level qualification and assesses analysis of existing products, technical knowledge and understanding of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques and allows you to demonstrate your understanding of design thinking and wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on the design and manufacturing industries.

Unit 3: Written Exam

Topic: Problem Solving
Weighting: 23.3% of A Level
Exam – 1 hour 45 minutes
The ‘Problem Solving’ paper is worth 23.3% (70 marks) of the A Level qualification and requires learners to apply their knowledge and understanding through higher level thinking skills, reflecting on the viability of products and possible design solutions in context and being able to make critical judgements on the most appropriate methods and outcomes.

Is there anything else I should know?

If you want to follow a career or higher education route in Textiles, Fashion Design or Interior Design you may also consider Art & Design and ICT as companion A Levels. If you are wishing to follow a career or higher education route in Fashion Merchandising and Buying, you might also consider Business Studies, Mathematics and ICT as companion Level 3 courses. Media Studies, Graphics, Business Studies and ICT are suitable courses to choose alongside Textiles if you wish to enter the creative advertising and marketing profession.

Progression Routes

Success in this course can lead to higher education qualifications and a number of exciting careers in Textile Design, Clothes/ Fashion Design, Interior Design or Fashion Merchandising and Buying. You could also apply this A Level to your portfolio of skills as a teacher.