Art & Design – Textile Design

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Code Ar01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Why study this subject?

The A Level course in art and design - textile design, commonly known as ‘Art Textiles’, has been designed to encourage an adventurous and enquiring approach to the study and application of textiles, creating works of art that have been constructed using textiles techniques or a combination of art and textiles techniques. Successful students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of past and contemporary practice and be able to produce outcomes that embrace a range of ideas. In order to encourage independent study beyond the scheduled classes, the department contains within it a Sixth Form Studio area in which students can display imagery, work and access the resources available in the department without the need for supervision.

The textile design course we offer encourages students to work as individual practising artists – developing their own ideas as creatively and thoroughly as possible through the exploration of both conventional and unconventional techniques and processes. Students will develop ideas through the collection of imagery, research and analysis of the work of others and their own recording of the world around them (through drawing and photography). To encourage development, students will work from the imagery and collected recordings to explore a range of art and textiles techniques and processes – recreating textures and embellishing the surface of photographs and drawings to inspire new ideas and ways of working. Outcomes can include 2-dimensional, relief and sculptural textiles. In addition to the more traditional art and textiles resources, the department has its own printmaking studio and digital media including an iMac, an iPad and a graphics tablet on which many students are now exploring the uses of Photoshop and other drawing and digital imaging software to further develop their ideas and projects as a whole.

To support their studies further, students are also taken on a range of school-organised trips each year, including a life-drawing workshop at the Wallace Collection in London, attendance at ‘The Creative Process’, a series of lectures by contemporary artists at the Institute of Education in London, and the popular four day residential art trip (location varies each year between a European city – Reykjavik, Florence, Venice, Paris and Madrid – and the Cornish coastline) in which students have the opportunity to work from life to create a series of drawings and paintings of seascapes, landscapes, architecture, etc. and visit the local galleries, museums and, of course, the sights on offer.

If you intend to go on to study art or textiles-related courses, or even follow a creative pathway in the future, then this course is important for you. University courses that past students from the A Level art and design courses have gone on to study include: fine art, illustration, architecture, graphic design, fashion design, fashion journalism, photography, and art history/journalism, to name just a few.

Further to specific arts and textiles-related courses, the A Level art & design specifications are now considered amongst the most time-demanding, independence-focused and creative courses on offer. More and more colleges and universities are recognising that gaining a high grade shows that you must be an extremely hard-working, creative, independent and dedicated student; attributes that almost all courses will admire and actively seek in their applicants.


The specification directly supports progression to further and higher education in art and design and textiles-related subjects, as well as providing all students with a platform to inspire a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of art and textiles.

During the A Level course, students will be expected to explore a wide range of techniques, processes and ways of working. Practical work is supported by research that will develop their understanding and appreciation of the importance of ideas and context in the making of practical outcomes. Through this process of exploration and research, students should create a body of work for each component (see below) that develops effectively from a starting point to a realised outcome/series of outcomes.

The A Level course also offers a logical progression from GCSE as the assessment objectives, structure and titles are very similar to those specified in the AQA GCSE Art and Design specifications.

How will it be delivered?

Component 1: Personal Investigation

60% of the A Level qualification

All the work submitted for this component will be marked as a whole, using 4 assessment objectives:

• AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

• AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

• AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.

• AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

40% of the A Level qualification

All the work submitted for this component will be marked as a whole, using the same 4 assessment objectives as used in the portfolio component (see above).

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in Art or 5 in related subject (eg Technology)

Your next steps...

Please apply directly to our School if you are interested in studying this subject.