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What Will I Study?

The focus of the first term is to provide you with knowledge and skills in a diverse range of textile materials, techniques and processes.  

During the spring term, you will begin work on your Personal Investigation which is an extensive self-directed major project which integrates critical, practical and theoretical work. This gives you the opportunity to work with greater independance allowing you pursue a more extensive project which continues into the second year of the course and counts for 60% of your final mark.Throughout the Personal Investigation you will be able to work to your strengths and build on your skills and particular areas of interest.  You will be expected to develop a variety of personal responses and to complete individual finished pieces of high quality. In addition, you will be required to complete an extended illustrated essay focussing on selected textile artists and designers whose work has a relevance to your own practice, (minimum 1000 words). This will give you the opportunity to place your practical work within a historical and/or contemporary context and to demonstrate that you have made pertinent and critical connections to artists, designers or craftspeople working within the same or related fields or genres as yourself.

Following the completion of your Personal Investigation in the second year you will begin work on the Externally Set Assignment (40%). This consists of a range of visual and written starting points that are prepared by the examining board. You will choose one of these and begin a 10-week preparatory period leading to the development of  resolved final work produced in 15 hours (normally three days), under examination conditions in the textiles studio.


More Info

Through a series of short projects you will be introduced to screen-printing, felt-making, batik, machine and hand sewing, silk painting, knitting, weaving, shibori techniques and much more. You will develop the ability to respond creatively to a variety of visual stimuli, researching extensively and recording your observations through drawing and photography to gather a rich source of inspiration for developing your work.

Throughout the course you will receive regular feedback including written comments identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Interim percentage marks and grades in line with the assessment criteria will be given at key stages to give you a clear idea of your progress. Individual tutorials and group critiques will provide you with frequent verbal feedback. On completion,the Personal Investigation (60%) and the Externally Set Assignment (40%) are assessed intrernally and moderated by an external moderator.

There is a wide range of careers that are related to this course including:

• Textile design

• Fashion

• Costume design

• Clothing and textile technology

• Interior design

• Knitwear design

• Theatrical design

• Retail buyer

• Fashion journalism

• Fashion stylist

On completing the course, many students progress to an Art Foundation course to  prepare for entry onto an Art and Design degree course in order to focus on a specialsm of their choice. 

Throughout the course you will be able to take part in visits to galleries and exhibitions in order to gain a greater understanding of historical developments, cultural traditions, contemporary practice and the impact of new technologies within textiles. Recent visits have included Beckford Silk, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Clothes Show Live and the Knitting & Stitching Show. Opportunities to travel to Paris, Milan, Barcelona and the Venice Biennale have also been offered.

During the course you will need to buy a portfolio, sketchbooks and textiles materials and equipment costing approximately £100.00

Grade 4 or a MERIT or DISTINCTION at BTEC Level 2 in an Art or Design subject.  Entry may also be made via portfolio/interview.


Key Facts

Offered As

ASA Level

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Awarding Body


Making a change from one level to the other will be treated like any other change to your programme of study. In the first few weeks it is relatively straightforward, after that you are expected to stick to what you have chosen unless advised to change by the course leader.

Yes, this is an art- based course and drawing is helpful for recording observations, exploring ideas and communicating designs.

Special arrangements can be made for this. It is not offered as a standard model of delivery but can be done with sufficient motivation and ability. You will need to consult the course leader to discuss this further.

You will be required to write a 1000 word essay on artists and designers whose work has influenced your own. In addition to this you will annotate your sketchbooks to include analysis and evaluation of your own work and the work of others.

As long as you have studied Art and/or a Design  subject at G.C.S.E. and achieved at least a grade 4, you will be a suitable recruit for the A Level in Textiles. If you have studied Textiles in addition, it is an added bonus!

Progression and Career Opportunities

Creative industries earn the UK almost £92bn. The contribution of the UK creative industries – as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) – rose by 7.6% in 2016, or more than twice as fast as the average 3.5% growth rate in this measure across the UK economy. Textile designers can earn on average £15,000 to £40,000 per year depending on experience.

Career Opportunities:

  • Textile Designer
  • Fashion Journalist
  • Interior Designer
  • Knitwear Designer
  • Theatrical Designer
  • Printmaker

Higher Education and further education 63%

Employment/apprenticeships 17%