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Textiles is now part of the Design and Technology specification at KS4. This involves looking at all aspects of Design and Technology building on those skills and knowledge covered during KS3. Students then have the opportunity to focus on Textiles through exploration, research, designing and the creation of innovative and exciting final outcomes using fabrics.

The Fashion and Textiles A level allows students who have a passion and flair for the subject to further explore such opportunities in a very individualised way.


At the start of Year 10 students work through a series of small practical projects to build up the knowledge and specialist technical skills required for the NEA and the examination. (NEA= Non Examined Assessment) The NEA itself will begin at the end Year 10, in line with AQA guidelines.

In addition, much of the theory is covered during Year 10. This includes;

  • Fibres and fabrics (traditional, technical and smart), their source, construction, properties and end uses.
  • Different approaches to designing, developing and manufacturing innovative and creative products (fashion, accessories, furnishings).
  • Analysing the work of past and contemporary designers.
  • Industrial manufacture.
  • Environmental, sustainable, ethical and moral issues.
  • Other elements of Design and Technology eg Resistant materials, Systems and Control, Product Design.


  • Various construction and decorative textile techniques e.g. seams, edges, quilting, applique, embroidery, silk painting, printing (Hand and Machine)
  • Pattern adaption and construction, modelling and testing of ideas
  • Research skills, Analysing and evaluating work of professionals and individuals
  • Planning and using time effectively
  • Organising and managing resources efficiently
  • Examination techniques
  • Written reports and specifications for portfolio

Exam structure/weighting

The subject is assessed as follows;

50% Major controlled assessment (NEA) Textiles project including one A3 portfolio and practical outcome/Prototype

The NEA is selected from 3 contexts provided by AQA. Students then develop their NEA from their chosen context.

50% one 2 hour written examination. This exam will be taken by all students studying a Design subject. It will cover the core elements common to Design and Technology and will require students to have some understanding of a range of materials. There are a range of multiple choice, short response and longer essay type questions with an element of design in some cases.

Career Opportunities:

  • Textiles covers a wide range of transferable skills that can help students to prepare for their future careers. However, those careers more specifically linked to Textiles include: Fashion, Textile and Interior designers, Fashion buying and marketing, Textile technologist, Theatrical costume and Visual merchandiser.
Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 10

Design Task Fibres and Fabrics

Other Design materials

Design and Make Task

Fabric Construction

Sustainability 1

Design and Make Task

Fabric finishes

  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 10

Design and make task

Construction techniques

Design and make task

Care of fabrics

June 1st NEA issued

Consider options and prepare for NEA


Year Group Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Year 11

NEA Context and Research

Design and development


NEA Making


NEA Making


  Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Cycle 6
Year 11 Completion of NEA Portfolio Examination Preparation  



The A Level Fashion and Textile AQA course is a two year course for students wishing to extend and develop their expertise in the subject. It builds on the areas covered in the GCSE course and allows students to explore Fashion and Textiles in real depth. However, there is no prerequisite to have studied GCSE Design.

Below is a typical outline of how the specification may be covered across the 2 years.

In Year 12 students have the opportunity to further their technical abilities, acquiring advanced and more complex skills through the production of prototypes they themselves have designed. This will include a range of pattern making skills, construction and decorative techniques appropriate to this level of study. This will also provide students with the necessary understanding of how to approach the personal study undertaken in Year 13, whilst working as a Fashion and Textiles designer.

At the same time all areas of the specification will be covered, ranging from Textile fibre technology to Art movements and the history of fashion.

Students will be expected to complete homework tasks as set and generally develop their wider interest in the subject by reading widely and visiting galleries and exhibitions when possible.

The NEA coursework project runs throughout Year 13 and is selected by the student themselves. This enables each individual to take advantage of their own specialist skills and interests within the subject.

There will also be considerable preparation for the 2 examination papers during Year 13.

  • Exam structure/weightings

A Level Fashion and Textiles is assessed by one major piece of coursework, the context of which is selected by students themselves. It is worth 50% of the final marks.

The remaining 50% is divided equally between 2x2 hour written examination papers.

  • Career Opportunities

Many students who study A Level Fashion and Textiles go on to develop their interest further at degree level concentrating on design, marketing, buying, conservation or textile technology. Career opportunities are many and varied including Fashion, Textile and Interior designers, Fashion buying and marketing, Textile technologist, Theatrical costumier, Visual merchandiser and Textile conservation.

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