A Level

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This course is perfect for those interested in applying their creative skills to the world of textiles. Ideal for inquisitive and self-motivated students, Textiles students explore and develop ideas and solve problems to produce polished, impressive results. The design process is key, as you’ll encounter drawing, making, sampling, research and experimentation. Practical work is complimented by skills development workshops.

Textiles encourages experimentation and design development at every stage, using a variety of techniques, materials and processes. Emphasis is placed on gaining excellent research skills to build an in-depth knowledge of the field to aid your practical work. You’ll be encouraged to explore specialist areas of textiles such as fine art, fashion and interiors.


A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above. This must include an art based GCSE at grade C or above. Students will be required to present a portfolio at interview.

The course is designed to encourage experimentation and design development at every stage and you will be using a wide range of techniques, materials and processes throughout the course. Emphasis is placed on wide-ranging research, in-depth exploration and the development of ideas and processes.

You may explore specialist areas of textiles such as fine art, fashion and interiors, and you will be expected to develop good research skills and an awareness of current issues surrounding this exciting subject. You will be encouraged to work in an increasingly independent manner.

You will be expected to keep various sketchbooks, workbooks and research notes, which will evidence the development of your work through drawing, sampling, research, exploration, experimentation and discovery. Workshops will teach a variety of techniques and processes which will then be developed and incorporated into your particular area of study.

You will be taught in groups and also on a one-to-one basis, especially as your work becomes more independent. Study trips to galleries and museums will be compulsory for gathering research and contextual studies. You are expected to commit at least equal time to independent working outside of class time as you do in the classroom.

The first year of this course consists of two units and each unit is assessed upon completion. Throughout each unit you will have the opportunity to discuss and review your work with lecturers, thereby ensuring that it meets the assessment objectives.

Unit one is a coursework portfolio unit which consists of both class and independent work, and Unit two is an externally set assignment which is part controlled practical exam and part coursework. The second year consists of a further two units to make up the full A Level qualification.

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The teaching and support was absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have done anything more or anything better, if I had any questions my lecturers would always stay behind to help me if I needed it and their emails were always open, it was second to none. South Downs College is the best by far.

Amber Searle, BTEC student

My experience at South Downs has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student

My experience at South Downs has been really good, it’s been really rewarding, all the lecturers were so lovely and supportive there’s no way I could have done it without them - the teaching has been outstanding.

Lucie Brooks, A Level student


A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to a BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art & Design or onto higher education or alternatively appropriate employment. The course will also allow you the opportunity to develop a portfolio of creative work for interview.

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